Swimming pool inspection/certification

If you own a property with a swimming pool or spa pool you are responsible for ensuring that it is safe. Tragically, every year children and adults drown in backyard pools.

Swimming pool inspection/certification

All pool and spa owners in NSW must meet State Government Safety Standards, which spelt out in national construction standards plus the NSW Swimming Pools Act 1992 and the NSW Swimming Pools Regulation 2008.

From 29 April 2016, properties with registrable pools cannot be sold or leased without a Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance. Tourist and visitor accommodation operators must also have made an application for a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate by this date.

In accordance with the Swimming Pool Act, 1992, Council has adopted a Swimming Pool Inspection Program for the inspections of barriers and fences to all privately owned swimming pools within the Bayside Council area. The program includes the following types of swimming pools that are required to be inspected:

  • Residential dwellings
  • Residences containing two or more dwellings
  • Residential flat buildings
  • Hotels and Motels
  • Serviced Apartments
  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Backpackers
  • Caravan parks

The legislation requires the above swimming pools to be inspected once every three years.

You can apply to Council for an inspection by filling in a Swimming Pool Barrier Inspection form. Council will first organise and inspection of your swimming pool, and advise if it complies with the requirements of Act, and if it does not Council will let you know what work needs to occur to make it comply.

Upon completion of works, Council will issue a certificate of compliance stating that the swimming pool complies with the requirements of Part 2 (Access to Swimming Pools) of the Swimming Pools Act, 1992. The certificate is valid for three years.

How do I register my pool?

The NSW Government Swimming Pools Register is designed to help monitor the safety of swimming pools and spa pools. All new and existing pools that are capable of being filled with 300mm or more of water and are used for swimming and other human water activities must be recorded in the Register.

All existing pools should already be included in the Register. To register a pool, simply go to the NSW Government Swimming Pool Register website and follow the instructions. Penalties apply for failure to register a pool that should be included.

Pool barriers

Pool barriers are a key feature of safety management for swimming pools. Requirements for child-resistant barriers have gradually been strengthened over recent decades. Rules about barriers now vary according to when a pool was built and where it is located.

  • Pools built before 1 August 1990 - Access to the pool from the residence must be restricted at all times; certain types of windows and doors may form part of the barrier
  • Pools built between 1 August 1990 and 30 June 2010 - The pool must be surrounded by a child-resistant barrier that separates the pool from the residence and any place adjoining the premises; automatic exemptions apply to very small and very large properties and properties with a water frontage
  • Pools built from 1 July 2010 - The pool must be surrounded by a compliant barrier that separates the pool from the residence, adjoining properties and public spaces; no automatic exemptions apply

In limited circumstance, Council may grant special exemptions from certain barrier requirements that are impossible to implement or which are unreasonable.

How do I arrange an inspection of my pool?

It is a legal requirements for each pool to be inspected at least once every three years. An inspection includes checks on things like maintenance of fences and gates and the display of resuscitation signs.

Council inspections are also made when:

  • an application is made by a property owner (or their representative) for a Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance – from 29 April 2016 a current Certificate must be included with documents for the sale or lease of their property
  • it is part of normal building certification for approved construction works
  • a complaint is made about pool safety
  • there is other evidence suggesting that there has been a compliance failure.

Property owners may use the services of Council to obtain a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate. Certificates issued by Council are valid for 3 years. Please fill in the Swimming Pool Barrier Inspection form.

Further Information

Swimming pool inspection/certification