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Pool Operator Training Requirements

Not every state or county requires pool operator certification.  While some require pool operators to maintain certification from a recognized program, other states only require that pool operators be "knowledgeable" in pool operations. Following a catastrophic incident such as a drowning or spinal injury, demonstrating adequate operator "knowledge" becomes a burden of the defense.   Unfortunately, some states have no mention of pool operator training requirements in their codes. 

The Model Aquatic Health Code confirms that increased pool code violations have been linked to the lack of pool operator training. For this reason the code requires most public pools to make a “qualified operator” available on-site during all hours of operation.  Research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and others has shown that a properly certified pool operator makes a significant difference in the safe and healthy operation of an aquatic facility. Two studies have demonstrated that water quality is better at pools when the pool operators have successfully completed formal training programs in pool operations. Certification makes a difference!

DeRosa Aquatic Consulting strongly recommends that all swimming pool operators maintain current certification from an approved, nationally-recognized pool operator certification program.  For aquatic professionals, this has become a standard of care in the industry.  From a business perspective, minimizing risks of injury and financial loss by having a properly certified manager on staff is not only a prudent business choice, it's the right thing to do to protect the health of those swimming in your pools.

Practical Pool Management and Practical Pool Management Plus are nationally-recognized pool operator training programs developed and taught by water safety and lifeguarding expert Shawn P. DeRosa. Certification is provided by Aquatic Safety Research Group, LLC. 

Swimming pool operators currently certified in the following programs are eligible to sit for the Practical Pool Management Plus exam:

  • Certified Pool Operator, National Swimming Pool Foundation

  • Aquatic Facility Operator, National Recreation and Park Association

  • Licensed Aquatic Facility Technician, American Swimming Pool & Spa Association

  • Tech I / Tech II, The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP)


State / County Pool Operator Training Requirements

Below are links to swimming pool codes from around the country.  While we make every effort to keep the state codes section of our website up-to-date, occasionally state codes will be updated or moved to a new web address.  If your state or county code is no longer found at the listed location, has been moved or updated, or is not listed below, please let us know.  A link to the new location or code would be greatly appreciated.



Operator Training Requirements
PPM Recognized
PPM+ Recognized
Alabama No - -
  Jefferson County "Knowledge" Requirement Pending Approval Pending Approval
Alaska Yes No Yes
Arizona No -  -
Arkansas Recommended - Yes
California No - -
California - San Diego Cnty      
Colorado Yes No Yes
Connecticut "Knowledge" Requirement Yes* Yes*
Delaware Yes Yes Yes
Florida Yes - 16 hour course required No Yes
Georgia Yes Pending Approval Pending Approval
Hawaii No - -
Idaho  Yes Yes Yes
Illinois + Recommended Training  + See "+" below See "+" below
Indiana No  - -
Iowa Yes Pending Approval Pending Approval
Kansas No  - -
Kentucky No  - -
Louisiana No  - -
Maine No  - -
Maryland Yes - State-Issued Certification Req'd Yes Yes
Massachusetts Yes Yes
Strongly Recommended
Michigan No  - -
Minnesota Yes Will likely be approved ++ Will likely be approved ++
Mississippi No  - -
Missouri No - -
Montana No  - -
Nebraska  Yes Yes Yes
Nevada No Pending Approval Pending Approval
New Hampshire No - -
New Jersey Yes Pending Approval Pending Approval
New Mexico No  - -
New York Operator must be "familiar" with equipment Pending Approval Pending Approval
  Suffolk County Yes Pending Approval Pending Approval
North Carolina Yes Yes Yes
North Dakota No  - -
Ohio Training, not Certification, Req'd Yes** Yes**
Oklahoma Training, not Certification, Req'd Yes** Yes**
Oregon No  - -
Pennsylvania Requires operators to obtain credit in various Core and Category areas Yes Yes
Rhode Island No  - -
South Carolina Requires state licensure Yes Yes
South Dakota No  - -
Tennessee No  - -
Texas Yes Yes*** Yes***
Utah    - -
Vermont Operators must be "qualified" Yes**** Yes****
Virginia No  - -
Washington No  - -
West Virginia Yes Pending Approval Yes
Wisconsin Yes Pending Approval Pending Approval
Wyoming Yes Yes
Strongly Recommended

Note: Operators in states where the state regulatory agency does not require pool operator certification or training should check with their local health department.  In some instances, local or county regulations mandate training and/or certification even thought the state code does not.

* Connecticut:  The Connecticut Department of Health does not approve pool operator programs even though the state regulations require a pool operator to be "knowledgeable" in pool operations. We believe the PPM and PPM+ programs will help operators meet the knowledge requirement established by the state code.

** Ohio/Oklahoma: Both states required that pool operators be "trained" but fail to specify whether certification is needed. Oklahoma recommends pool operators participate in certification courses. We believe our PPM and PPM+ programs will help operators meet the training requirement established by the state codes.

*** Texas: Texas Department of Health states that aquatic facilities (and not the Texas Dept. of Health) must determine whether individual programs are "equivalent" to the programs listed in the applicable state regulation. We believe the PPM and PPM+ programs are equivalent to the programs listed in the Texas code.

**** Vermont: Health Regulations is Vermont require pool operators to be "qualified" in the operation of pool equipment, and chemical testing procedures. We believe our PPM and PPM+ programs will help operators meet the "qualification" requirement established by the state code.

+ Illinois: The Swimming Pool and Bathing Beach Code (77 Illinois Admin Code 820) does not require pool operator certification. However, the Illinois Dept. of Public Health strongly encourages pool operators/managers to receive certification and offers a "self-study" course to prepare pool operators to sit for the state's Swimming Pool Operator's Certification Exam.  Successful completion of the exam qualifies the operator/manager to be awarded as certificate as a Certified Swimming Pool Operator by the Illinois Department of Public Health.  We believe our PPM and PPM+ programs will qualify pool operators to sit for the exam with the added benefit of having achieved a nationally-recognized certification. 

++ Minnesota: State law mandates CPO or AFO certification.  Without language recognizing an "equivalent" program, only CPO and AFO prorams will be recognized in Minnesota absent a variance request and payment of the applicable variance application fees.  If a group wishes to host a PPM+ workshop in Minnesota, we will work with the state to obtain the required variance. To date, PPM+ has never been rejected as an "equivalent" training program to the CPO or AFO programs.

If approval is pending, or if your local health department is not familiar with the courses, we are more than happy to speak to your local health agent and provide whatever documents are necessary to receive approval in that jurisdiction. The two-day PPM+ course was specifically designed to meet or exceed the training requirements in all states. The one-day (9 hour) PPM course is not recognized in states that require a minimum 16 hour course, such as Florida and Alaska.

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