What do I need to know about pool safety inspections in Victoria?

The Victorian Government previously extended the deadline for mandatory registration of private pools and spas. The time is nearing with registrations to be completed by November 1 2020.

On 1 December 2019, the Victorian government introduced new laws to improve swimming pool and spa safety.

It is now mandatory for owners of land where a swimming pool or spa is located to have their safety barriers inspected and to lodge a certificate of barrier compliance with their council.

If a safety barrier is not compliant, it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure compliance.

The new laws apply to permanent pools: including above ground pools and inground pools, indoor pools, bathing and wading pools, hot tubs/spas and some relocatable pools as well. In regard to relocatable pools the VBA provides a variety of information for owners of relocatable pools and spas to consider:

Relocatable (moveable or portable) pools and spas on land that you own must be registered if they are erected for three or more consecutive days. Relocatable pools that do not consist of multiple components and do not require any assembly are not subject to the barrier requirements. An example of such a product is a small inflatable pool that requires no assembly other than inflation.”

You can access the application portal online through your local council’s web site. If you have any trouble during the process, contact your local council, they can assist if required.

Where do I start?

These new changes require owners to register their pools and spas through the council portal and will incur a one-off fee registration fee at the time of registration.

An additional search fee may be applicable if the date of construction of the swimming pool or spa cannot be easily determined.  Depending on councils, the first step of the registration process may take up to 14 days to receive a determination on build date.

Once council has determined date of construction, you will then receive a document/letter regarding the date of construction and the standard that your pool and/or spa will require certification on. 

The next step

Once you have received this document, you can engage a pool inspector to perform a full inspection on your pool or spa. You will be required to provide a copy of the document/letter regarding the date of construction and the standard that your pool and/or spa to your pool inspector to carry out an inspection for you.

The pool inspector will carry out the inspection for you to determine whether your pool or spa complies with the safety standards.

If the pool is not deemed to be compliant, you will receive a report to advise of what corrective works are to be completed to ensure your pool/spa is compliant. You will be provided a maximum of 60 days in which you will be required to complete these works and have a re-examination of the compliance issues.

Once compliant or If your pool is already compliant, your pool inspector will issue you with a compliance certificate that you can provide to your council. Your certificate of compliance will then be recorded on the register as registered and compliant.

This completes the process. You will need to then re-inspect and certify your pool every four years and provide the compliant document to the council for their records.