Frequently Asked Questions

How do I obtain Certified Pool/Spa Operator® (CPO®) certification?

There are two ways that you can obtain Certified Pool/Spa Operator® certification.

  1. You may take the on-line Pool Operator Primer™ training which follows the 18 chapters in the NSPF® Pool & Spa Operator™ Handbook, which is provided with your registration. You must then attend a one-day classroom Pool Operator Fusion™ course offered by a certified instructor. At the end of the one-day classroom course, you must successfully complete an open book exam with a minimum score of 75%.

Taking only the on-line Pool Operator Primer™ course does NOT provide Certified Pool/Spa Operator® certification. In order to become certified, you will need to complete both the Pool Operator Primer™ and Pool Operator Fusion™ courses.

  1. You may also choose the option of attending and successfully completing a traditional 14- to 16-hour classroom course.

NSPF® Instructors will be able to provide you with information on either of the two above options.

How do I find a CPO® certification class?

You can locate a Certified Pool/Spa Operator® class by visiting the NSPF® web site course schedule page [http://nspf.org/CPO_Courses.html]. When you have located the class in which you are interested, please contact the instructor directly at the telephone number or e-mail address listed to find out information about the cost, specific location, etc.

What is the cost of a CPO® certification class?

The cost of a certification class varies by instructor and location. NSPF® recommends that you review the complete course listing on the course schedule page [http://nspf.org/CPO_Courses.html]. After you have located a class in your area in which you are interested, please contact the instructor directly for information on cost, how to register for a class, etc.

Does the state I live in require CPO® certification?

The requirement for pool and spa operator certification is determined by each individual state health department. You should contact the health department in your state to determine its training requirements.

You may also visit the NSPF® web site Pool/Spa Codes page to review codes from various state health departments.

Do you offer a CPO® certification class on-line?

NSPF® is pleased to offer Pool Operator Primer™ on-line training which follows the 18 chapters in the NSPF® Pool & Spa Operator™ Handbook, which is provided with registration. In order to achieve certification, you must also attend a one-day classroom Pool Operator Fusion™ course offered by a certified NSPF® instructor. At the end of the one-day classroom course, you must successfully complete an open book exam with a minimum score of 75%.

Taking only the on-line Pool Operator Primer™ course does NOT provide Certified Pool/Spa Operator® certification. In order to become certified, you will need to complete both the Pool Operator Primer™ and Pool Operator Fusion™ courses.

I took the class but have not received my certification package. What should I do?

As a first step, please contact the instructor for your class to inform him/her. You may also contact the National Swimming Pool Foundation by telephone (719.540.9119), FAX (719.540.2787), e-mail (info@nspf.org) or mail (4775 Granby Circle, Colorado Springs, CO 80919). You may be asked to validate the spelling of your name and to verify your mailing address. You may also be asked for the date and location of the class. The NSPF representative will be happy to assist you.

When does my CPO® certification expire?

CPO® certification is valid for five years from the date you were certified. Locate the class date on your certificate or wallet card and add five years. You must complete another certification process on or before that date in order for your Certified Pool/Spa Operator® certification to remain active.

How do I renew my CPO® certification?

There are three ways that you can renew your CPO® certification.

  1. You may take the 2-Day classroom course or both the on-line Pool Operator Primer™ training and the one-day classroom Pool Operator Fusion™ course offered by a certified instructor. At the end, you must successfully complete an open book exam with a minimum score of 75%. (NOTE: If your CPO® certification has expired, this is the only option for recertification.)
  2. You may take the online Pool Operator Primer™ course and make arrangements with an NSPF® Instructor to administer the open-book CPO® certification exam for you. You must have a minimum score of 75% on the exam to recertify. (NOTE: Your CPO® certification must not be expired to recertify this way.)
  3. If available, you may take a one day review course taught by an NSPF® Instructor with the certification exam at the end. You must have a minimum score of 75% on the exam to recertify. (NOTE: Your CPO® certification must not be expired to recertify this way.)

NSPF® Instructors will be able to provide you with information on any of the above options.


RECERTIFICATION POLICY

A person may renew their CPO® certification by one of the following methods:

 

Prerequisites

Time
Requirement

Certification
Requirement

Full 2-Day Classroom Course

None

14-16 hours

Minimum 75% on
CPO® certification

1-day Review (Classroom Course)

Current CPO® certification

8 hours

Minimum 75% on
CPO® certification

Exam Only

Current CPO® certification + Pool Operator PrimerTM

Sit exam with instructor

Minimum 75% on
CPO® certification


A list of upcoming classroom courses and Pool Operator Fusion™ courses can be found on the Course Schedule page Here. When you have located the course in which you are interested, please contact the instructor directly at the e-mail address or telephone number displayed or information on registration, etc.

Why do I have to take the CPO® certification class again? I have been certified for years! Why can’t I just take the test?

There are several reasons NSPF® requires individuals to take the CPO® certification class again after five years.

  1. New technologies and issues commonly enter our field. Topics like UV disinfection, cryptosporidium outbreaks, automated probe technologies, more advanced test kits, and new data on filtration are very important and were not covered to any great extent five or ten years ago.
  2. Many people who have received CPO® certification do not practice nor are they exposed to certain operational tasks or technologies. It is important that professionals be exposed to a broad operations review to refresh knowledge in certain areas.
  3. The NSPF® Pool & Spa Operator™ Handbook is updated regularly to ensure that new technologies are incorporated. The handbook is expanded to allow operators to search for material that goes beyond the material covered in the CPO® certification course.
  4. Regulations change periodically. A portion of the CPO® certification course covers local and federal regulations to make sure the student is aware of any changes.
  5. It is common practice that professionals in various fields must verify knowledge.

How do I get a duplicate copy of my certificate?

If you have misplaced your certificate and/or wallet card and your Certified Pool/Spa Operator® certification is still valid, a replacement certificate and wallet card is available for $10 for the set. You may place your order by telephone (719.540.9119), FAX (719.540.2787), or mail (4775 Granby Circle, Colorado Springs, CO 80919). If submitting your order by FAX or mail, please include your certification number (if known). NSPF® is not able to issue copies of certificates for those whose certifications have expired.

Can a copy of my certification be sent by FAX or e-mail?

For a nominal cost of $10, NSPF® will be glad to provide you with an original copy of your certificate and wallet card. After purchase and confirmation of pertinent information, an original copy of the certificate and wallet card will be mailed to the address which you have on file at NSPF® headquarters. We are not able to fax or email CPO® certifications.

I got married or divorced. How do I change the name my certificate?

Please provide the National Swimming Pool Foundation® with documentation of the name change. We will be glad to update our records. For a nominal charge of $10, we can supply you with a replacement certificate/wallet card.

After I have completed the Pool Operator Primer™ on-line training and am scheduled to attend a Pool Operator Fusion™ class, what do I need to bring with me to the class?

  1. The original Record of Completion which you printed at the conclusion of the Pool Operator Primer™ on-line training. You will need to present this document to the instructor at the beginning of the class and sign it in his/her presence. The instructor will also sign and date the Record of Completion. The Record of Completion will be retained by the instructor and submitted along with your completed exam at the end of the class.
  2. Current government-issued photo identification. This photo identification must be presented to the instructor when he/she accepts the Record of Completion at the beginning of the class and again during the exam period.

What is the most current edition of the NSPF® Pool & Spa Operator™ Handbook?

The National Swimming Pool Foundation® strives to update the NSPF® Pool & Spa Operator™ Handbook as significant developments occur in the pool and spa industry. Instructors teach classes with the most up-to-date material possible. Please contact NSPF® headquarters if you require a specific publication date.

How can I become a National Swimming Pool Foundation® Instructor?

Only those who are 18 years of age or older and who have been Certified Pool-Spa Operator® certified for a minimum of six months will be considered for participation in an NSPF® Instructor training school.

If you meet the above requirements, you may register for an upcoming NSPF® Instructor training class. Classes are normally held a minimum of four times per year at various locations around the United States. A complete class schedule and registration forms may be found on the Instructor Class Schedule page [http://nspf.org/Instructor.html].

The NSPF® Instructor training class focuses on evaluating two major factors:

  1. An individual’s ability to teach the contents of the NSPF® Pool & Spa Operator™ Handbook
  2. The technical and methodological knowledge of the instructor candidate

There is no guarantee that all class participants will pass and become certified instructors.