Certification essentials

The basics

Pool and spa owners are legally required to:

Deadlines for lodgement of barrier compliance:

Deadline Pool or Spa construction date
1 June 2022
30 June 1994 and before
1 June 2023
1 July 1994 – 30 April 2010
1 June 2024
1 May 2010 – 31 October 2020

Don’t know your pool or spa construction date?

Don’t worry. When you register your pool or spa with your council, they will do a search of their records to determine the construction date and advise which pool barrier standard is applicable for your pool or spa.

First inspection: $385 includes GST

Please Note: You will have 60 days after the first inspection to undertake rectification works as documented. The inspector must re-inspect no later than day 60 after the first inspection.

Follow-up inspection (if required): $220 includes GST

Please Note: Only under exceptional circumstances will a third inspection be approved, any final minor rectification works must be completed within 7 days. Cost of $220.

Background information

On 1 December 2019, new laws to improve swimming pool and spa safety came into effect in Victoria. They introduce new registration, inspection and certification requirements for property owners.

Under the new laws, owners are required to have their pool and spa safety barriers and fences inspected and to lodge a certificate of barrier compliance with their council. If a safety barrier is not compliant, it is the owner’s responsibility to make the barrier compliant.

Self-assessment checklists

The following checklists will help you assess the safety and compliance of your pool or spa barrier or fence.

Please note, a self-assessment does not replace an inspection by a registered inspector.

Pick a checklist based on when your pool/spa was constructed:

Construction Date Checklist
Before 8 April 1991
8 April 1991 – 30 April 2010
From 1 May 2010

Don’t forget!

If you are having any work done on an existing pool or spa safety barrier, you are likely to need a permit. Check with your local council or building surveyor for advice.

In accordance with the regulations a pool and spa barrier inspector is obliged to issue a certificate on non-compliance immediately in the following circumstances:

  1. If within 60 days of the inspection the pool or spa barrier is not capable of being made compliant with the applicable barrier standard and the owner is unlikely to bring the barrier into compliance with the applicable barrier standard.
  2. The non-compliance of the barrier with the applicable barrier standard poses a significant and immediate risk to life or safety.
  3. The barrier does not comply with the applicable barrier standard in any of the following ways:
  • a door or gate forming part of the spa or pool 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
  • a door or gate forming part of the spa or pool barrier is unable to be completely closed.
  • any part of the spa or pool barrier is less than 1 metre in height measured above ground level from the approach side.

Frequently asked questions

  • Registering your backyard pool/spa with your local council: $31.84 is the maximum fee that can be charged.
  • If your pool/spa was constructed prior to 1 June 2020, an information search fee may be charged up to a maximum of $47.24.
  • Maximum fee for lodging a certificate of barrier compliance with council: $20.74

If you have a pool/spa and the council becomes aware of it, they will send you a letter notifying you of the need to register it. If you do not register your pool/spa within the required period, you may face an on-the-spot fine of approximately $330 or a penalty of up to $1,652.20.

The certificate will expire after 30 days and you will be required to get a new inspection carried out in order to get a new certificate issued.

The inspector is obliged to issue a certificate of pool and spa barrier non-compliance, or a Form 24 as it is often called, at which point the matter is referred back to the relevant council. There is a fee to lodge this form with the council, payable by the land owner, which can be up to $385.06. Non-compliance will also result in further penalties being issued by council if compliance issues aren’t resolved.

Yes, whether a household includes children or not, doesn’t change the requirement for a pool/spa to have compliant barriers in place. Of the 27 drownings that have occurred in Victoria since 2000, 12 involved children who did not live on the premises.

You will need to advise your council that the structure has been removed. They will advise their procedure for getting it removed from the register.

The new laws apply to swimming pools and spas that are capable of holding more than 300mm (30 cm) of water. Large relocatable (moveable or portable) pools/spas on your property must be registered if they are erected for three or more consecutive days.

Relocatable pools that do not consist of 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.

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