Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I become a Certified Pool & Spa Operator® (CPO®)?

There are two ways that students can obtain a Certified Pool/ Spa Operator Certification.

Taking only the on-line Fundamentals or Pool Operator Primer course does NOT provide a Certified Pool & Spa Operator® Certification. In order to become certified utilizing an online course, students must complete Pool Operator Fusion:

  1. Students may take either the online Fundamentals or Pool Operator Primer training courses which follow the 18 chapters found in the NSPF® Pool/Spa Operator Handbook provided with registration. Students must then attend a one-day classroom Pool Operator Fusion course offered by a Certified NSPF Instructor. At the end of the day in class students must successfully complete an open book exam.
  2. Students may also become certified by attending and successfully completing the two-day in-class CPO Certification course.

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

How do I find a CPO® Certification class?

Students can locate a Certified Pool & Spa Operator® class by visiting the NSPF® web site course location page. When students have located the class in their area, they should 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 students review the complete course listing on the course location page. After students have located a class in the area in which they are interested, the instructor should be contacted 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 & Spa Operator Certification is determined by each individual state health department. Students should contact the health department in their state to determine its training requirements.

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

Can I take the CPO® Certification class on-line?

NSPF® is pleased to offer Fundamentals and Pool Operator Primer on-line training courses which follow the 18 chapters in the NSPF® Pool & Spa Operator Handbook. In order to achieve certification, students must also attend a one-day classroom Pool Operator Fusion course offered by a certified NSPF® Instructor. At the end of the day in class, students must successfully complete an open book exam.

Taking only the on-line Fundamentals or Pool Operator Primer courses does NOT provide Certified Pool & Spa Operator® Certification. In order to become certified, students must complete both the online course and Pool Operator Fusion.

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

As a first step, students should contact their instructor to inform him/her. Students may also contact the National Swimming Pool Foundation by telephone (719.540.9119), FAX (719.540.2787),  contact form, or by mail (4775 Granby Circle, Colorado Springs, CO 80919). An NSPF representative will be happy to assist. Students may be asked to validate the spelling of their name and to verify thier mailing address, the date and location of the class. 

When does my CPO® Certification expire?

The CPO® Certification is valid for five years from the date certified. Students must complete another certification process on or before that date in order for the Certified Pool/Spa Operator® Certification to remain active.

How do I renew my CPO® Certification?

There are three ways that CPO® Certification can be renewed.

  1. Students 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, students must successfully complete an open book exam with a minimum score of 75%. (NOTE: If theCPO® Certification has expired, this is the only option for re-certification.)
  2. Students may take the online fundamentals or Pool Operator Primer courses and make arrangements with an NSPF® Instructor to administer the open-book CPO® Certification exam for. Students must achieve a minimum score of 75% on the exam to re-certify. (NOTE: This method only applies to CPO® Certification which has not expired.)
  3. If available, students may take a one day review course taught by an NSPF® Instructor and pass the certification exam. (NOTE: This method only applies to CPO® Certification which has not expired.)

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

RE-CERTIFICATION POLICY

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

 

Prerequisites

Time Requirements

Certification Requirements

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 Primer

Individual 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 location page here. When students have located the course in which they are interested, they may 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 re-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 the 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 set is available for $10. You may place your order by telephone (719.540.9119), FAX (719.540.2787), or by 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 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 Fundamentals or 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 Fundamentals or 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 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 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 apply for an upcoming NSPF® Instructor training class. Classes are held at various locations around the United States and abroad. A complete class schedule and registration forms may be found on the Instructor Class Schedule page.

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 applicants will be accepted or that all participants will pass and become certified instructors.