Swimming Pool and Spa Barrier Registration

Registration laws for owners of pools and spas

On 1 December 2019, the State Government introduced legislation that impacts all current and future swimming pool and spa owners within Victoria. From 1 December 2019, you will be required to register your swimming pool or spa with Baw Baw Shire Council. The intention of this legislation is to improve swimming pool and spa barrier safety. 

What is required?

Registration of permanent swimming pools and spas

From 1 December 2019, you will be required to register your swimming pool or spa with Baw Baw Shire Council.

All owners of existing swimming pools and spas constructed before 1 November 2020 were required to register their swimming pool or spa with Council by 1 November 2020. To complete the registration of your existing swimming pool or spa constructed before 1 November 2020 please refer to following page Process for registering a Swimming Pool / Spa 

All owners of new swimming pools or spas constructed on or after 1 November 2020 will need to register their pool or spa within 30 days of receiving the occupancy permit or the certificate of final inspection for the newly constructed pool or spa. To complete the registration of your new swimming pool or spa constructed after 1 November 2020 please refer to following page Process for registering a Swimming Pool / Spa   

Certification/Inspection of Safety Barriers – Certificates of Safety Barrier Compliance

  • Pools and spa constructed before to 1 November 2020 - after registration, Council will advise certain prescribed information including the date of construction of the swimming pool or spa, the legislation that the safety barrier must satisfy and the date the first Certificate of Safety Barrier Compliance must be lodged with Council.
  • Pools and spa constructed on or after 1 November 2020 – Owners will be required to register their pool or spa within 30 days and supply a Certificate of Safety Barrier Compliance issued by the building surveyor that issued the building permit.
  • Ongoing 4 Yearly Inspections and Certificates of Safety Barrier Compliance - Owners will then be required to engage a registered building surveyor or building inspector to inspect and certify the compliance of their safety barrier every four years, and lodge the Certificate of Safety Barrier Compliance with Council.

Relocatable swimming pools and spas need to be registered with Council if it has been erected for 3 or more consecutive days. The owner of the land on which the relocatable swimming pool or relocatable spa is located must apply to Council for registration before or on the 4th day after the relocatable swimming pool or relocatable spa was erected.

A certificate of pool and spa barrier compliance issued by a private inspector/surveyor will need to be submitted with Council no later than 30 days after the date that the relocatable swimming pool or relocatable spa was registered with that council.

A relocatable swimming pool or relocatable spa MUST have a compliance safety barrier installed around it at all times it is erected. Please download a copy of the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) Practice Note(PDF, 3MB)  for design requirements of the safety barrier.

For more information about the State Government legislation, please visit the Victorian Building Authority website.

For a copy of the Building Regulations 2018 that outlines these requirements please refer to Part 9A—Safety requirements for, registration of, and certification of barriers for, swimming pools and spas, please visit the Victorian Legislation website.

Process for registering a Swimming Pool / Spa 

Registering a permanent swimming pool or spa constructed before 1 November 2020

All owners of existing swimming pools or spas constructed before 1 November 2020 were required to register their swimming pool or spa with Council by 1 November 2020. Pursuant to regulation 147L of the Building Regulations 2018, penalties do apply for non-compliance.

Click here to register your pool or spa online.


Registering a permanent swimming pool or spa constructed on or after 1 November 2020

All owners of new swimming pools or spas constructed on or after 1 November 2020 will need to register their pool or spa within 30 days of receiving the occupancy permit or the certificate of final inspection for the newly constructed pool or spa. Pursuant to regulation 147M of the Building Regulations 2018, penalties do apply for non-compliance.

Click here to register your pool or spa online.


Registering a relocatable swimming pool or relocatable spa

All owner of relocatable swimming pools or relocatable spas need to register them with Council if they have been erected for 3 or more consecutive days. The owner of the land on which the relocatable swimming pool or relocatable spa is located must apply to Council for registration before or on the 4th day after the relocatable swimming pool or relocatable spa was erected

A relocatable pool or spa can be considered as:

  • A structure that is up for a short period of time.
  • Is not in place for a prolonged timeframe. I.e. Used during the warmer seasons, particularly during summer holidays, such as Christmas.
  • Does not consist of multiple components requiring assembly. I.e. Inflatable pool that requires inflation only.
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble.
  • Above ground pools and portable spas that are permanently in place are not considered to be relocatable.

A certificate of pool and spa barrier compliance issued by a private inspector/surveyor will need to be submitted with Council no later than 30 days after the date that the relocatable swimming pool or relocatable spa was registered with that council.

A relocatable swimming pool or relocatable spa MUST have a compliance safety barrier installed around it at all times it is erected. Refer to download a copy of the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) Practice Note(PDF, 3MB)  for design requirements of the safety barrier.

Click here to register your pool or spa online.


Fees associated with registration/certificates

The following fees are applicable to registration and ongoing compliance:

  • Registration fee for pool/spa constructed, or where construction will have commenced before 1 November 2020 - $79.00
  • Registration fee for pool/spa constructed on or after 1 November 2020 - $31.80
  • Certificate of Compliance lodgement: $20.40 (required every 4 years)
  • Certificate of Non-Compliance lodgement: $385.  This is the fee you will need to pay if your pool/spa is inspected and the inspector determines that your safety barrier is not compliant and subsequently issues a Certificate of Non-Compliance.

All above mentioned fees are based on the 2019/20 and 20/21 financial years.

If you are having issues submitting your registration form, please contact Council's Building Services Team on 1300 229 229.

Submitting a Certificate of Compliance or Non-Compliance

Certificates of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance – Form 23

Once you received a Certificate of Compliance from your Building Surveyor/Building Inspector, you will need to submit it with Council within 30 days along with the applicable fee.

Click here to lodge your certificate of compliance online.


Certificates of Pool and Spa Barrier Non-Compliance – Form 24

Your inspector must immediately issue a Certificate of Non-Compliance (Form 24) if any of the following circumstances exist:

  1. The barrier does not comply with the applicable barrier standard in any of the following ways:
    (i) 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;
    (ii) a door or gate forming part of the barrier is unable to be completely closed;
    (iii) any part of the barrier is less than 1 metre in height measured above ground level from the approach side.
  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 is not capable of being made compliant with the applicable barrier,standard; or the owner is unlikely to bring the barrier into compliance with the applicable barrier standard within 60 days of the inspection.

To avoid a Certificate of Non-Compliance being issued and having to pay the significant fee please ensure your safety barrier is constructed and maintained to the appropriate standards.

Refer to the How do I check if my safety barrier is compliant? section of this page and review the illustrated fact sheets to help you to ensure your barrier is compliant. 

Should your inspector issue a Certificate of Non-Compliance (Form 24) they will submit it directly with Council and the owner will be responsible to pay the associated non-compliance fee. 

Click here to lodge your certificate of non-compliance online.

How can I check if my safety barrier is compliant?

While there will be stricter laws on managing swimming pool and spa compliance, the requirement to have safety barriers installed and maintained have not changed.

In readiness for the new requirements surrounding swimming pools and spas, it is recommended that you undertake a pool and spa safety barrier self-assessment to ensure compliance.

Please visit the Victorian Building Authority website for a copy of the pool and spa safety barrier self-assessment checklist. 

In addition to the above self-assessment checklists, please refer to the fact sheets below that have been produced to assist in your understanding of the requirements for swimming pool and spa barriers dependant on the year of construction:

Do I need a safety barrier and do I need a permit to install one?

Do I need a safety barrier?

Permanent safety barriers are required for all pools and spas capable of containing a depth of water greater than 300mm, including:

  • in-ground swimming pools
  • hot tubs and Jacuzzis
  • indoor swimming pools
  • above-ground swimming pools
  • spas
  • inflatable and relocatable pools

Note:

  1. A lockable lid is not a compliant safety barrier.
  2. Indoor spa baths are not required to comply with the swimming pool or spa barrier requirements where used for hygiene purposes and emptied after each use.  

Do I need a building permit to install a safety barrier?

Yes, a building permit is required to install a swimming pool or spa AND install or alter a swimming pool and spa safety barrier.

For more information please download this guide from the Victorian Building Authority.

Decommissioning/removing a swimming pool or spa

It is a requirement that all swimming pool and spas have a safety barrier and are registered with Baw Baw Shire.   If you no longer wish to retain your swimming pool or spa and would like it removed from councils swimming pool and spa register, you will need to formally decommission the structure.

To suitably decommission your structure and allow the removal from Council's register, please review the Fact File – Removal or Decommission of a Swimming Pool or Spa and removal from Council Swimming Pool and Spa Register(PDF, 152KB) .

Please ensure that contact is made with Council following the decommissioning or removal of a pool or spa to arrange a site inspection (no fee is associated with this inspection).