Jan 10, 2013

Government of Alberta, Canada, Approves Pool Operator Certification Course

Course will help improve public health and safety for Alberta pool and spa patrons

National Smimming Pool Foundation Alberta, Canada Certified Pool/Spa Operator

The government of Alberta, Canada, has approved the Certified Pool/Spa Operator (CPO) Certification as one of the courses available to educate pool operators in its region. The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) recently received approval to offer pool operator education under the Alberta Pool Standards 2006 under the Swimming Pool, Wading Pool and Water Spray Park Regulation. The Ministry of Health, government of Alberta, issued formal recognition to NSPF as an organization that can offer the course and provide training materials. The training will be based on the CPO Certification course, and corresponding course materials, including the course instructional videos, handouts such as the Chemical Adjustment Worksheet and Saturation Index Worksheet, the course evaluation and PowerPoint slides. Additionally, the NSPF Pool and Spa Operator Handbook will be utilized in the training.

“We are very pleased that the government of Alberta has identified the benefits to having trained operators by qualified instructors using a standardized program that follows the guidelines established by the ministry,” said Silvia Uribe, international business development manager for NSPF. “We see this as a balanced situation. We know that if a facility is maintained and operated by trained people knowledgeable in pool operation, we’ll see less infractions in aquatic installations.”

Since 1985, swimming pool regulations in Alberta have required general knowledge for pool operators, and many have taken one of the courses available in the province. The ministry introduced a new pool education framework in 2012, with outlined learning objectives and administrative requirements. The new learning objectives aim to create a minimum foundation of knowledge that will be taught across the province, including a practical onsite component. Operators across the province will gain basic knowledge in pool operation and better understand their important role in minimizing health and safety risks.

As the framework was being developed, Alberta Health Services determined it made sense to train its own environmental public health staff as NSPF instructors to provide the training offered by the CPO Certification program. In spring 2012, just after the framework was introduced, Alberta Health Services (Environmental Public Health Services) did an initial launch of certification classes across Alberta. An NSPF group of instructors taught other Alberta public health inspectors and a group of student public health inspectors. Currently, Alberta Environmental Public Health has a team of 18 NSPF instructors who are authorized to teach the CPO Certification course. In addition, any NSPF instructor may teach the standardized course.