Poolmark is the UK National Standard for quality, healthy pools. The Poolmark certification is an assurance to operators and to the public that the pool meets essential healthy pool operational standards.
The PWTAG Code of Practice provides pool operators with a structured plan for the technical operation of their pool. The Code ensures that the pool meets quality standards that provide a healthy experience for swimmers. For this reason all UK pools are encouraged to follow it.
Following the Code gives an assurance to operators and the public that the pool meets essential healthy pool operational standards. The Code is designed, among other things, to meet the health challenge of one of the greatest threats that the sector has to deal with – the chlorine-resistant pathogen, Cryptosporidium.
The Code is based on the 2009 PWTAG book, Swimming Pool Water: treatment and quality standards for pools and spas. It does not replace the book. Operators should still refer to it, and it provides some of the basis for PWTAG’s training material.
What are the benefits of Poolmark accreditation?
You will be sure yourself that the pool is safe and comfortable for bathers.
You will have the reputation and authority of PWTAG behind you.
If anything does go wrong at the pool, you will be able to demonstrate – in court if necessary – that you were following the best available guidelines; without this protection, you are vulnerable.
Bathers can be assured – by you and by the PoolMark plaque – that the pool is approved.
You can rely on the authority of the organisations that endorse PWTAG – Public Health England, Health & Safety Executive etc.
What do you get in return?
Pools that follow and achieve the Code’s standards through assessment are awarded a plaque and certificate to show their achievement.
They also become associate members of PWTAG and receive technical updates and emergency notices.
Pools will be assessed either by a PWTAG-approved assessor. There will be a fee to PWTAG of £100, which includes the assessment, the certificate and a plaque. Professional assessors may also require an additional fee.
To meet the Code, pools must have appropriately trained and qualified staff called swimming pool technical operators (SPTOs).
To show the training required PWTAG has produced a training document – which is free to view on this website.
Its syllabus defines the knowledge and onsite skills that lead to competence. Pools themselves can assess staff knowledge against the syllabus, or it can be used as the basis of a training programme.
PWTAG itself does not do the training; that is provided by training organisations accredited by PWTAG. Their staff are qualified to PWTAG standards.
Candidates who become SPTO qualified are entitled to become listed on a SPTO register held by PWTAG.
The fee for this is £10 for 5 years and can be paid by the training organisation or the successful candidate.
Registration brings benefits to the SPTO of updates from PWTAG, emergency notifications. Registered SPTOs will be reminded prior to the end of their five-year term that they must update the currency of their qualification.
The accredited training organisation, and not PWTAG, will provide updates.