FAQs For Pool Fence Inspections
When do I need to register my pool / spa?
All pool/spa owners were required to register their swimming pool and/or spa by 1st November 2019.
If you haven’t registered with your council a fine may be imposed by the council.
How do I register? / What happens if I don’t register?
You register online on your council’s website.
If you don’t register the regulations state that it will be an offence not to register within the required time frame which will be subject to a penalty of $330.45
What pools / spas need to be registered?
Any swimming pool or spa that can hold water to a depth greater than 300mm and principally used, or designed, manufactured or adapted to be principally used for swimming.
This includes in-ground and above ground pools and spas, inflatable pools, indoor pools and spa pools, children’s paddling and wading pools, spas, jacuzzis, hot tubs and swim spas and portable spas.
This does not include bodies of water that are not used or adapted to be used for swimming such as birdbaths, fish ponds, fountains, spas inside a building/bathroom that are used for personal hygiene and contain a drain plug, water supply/storage tanks and dams, rivers, creeks and lakes.
If I have a swimming pool and a spa do I need to register them separately?
A pool and spa may be registered in a single application, however, if they are protected by separate barrier systems there may be differences in the standards to which they are inspected depending on construction dates for each one. Council will work through this with you as part of your registration.
What happens after I register my pool / spa?
Once you have completed your application to register your swimming pool or spa, Council will confirm the date of the construction of the swimming pool, the relevant standard that the safety barrier must comply with and the date that the certificate of compliance for the safety barrier(s) must be lodged by.
The council must send you a letter with all these details. (We cannot complete an Inspection without it as we must do the inspection to the specific set of regulations stated in your letter).
Once the swimming pool and/or spa has been registered with Council, it will remain on the register until the owner applies to Council to remove it from the register and an agreement is made between Council and the owner of the removal or decommissioning process.
When does my safety barrier have to be inspected?
The Victorian Government has now officially extended the deadlines for lodging certificates of barrier compliance with local councils. The new dates were deemed necessary to ensure that pool inspections can be done in an orderly and timely manner during the pandemic.
Members should familiarise themselves with the revised dates and implement processes to roll out the inspection timetable.
Pool/spa construction date – Compliance certificate must be lodged by
- On or before 30 June 1994 – 1 June 2022
- From 1 July 1994 until 30 April 2010 – 1 June 2023
- From 1 May 2010 until 31 October 2020 – 1 June 2024
Additional information is available on the VBA website.
Who can inspect my safety barrier?
Only Building Surveyors and Building Inspectors currently registered with the VBA can complete the inspections and issue certificates for you.
All our inspectors at MPFI / SSPI are fully qualified, well trained, fully insured and registered with the VBA.
What happens if I don’t have my safety barrier Inspected?
The regulations state that it will be an offence not to submit a Certificate of Compliance within the required time frame and this will be subject to a penalty of approx $360.00 and ongoing fines and penalties until the safety barrier is made compliant.
What happens if a safety barrier is found to be non-compliant?
If we find the barrier is non-compliant, we will provide you with a clearly written report, specifying the issues, possible rectification suggestions and the requirements of the relevant standard. Where we find there is an imminent danger, we must issue a certificate of pool and barrier non-compliant.
After re-inspection, if we determine that the pool barrier is compliant, we can issue a certificate of barrier compliance, and you must then lodge the certificate with your local council.
If the barrier remains non-compliant, but we are satisfied that progress has been made towards bringing the barrier into compliance, a maximum additional seven days are allowed to rectify the issues. Otherwise, we must issue a certificate of barrier non-compliance.
Can I pre check my safety barrier prior to the inspection?
Yes, we recommend you pre-check your safety barrier and if required undertake any repairs/rectification works necessary prior to the inspection.
You will hopefully get all the issues completed (which we would prefer) and the safety barrier can be passed on the 1st inspection saving you time and a 2nd inspection fee.
Also once your inspector has done the initial inspection you have only 60 days to complete the repairs/rectification works prior to a 2nd inspection.
So getting some or all of the works done prior to the inspection may save you time and headaches re possible trades and materials shortages.
What happens once my barrier has been passed / is compliant?
If our inspector is satisfied that the safety barrier is compliant, they will issue a Certificate of Compliance (Form23) and provide a copy to the owner. The owner must then lodge a copy of the certificate to Council. Council will then record details of the certificate on the register.
How often will my safety barrier need to be re –inspected?
The regulations state that a Certificate of Compliance will need to be lodged with Council every four years. Council will write to the owners advising of the next lodgement date.
Can I remove my pool or spa?
Yes, an owner can obtain a Building Permit from a private Building Surveyor or can make a written request to Council to remove or decommission their swimming pool or spa.
Council can provide advice on the acceptable method of decommissioning a swimming pool or spa.
Who do we work with?
Residential home owners, Real estate agents, Motels & Hotels, Caravan parks, Schools, Body corporates.
How long does an inspection take?
The initial inspection may take up to an hour; follow up inspection should take less time.
Do I need to be there for the inspection?
No you don’t need to be there but we advise you be there so we can discuss any rectification works that may be necessary.