Chair’s report from 2024 AGM

This is my first report as PWTAG Chair and it doesn’t seem possible that a year has passed since I took on the role last June. It has been an interesting 12 months and I must admit a very steep learning curve. The intensity and volume of the work was greater than I expected but generally I believe it has been a successful first year in the post. One of my goals was to make PWTAG more approachable and relevant. I feel this has been partly achieved although I believe there may still be people out there who are unsure as to who we are and what we do.

We have continued to work on being the key reference when it comes to pool water quality and continue to promote the Blue Book and Code of Practice as being the must have texts for all pool operators. The importance of PWTAG must not be underestimated, on average the website has around 10000 visitors per month. Therefore, it is clear advice is needed and we must be here to make sure that advice is current and correct.

A number of technical note have been published including TN65 the Hiring Out of Above Ground Pools and TN68 The Handling, Delivery, Storage and Application of Swimming Pool Chemicals. Technical Notes are a useful tool for PWTAG as it is a way of addressing changes in the leisure industry and making sure advice is current. However, we still need to work on the process for producing / updating Technical Notes is not the most streamline. Time between the idea stage and publication are generally too long.

As part of the role of Chair I have also had the pleasure of chairing the Training Forum. These meeting discuss all the aspects of training, making sure that the syllabus follows our Code of Practice and that training is current, robust and compliant. I would like to thank all the PWTAG Accredited Training Organisations for their work in making sure that high levels are maintained in the industry. Without well trained, qualified personnel how can we expect the high standards we promote to be applied. The SPTO register continues to grow.

In November we held our conference at Eastwood Hall in Nottingham on the theme of the Sustainable Pool. A well-attended exciting day with a number of informative, innovative and sometimes controversial presentations that lead to many interesting and varied conversations. Plans are well underway for the 2024 Conference which will held in Loughborough on November 14th. More details to follow shortly.

At last years AGM it was agreed that we would look to appoint a part-time CEO. After discussion and advice from Swim England this was delayed and is still being discussed by the Executive. It is important we make the decision that is best for PWTAG now and for the future. Hopefully, the post will be advertised very soon.

When I took over last year I indicated that I would be happy to take on the role for 2-3 years so assuming the AGM agrees for me to continue I look forward to another interesting 12 months. This year has been a challenge, and I would like to thank the Council members and their organisations for their support during the last year. Without you there would be no PWTAG. Can I give special thanks to Ian (the Vice Chair), the Admin Team and Lovibond who allow me to do the role alongside my standard work. The end of 2024 marks the 40th anniversary, 40 years of offering the best guidance to UK pool operators. Let’s look forward to another 40 years of keeping Pools and Pool Water Safe.

Colin Day