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Frequently Asked Questions

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Find out answers to common questions about pool safety and our services related to it.

When do I have to register my pool?

In 2019, the Victorian Government introduced new regulations for private swimming pools and spas, after numerous coronial investigations found that unmaintained and non-compliant pool barriers had contributed to the deaths of children in backyard pools.

Owners of land where a swimming pool or spa is located were required to register their pool with their local Council by 1 November 2020.

Does my pool/spa require a safety barrier?

In Victoria, all swimming pools and spas capable of containing water greater than 300 mm (30 cm) must have a compliant safety barrier to restrict access to the pool area by young children (under the age of five).

We don't have any children and our backyard is secure. Do we have to register our pool and obtain a certificate of compliance?

Yes – it is mandatory for all land owners in Victoria to register any pool or spa on their property.

Of the 27 drownings that have occurred in Victoria since 2000, 12 involved children who were not residents of the property. In one case, the child had entered the pool area without the knowledge of the property owner.

What happens after I register my pool or spa?

After registering your pool or spa, the relevant Council is required to send you the following written information, confirming as follows:

  1. That your pool/spa has been registered.
  2. The date of construction of your pool/spa and the applicable Barrier Standard.
  3. The date by which the first or next Certificate of Barrier Compliance is required to be lodged with the relevant Council.
Should I contact Geelong Pool Safe first?

No. The first thing you need to do as part of the barrier inspection process is contact your local council to register your pool or spa.

You’ll receive a letter from them, and based on the information provided, the Standard applicable to your pool/spa will be clear.

Once you have that information, you can get in contact with us and we’ll arrange your inspection.

When is a Compliance Certificate required by?

For a swimming pool or spa construction on or before 30 June 1994, a compliance certificate must be lodged by 1 November 2021.

For a swimming pool or spa constructed between 1 July 1994 and 1 May 2012, a compliance certificate must be lodged by 1 November 2022.

For a swimming pool or spa constructed between 1 May 2012 and 31 May 2020, a compliance certificate must be lodged by 1 November  2023.

What are the common reasons a barrier fails to pass inspection?

There are many reasons, however, perhaps the most common and the simplest and easiest to fix are to ensure the following:

  • Pool/spa gate must self close and self latch from any position, without manual assistance
  • No climbable object should be placed within close proximity of the barrier (pots, chairs, BBQ, pool equipment, anything with a surface of greater than 10mm.)

A detailed Checklist (specific to the date of your pool/spa) is available via the VBA website -  Pool safety barriers | Victorian Building Authority (vba.vic.gov.au)

What if my barrier doesn’t pass the inspection?

If your pool/spa doesn’t comply with the relevant Standard, we’ll provide you with a report letting you know what needs to be done to make the barrier compliant.

You’ll then have up to 60 days to complete the work and have the pool re-inspected. If the barrier is still not compliant, we are required to notify the relevant local Council.

When do Inspectors need to issue an immediate Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Non-compliance (Form 24)?

Pool Safety Barrier Inspectors must issue a Form 24 immediately following an inspection if the barrier does not comply with the applicable barrier standard in any of the following ways:

  • A door or gate forming part of the barrier, when in the closed position, is able to be opened by a person who is unable to reach the opening mechanism for that door or gate, OR
  • A door or gate forming part of the barrier is unable to be completely closed, OR
  • Any part of the barrier is less than 1 metre in height measured above ground level from the approach side OR
  • The non compliance of the barrier is deemed to pose an immediate danger to life or safety

Geelong Pool Safe Inspect Victoria strongly recommends all pool owners check their safety barrier to ensure the above areas of non-compliance are resolved immediately and prior to inspection.

Where can I get more information about safety barrier requirements?

You can access more information about safety barrier standards and the new regulations from the Victorian Building Authority website.

Is my child's inflatable pool required to have a barrier?

All swimming pools and spas that fall within the requirements of the Building Act must have a compliant safety barrier in place. Broadly, these include all permanent pools and spas and most relocatable pools and relocatable spas that are capable of holding a depth of water greater than 30cm.

Small inflatable pools that do not contain multiple components and do not require any assembly are not subject to the barrier requirements. An example of such a product is a small inflatable pool that requires no assembly other than inflation.