With every luxury in life comes responsibility. If you are a swimming pool or spa owner, you must also be aware of the local legislation around the usage of these water bodies. You must learn about the rules set by the governing bodies for the safety of the visitors to those pools or spas or your family members who use them regularly.
In this article, we will outline your roles and responsibilities in the safety inspection of your pool or spa and the process of getting safety certificates. In addition, we will explain what a spa and pool certifier do and how collaborating with a trusted certifier can save you lots of time and effort during the entire process.
Difference between a Pre-Compliance Inspection and a Safety Inspection
So, what’s the difference between a pre-compliance and a safety inspection? Why should they be on your priority list?
As a pool or spa owner, after you register your pool or spa to the local authority, it is time to arrange for a safety inspection. These safety inspections are a part of the mandatory compliance process undertaken by a registered building surveyor, a registered building inspector or a municipal building surveyor. The purpose of these inspections is to identify if the safety barriers installed around your pool or spa are compliant with the applicable safety barrier standards.
Issuance of Barrier Compliance Certificate
If your safety barrier complies with the set standard, you will be issued a certificate of barrier compliance indicating that your pool or spa passes the mandatory barrier safety checks. The next step is to submit or lodge the certificate to the local council within the next 30 days.
If you fail to do so, you would need to request a new inspection to receive a new certificate to lodge with the local authority.
You can submit your certificate of compliance online along with a standard lodgement fee of $20 plus a credit card surcharge payable to the Victorian Government.
Barrier Improvement Notice for Non-Compliant Barriers
While the pool or spa safety compliance process is tedious, it is important to know that more than 90% of first-time pool or spa safety inspections fail due to non-compliance with the legislation. The certificate of non-compliance is an improvement notice issued by the authority detailing the following information:
- Non-compliant issues found during the inspection
- A deadline of up to 60 days to fix the issues/matters and
- The intended date and time of re-inspection of the safety barriers
Improvement of the pool/spa barriers followed by booking for re-inspection costs a large sum of money with the added pressure of meeting the deadlines. Also, failure to comply with a barrier improvement notice by the specified date attracts heavy penalties for the owners.
Take a look at our detailed article with the key dates and numbers for swimming pool or spa owners to be aware of to avoid fines. We recommend you go through the article to see the details involved.
Continuing the difference between a pre-compliance inspection and a safety inspection, let us now understand how a Pre-Compliance inspection can help you in several ways.
What a pool and spa certifier does
Though pre-compliance inspections are not mandatory, we highly recommend them to the pool or spa owners, considering the benefits they offer.
During the pre-compliance inspection, we perform a detailed assessment of your pool or spa. We then provide a comprehensive 12-page report that indicates whether the safety barrier complies with the set standards and suggests the areas that need further work to be fully compliant.
Based on the results of the pre-compliance inspection, we provide you with several industry references and link you to service providers that help you fix the issues and perform the necessary improvements or repairs.
Since we perform private pre-compliance inspections that are not associated with the Building Act, we do not pass any information related to the safety inspection to the council. Thus, you do not have any time pressure to perform the non-compliant fixes, and it saves you a fortune against hefty fines you would otherwise face by directly appearing for a compliance inspection.
So far, we have explained how spa and pool certifiers can conduct a pre-compliance inspection to check and rate the barrier safety on various parameters. Performing pre-compliance checks of pools or spas can save you from hassles and imposed fines during or after a failed Safety Inspection.
Even though you may feel your pool or spa is compliant, and you may feel prepared or confident for the Safety compliance inspection, we highly recommend booking a pre-compliance check with us. Then, with additional support from our team, you can install the pool barriers while adhering to the set guidelines and clear the safety inspection without any hassle.
After your pool or spa barrier safety clears the safety compliance inspections conducted on-site by a certified professional, you will receive a Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance, also known as a Form 23. Issued under the Building Act 1993 (Vic) and Building Regulations 2018 (Vic), this certificate contains several details like:
- Name of the property owner with contact details and address
- Details of the property, including property address and other detailed identifiers
- Details of the pool or spa within the property
- Certificate of Compliance confirming whether the pool or spa is safety compliant
- Details of the Safety Inspector containing name, contact details and practitioners’ registration number.
It is important to remember that these compliance safety certificates are valid only for four years and renewed to stay compliant with the changing legislation and keep your family and visitors safe.
If you are still curious, we would recommend a detailed article on what can I expect to see listed on a pool safety certificate that will answer your questions in detail.
We at Pool Barrier Services offer both pre-compliance and safety inspections. To book an appointment for a pre-compliance or safety inspection, contact us today. We will be happy to assist you in ensuring your pool or spa is compliant so you spend less time worrying.