Inspect and certify a pool
You may need to get a safety certificate if you are buying, selling or leasing a property with a pool. A pool safety management plan may exist for Class 3 buildings instead of a pool safety certificate.
A pool safety inspector can inspect your pool fence to see if it complies with the safety standards. If it does they can issue you with a safety certificate. Alternatively a building certifier can provide you certification of new pools or fences.
A safety management plan may exist for pools of Class 3 buildings instead of a pool safety certificate.
Pool safety inspection
You can hire a licensed pool safety inspector to:
- inspect your pool fence—and issue either a
- pool safety certificate if it conforms to the safety standards
- non-conformity notice if it does not conform.
- act as a consultant to advise you about pool safety, your fence or barrier
- do minor repairs, e.g. adjusting or replacing a latch or hinges and removing climbable objects. Pool Safety Inspectors are not legally able to perform works valued at more than $3,300 without an appropriate licence and contract.
Learn more about the role and responsibilities of a pool safety inspector.
There is no set charge for a pool safety inspector to conduct a full inspection or provide consultancy advice. We encourage you to get a few quotes before engaging an inspector.
Pool safety certificate
A pool safety certificate confirms that your pool complied with the pool safety standard at the time it was checked by a pool safety inspector.
Pool safety certificates are valid for:
- 1 year for shared pools
- 2 years for non-shared pools.
When you need a certificate
You will need a pool safety certificate if you are:
- selling a property
- buying a property
- leasing a property.
You may also want to get a pool safety certificate for peace of mind.
How to get a pool certificate
Only a pool safety inspector—licensed by the QBCC—can issue pool safety certificates.
You can find a licensed pool safety inspector. The register includes inspector contact details and the local government areas where they work.
Download from myQBCC
If you have already received a certificate but have lost it, you can download and print a new one from our pool register.
Rules for displaying certificates
Owners of shared pools must display their current pool safety certificate near the main entrance to the premises or or at a gate or door accessing the pool. Your local council may impose fines if certificates are not being displayed.
Owners of non-shared pools do not have to display a current pool safety certificate.
If your pool safety inspector is not satisfied that your pool complies with the pool safety standard, they will issue you with a Form 26—non-conformity notice (PDF 116.68KB) unless either:
- the inspector reinspects the pool within 2 days after the initial inspection and is satisfied that the pool now complies
- the owner and pool safety inspector agree that the inspector will carry out minor repairs within 20 business days of the original inspection.
The non-conformity notice tells the pool owner:
- how the pool fence does not comply
- what you need to change or fix to make your pool fence safe.
If you have any questions about the inspection, ask the pool safety inspector for more information.
You must have your pool re-inspected within 3 months by the same pool safety inspector. If you do not do this the inspector must tell your local council. They can fine you for having a non-compliant pool fence.
You cannot ask another inspector to inspect the pool and give you a pool safety certificate within 3 months of receiving a non-conformity notice. Fines apply for doing this.
In some circumstances, e.g. if the inspector becomes ill, you can apply to the QBCC for another inspector to re-inspect the pool within the 3-month period.
Some pool safety inspectors are licensed to carry out minor pool safety repairs.
Pool owners can also carry out some repair and maintenance work within certain limits without a building approval. If you plan to do work that you estimate will cost more than $11,000 (including labour and materials) you must get a QBCC owner builder permit before you do the work.
If you are engaging someone else to do the work you must ensure they are appropriately licensed and hold a contractor's licence if the value of work and materials is $3,300 or more.
A building approval is not required for some pool barrier fence repairs and maintenance, but they must still comply with the pool safety standard:
- repairing or adjusting a maximum of 2.4m of the fence or 2 posts
- securely attaching a shield (of any length) to make the fence comply with the non-climbable zone requirements
- securely increasing the fence height
- laying secure paving or concrete under a barrier to reduce the gap underneath
- repairing, replacing or adjusting a gate to ensure it self-closes and self-latches each and every time
- protecting a window or door, e.g. installing a fixed security screen on a window or door or by permanently fixing the window or door so it cannot open more than 100mm
- removing or attaching a shield to climbable objects in the non-climbable zone.
If you need to replace the whole barrier
Pool owners can fix an entire pool fence, but only if they engage a pool safety inspector before they start work. The inspector will:
- inspect the fence
- issue you with a Form 26—non-conformity notice (PDF 116.68KB).
The non-conformity notice will detail what needs to be done before you start the work, and helps ensure you know how to meet the safety standard.
Within 3 months you must request the same pool safety inspector return to inspect the completed works. If the fence is still not compliant the inspector may issue another nonconformity notice.
The same applies for the use of temporary fencing. If you are removing sections of your fence while undertaking repair or replacement you must ensure a temporary fence is installed during the replacement.
If you disagree with the non-conformity notice
If you disagree with the non-conformity notice you can appeal through the Development Tribunal.
You must appeal within 20 days of the non-conformity notice being issued.
Selling or buying a property with a non-conformity notice
If you are obtaining a safety certificate because you are buying a property with a pool and need to get a certificate within 90 days of settlement, being issued with a non-conformity notice does not change or extend the deadline for obtaining the pool safety certificate.
Building certification of new pool or fence
You may not need to get a pool safety certificate if you have recently had your pool or fence certified by a building certifier.
Recently built pools
If you've recently built a pool, you can replace the pool safety certificate with a:
- Form 17—final inspection certificate (PDF)
- Form 11—certificate of occupancy for a building with a regulated pool (PDF)
The certificate must confirm that the pool meets the standard and be lodged by a building certifier to:
- firstname.lastname@example.org, or
- by mail.
New or altered pool fences
If you've replaced or altered your pool fence and it's been inspected by a building certifier you can replace the pool safety certificate with a:
You only need to engage a building certifier if you needed development approval for your fence. Otherwise, you can get a pool safety inspector to check the fence complies.
Pool safety management plan
If you own a Class 3 building you can replace the pool safety certificate with an approved pool safety management plan. Class 3 buildings include:
- boarding houses
- resort accommodation.
This pool safety management plan:
- can be used as an alternative to constructing a compliant pool fence
- must be approved by QBCC (we may charge application and approval fees)
- must be updated annually.
Work out how to develop the plan using the Pool safety management plan guideline (PDF)
Apply for a safety management plan
Download and complete:
Pool safety management plan application (PDF)
Lodge the form and pay the application fee:
- by email — email@example.com
- in person at a QBCC service centre
- by mail.