Swimming Pool Safety Inspection Program

Pool owners and councils have a shared legal responsibility to help protect the safety of children around properties with swimming pools or spa pools. One way we uphold our commitment to safety is through our Swimming Pool Safety Inspection Program.

Inspections are undertaken in order to issued a Certificate of Compliance, which indicates that the pool barrier complies with legislation. We fee is charged for this inspection. The maximum fee councils can charge to facilities their pool inspection program for an inspection is prescribed by law, even when multiple inspections are required.

Inspections as part of the The Swimming Pool Safety Inspection Program are undertaken on a risk basis, with older areas with a high number of pools, multiple-occupancy dwellings and tourist/visitor accommodation considered at higher risk.

Once the pool is inspected, the pool owner will receive a letter regarding the inspection result:

  • If the pool complies, they will receive a Certificate of Compliance, valid for three years from the date of issue.
  • If the pool has minor matters to be addressed in order to comply, they will receive a Notice of Non-compliance letter, advising the work that must be completed and a re-inspection conducted. Minor matters to be addressed include (but are not limited to) general maintenance and repairs to the swimming pool barrier. For example, repairing existing barrier panels, adjusting gates and removing climbable objects.
  • If the pool has major compliance issues, or they don't complete minor works required within the specified timeframe, an Order to comply with the Swimming Pools Act will be issued, requiring the entire pool area to meet the current regulations and standards. Fines and court proceedings may occur for continued non-compliance. Major compliance issues include (but are not limited to) where the swimming pool safety barrier has been substantially altered or re-built from the original approved barrier or if a major safety risk is posed in relation to the swimming pool safety barrier.

Pool owner responsibilities

  • Swimming pool owners must register their swimming pool with the NSW Government.
  • Swimming pool owners will be required to self-assess and state in the register that, to the best of their knowledge, their swimming pool complies with the applicable standard when registering their pool.
  • There is a penalty for owners who fail to register a swimming pool.
  • Swimming pool owners are required to provide a valid Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate before being able to sell or lease a property with a pool. You can apply for a Compliance Certificate online.

Council responsibilities

  • Councils must develop and implement a swimming pool barrier inspection program in consultation with their communities.
  • Report annually on the number of pool inspections undertaken and the level of compliance with the requirements.
  • Inspect pools associated with tourist and visitor accommodation and multi-occupancy developments at three-year intervals.
  • Council will inspect pools prior to sale or lease if a Compliance Certificate application is submitted by a pool owner.
  • Council will issue Compliance Certificates after an inspection that finds a pool barrier compliance with the requirements of the legislation. Compliance Certificates are valid for three years.

A swimming pool subject to an Occupation Certificate or Compliance Certificate is exempt from the inspection program for three years from the date of issue of the certificate.

Councils may inspect any swimming pool that is the subject of a compliant to Council. Council powers of entry will be consistent with the Local Government Act 1993.