How to Become a PWTAG Approved Training Organisation

The structure of the courses

The structure of the courses indicates how the programme of the study should be organised.

The course will cover as a minimum the essential topics as outlined in the PWTAG syllabus. Providers must provide details of their syllabus if it has extra elements.

The courses will be based on:

  • The PWTAG book, Swimming Pool Water: treatment and quality standards for pools and spas,
  • The PWTAG Code of Practice and
  • PWTAG technical notes on

Other training materials may be used by prospective course providers, but if so providers will provide details of their training materials.

The principal aim is to operate plant to maintain the quality of the water and take emergency action.

Recognised courses

PWTAG Approved Training Organisations are required to meet the requirements and intent of the PWTAG code of practice. To become an Approved Trainer Organisation a prospective training body must be able to demonstrate that they can meet the requirements for:

  • course content – syllabus
  • course materials
  • course length
  • instructor qualifications
  • exam administration
  • certificate procedures
  • updates of information as changes are made

Course length

Course providers will provide details of the amount of time required either in study or direct contact terms allocated to cover each of the essential topics in the syllabus. PWTAG expects that recognised SPTO courses will be provided by blended learning that mixes home study of the PWTAG book with classroom- based education, supported by distance learning that allows students to receive tailored help from tutors – eg online forums, video conferencing and internet telephony technology.

Applying to become an Approved Training Organisation

Applicants will submit an application to PWTAG for assessment to become a PWTAG Accredited Trainers, in accordance with the criteria given below. An independent panel from PWTAG will judge applications.

There is a £500 fee for assessment, which must be provided with the application.

PWTAG may at its discretion choose to revoke a previously accepted course based upon demonstration of inadequate knowledge or poor performance of its qualified operators, or due cause. PWTAG may also at its discretion require additional operator training or testing.

The standard required for Approved Training Organisations

This section applies to Swimming Pool Technical Operator (SPTO) and On-site Designated Supervisor (ODS) training courses. SPTO and ODS courses may be developed by individuals or organisations who have the necessary expertise in pool facility operation and maintenance and expertise in education or training as evidenced by combined work experience and training. There are specific requirements.

Requirements for Approved Training Organisations

  • their expertise in facility operation and maintenance – as evidenced by work experience and/or training
  • evidence of completion of a pool technical training course which at a minimum covers all of the essential topics as outlined in the PWTAG approved syllabus, including passing the final exam
  • evidence of successful completion of a teaching/training/instructor course
  • evidence of successful relevant experience in delivering swimming pool technical training or training in a similar field such as engineering or microbiology
  • details on how support will be provided to students to support their home study and distance learning.

Applicants must follow the procedure outlined in the next and final section, Administration.


This section covers the necessary procedures for administration of the SPTO and ODS courses, exams and certifications.


PWTAG approved training organisation course providers shall provide final exam administration, proctoring and security procedures including:

  • the procedure for the exam
  • the conditions of the exam
  • the marking schedule
  • external assessment of a 10% random sample of scripts by an independent approved authority
  • checking student’s photo identification, to ensure that the individual taking the exam is the same person who is given a certificate documenting course completion and passing of exam and,
  • when the final exam is passed, issuing a qualified certificate.


PWTAG approved training organisation course providers will furnish course certificate information including:

  • procedures for issuing non-transferable certificates to the individuals who successfully complete the course work and pass the final exam
  • instructions for the participant to maintain their originally issued certificate, or a copy thereof, for the duration of its validity
  • procedures for the qualified operator training course organiser to maintain an individual’s training and exam record for a minimum period of five years after the expiration of the individual’s certificate.

Certificate renewal

The maximum length of validity for an SPTO certificate shall be 3 years. The Approved Training Organisation determines the actual period of validity.

PWTAG recommend that pool operators are reassessed annually in the work place for competence as a minimum in water testing.

Approved training organisation course providers shall furnish course certificate renewal information including criteria for either:

  • re-examination with a renewal exam that meets the specifications for initial exam requirements and certificate issuance specified in this code
  • or a refresher course with an exam that meets the specifications for the initial course, exam, and certificate requirements specified in this code.

Suspension and revocation of certificate

PWTAG approved training organisation course providers shall have procedures in place for the suspension or revocation of certificates. Providers may suspend or revoke an operator’s certificate based on evidence that the operator’s actions or inactions unduly created safety and health hazards. They may suspend or revoke an operator’s certificate based on evidence of cheating or obtaining the certificate under false pretences.

PWTAG may at its discretion choose to rescind a previously recognised certificate of a qualified swimming pool technical operator based upon demonstration of inadequate knowledge, poor performance, or due cause.


An alternative means of becoming an approved trainer would be to enter into a partnership with previously approved PWTAG training organisations given above, so doing ensures that you would not have to develop your own training materials, systems etc.

Checklist for training organisations seeking accreditation.