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STA POOL PLANT – POOL PLANT OPERATORS CPD

Pool Users Guide To Safe Water Conditions With the swim schools now utilising a variety of pool environments for lessons, Robbie Phillips, STA’s Lead Pool Plant Expert looks at ‘plugging the skills gap’ in the sector and ensuring all pools are safe for their users

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n the UK, the private swim school market has seen unprecedented growth over the last 5 – 10 years. At the same time we’ve also witnessed declining numbers of accessible swimming pools which has led to swim schools vying for pool time to cope with business demand. Every inch of spare pool space is being hired, from school pools and hydro pools to caravan parks and even domestic pools. It’s also led to swim schools building their own pools – something we will see more of in the future. While this is good news, in that it shows there is a healthy demand for swimming lessons, hiring water space (outside of the ‘traditional’ leisure centre and health club where you would ‘expect’ a management team to be on site at all times) can also be fraught with problems from a pool management perspective. We hear so many cases of swim schools turning up at a pool for example at 9am on a Saturday morning and not knowing if the caretaker has properly tested / treated the water, and there is nobody on site to ask. The reality is that this leaves the teacher in a vulnerable position where he / she has to take on the responsibility of checking to make sure the pool is safe for bathers. But do they have sufficient knowledge / training to do this? For the majority, the answer is no. As the UK’s leading provider of pool and spa plant management training, we have been

working proactively to seek a solution to this real issue – plug the skills gap so to speak. While in an ideal world, we’d expect those with a ‘responsibility’ to hold a pool plant qualification, this is not always practical for front line staff. (I say ‘responsibility’ but this is also a grey area – who is responsible, the pool owner, yes – but it’s also the swim school’s responsibility to make sure their customers are safe so it’s a very debatable subject.) The 1/2 day CPD will act as an introduction to pool plant. It is also possible to do the CPD in the morning followed by the STA Level 2 Award in Swimming Pool Water Testing in the afternoon. Giving the client some practical knowledge into pool water testing. This does not replace the essential requirement for a competent Level 3 Pool Plant Operator to be in overall control of any pool facility at all times, but it will educate front-line staff in the basics of pool plant operations. The course will teach candidates: • How to identify and take appropriate actions where potential risks are detected • How to provide recognised risk controls in relation to the risks • How to comply with current recommendations and legislation. Content (theory and practical) will include the basics on what is expected in a wellmanaged and hygienically safe pool. Subjects include basic water circulation, water

chemistry, filtration, pool temperatures, routine checks, water testing, understanding the basics of the Traffic Light Safety System and keeping records and having Pool Safe Operating Procedures (PSOP) in place. Importantly it will inform those on the front line about how to recognise risk and what to do. For all these reasons, we believe this CPD would also be highly beneficial to health club and leisure centre staff (and especially given the budget cuts we’ve witnessed of late and fears over BREXIT). For front line leisure staff to be able to identify potential risks immediately and act upon them is in the best safety interests of the public – and it helps to protect the pool itself. After all, every user of a swimming pool has the right to expect that they can enter the pool and enjoy themselves in conditions that are comfortable and free from hazards. We believe this Pool Users Guide to Safe Water Conditions CPD is a practical and commercially viable solution to the current needs of the market. It arms all those involved in and around a swimming pool with the basic knowledge needed to be able to recognise and deal with potential safety hazards. STA is working to launch the CPD in January 2017. STA 01922 645097 www.sta.co.uk

We hear so many cases of swim schools turning up at a pool for example at 9am on a Saturday morning and not knowing if the caretaker has properly tested / treated the water, and there is nobody on site to ask. The reality is that this leaves the teacher in a vulnerable position …” www.swimmingpoolnews.co.uk 43_SPN_Oct_16_STA_Rev.indd 41

SPN October 2016 41 28/09/2016 10:16

SPN (Swimming Pool News) October 2016  

Informing the pool and spa industry since 1959. Covering the UK's wet leisure market, SPN (Swimming Pool News) is the UK's longest running a...

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