Alterations to a registered pool or spa
What happens after I lodge the certificate with council following alterations/changes?+
After receiving the certificate following alterations, the council will register the applicable barrier standard and give you a notice in writing of the following:
- that they have received the certificate
- the date by which the next certificate must be lodged
- confirmation that the applicable barrier standard has been updated (if applicable) and details of the barrier standard that now applies.
What happens if I don't lodge a certificate of barrier compliance after an alteration/change?+
If you fail to lodge a certificate of barrier compliance within 14 days of receiving the certificate, you may face an on-the-spot fine of approximately $330 and a penalty of up to $1,652.20.
Penalty units are indexed and increase on 1 July each year, in accordance with the Monetary Units Act 2004. From 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, one penalty unit is $165.22.
What happens if I make alterations/changes to a pool barrier after I've registered my pool or spa?+
After registering your pool or spa, if building work is carried out on the barrier that requires a building permit, the relevant building surveyor must inspect the barrier and determine if it complies with the applicable barrier standard.
If the relevant building surveyor determines that the barrier complies with the applicable barrier standard, they will issue a certificate of barrier compliance and provide the certificate to you. You must then lodge the certificate with your council within 14 days.
If the barrier does not comply with the applicable barrier standard, the relevant building surveyor will require the work to be brought into compliance.
Certificates of pool and spa compliance
How long is a certificate of barrier compliance valid?+
A certificate of barrier compliance is only valid for 30 days after it is issued. It must be lodged with the relevant council within this period.
If the certificate is not lodged within the 30 days, a new inspection must be carried out and a new certificate issued and lodged with the relevant council.
What happens if I don’t lodge a certificate of swimming pool barrier compliance?+
It is an offence to not lodge a certificate of barrier compliance.
If you don’t lodge a certificate of pool and spa barrier compliance by the due date, you may face an on-the-spot fine of approximately $330 and a penalty of up to $1,652.20.
How do I lodge the certificate of barrier compliance with my council?+
You should contact the council or check their website about their process for lodging a certificate of barrier compliance.
Non-compliant swimming pool barriers
What is a certificate of barrier non-compliance?+
A certificate of barrier non-compliance can be issued by a pool and spa inspector if they determine that the barrier is not compliant.
When is a certificate of barrier non-compliance issued immediately?+
An inspector must immediately issue a certificate of swimming pool barrier non-compliance if:
- the barrier is not capable of being made compliant or the owner is unlikely to bring the barrier into compliance with the applicable barrier standard within 60 days
- the non-compliance of the barrier poses a significant and immediate risk to life or safety
- the barrier is non-compliant in any of the following ways:
- a door or gate, when closed, is able to be opened by a person who is unable to reach the opening mechanism for that door or gate
- a door or gate forming part of the barrier is unable to be completely closed
- any part of the barrier is less than one metre in height, measured above ground level from the approach side.
Who lodges the certificate of barrier non-compliance?+
The inspector will lodge the certificate with the relevant council and provide you with a copy.
Is there a fee payable if a certificate of barrier non-compliance is lodged?+
Yes – after the inspector lodges the certificate of barrier non-compliance with the council, the council will notify you of the fee and the due date for payment (not less than 28 days). The maximum fee that can be charged is $385.10. Please check the council’s website for the applicable fee in your municipality.
If you do not pay the fee by the due date, you may face an on-the-spot fine of approximately $330 and a penalty of up to $1,652.20.
Pool safety barriers
What are the fees and penalties for barrier compliance?+
|Type of fee or penalty
|Maximum fee for lodging a certificate of barrier compliance with council
|Maximum fee for lodging a certificate of barrier non-compliance with council
|Failure to lodge certificate of barrier compliance by date specified
|up to $1,817.40^
|Failure to lodge certificate of barrier non-compliance by date specified
|up to $1,817.40^
|Failure to comply with barrier improvement notice by date specified
|up to $1,817.40^
What happens if I have a non-compliant barrier?+
If the inspector determines that your safety barrier is not compliant, they can either:
- immediately issue a certificate of barrier non-compliance; or
- issue you a written notice specifying:
- the matters which must be addressed to bring the pool barrier into compliance;
- the period in which the barrier must be made compliant (within a maximum of 60 days); and
- the date and time they intend to reinspect the barrier.
After re-inspection, if the inspector determines that the pool barrier is compliant, they will issue a certificate of barrier compliance, which you must then lodge with council.
If the barrier remains non-compliant, but the inspector is satisfied that progress has been made towards bringing the barrier into compliance, they may allow you an additional seven days to rectify the barrier. Otherwise they will issue a certificate of barrier non-compliance.
If an inspector issues a certificate of barrier non-compliance, they will lodge it with the relevant council and provide you with a copy. The council will notify you and you will have to pay a fee by the due date specified in the notice.
What happens next
When the council receives the certificate of barrier non-compliance, the municipal building surveyor will issue either:
- a barrier improvement notice, or
a notice or order under the Building Act 1993 (if the municipal building surveyor considers that this is appropriate, depending on the nature of the non-compliance).
What is a certificate of barrier compliance?+
If the inspector determines that your safety barrier complies with the applicable barrier standard, they will issue a certificate of barrier compliance. As the owner of the land with the pool or spa, you then need to lodge the certificate with your council. You must do this within 30 days of the date of issue of the certificate. Contact your council for more information.
When the council receives the certificate, they will send you a written notice, which confirms:
- the date the certificate was lodged
- the date by which the next certificate is required to be lodged, which is four years after the previous certificate.
You will need to pay a fee to the council when you lodge the certificate.
Deadlines for inspection and lodgement of certificate of barrier compliance
Pools and spas constructed (or where construction commenced) before 1 November 2020
You are required to lodge a certificate of barrier compliance every four years. Check with your council for exact dates.
Pools and spas constructed on or after 1 November 2020
Your first certificate of barrier compliance must be lodged within 30 days of the date of issue of the certificate. This certificate must accompany your application for registration.
Your next certificate of compliance is due four years after registration. Check with your council for exact dates.
What should I know if I am planning to get a pool or spa?+
In Victoria, the design, construction and installation of swimming pools, spas and safety barriers are subject to strict requirements under the Regulations.
Swimming pools, spas and safety barriers must comply with several requirements, including:
- being constructed by a builder registered in an appropriate category or class, or an owner-builder who has an owner-builder certificate of consent
- have self-latching and self-closing pool gates
- safety barriers must comply with AS1926.1-2012.
Property owners and occupants are responsible for making sure pool barriers are maintained, repaired and kept in working order. A new outdoor pool or spa area must not be directly accessible via a building.
What are the barrier requirements?+
All swimming pools and spas capable of containing water to a depth greater than 300 mm (30 cm) must have a compliant safety barrier to restrict access to the pool area by young children (under the age of five). Barriers are required for:
- in-ground pools and spas
- above-ground pools and spas, including relocatable and inflatable pools that are capable of holding more than 300 mm (30 cm) depth of water and require assembly on site.
- indoor pools and spas
- bathing and wading pools capable of containing more than 300 mm (30 cm) depth of water.
Barriers aren’t required for:
- inflatable swimming pools (typically toddler or wading pools) that cannot contain a water depth greater than 300 mm (30 cm).
- small inflatable pools that do not consist of multiple components and do not require any assembly. An example of such a product is a small inflatable pool that requires no assembly other than inflation.
- bird baths
- water supply/storage tanks
- fish ponds
- baths used for personal hygiene and emptied after each use
- spas inside a building (e.g. in a bathroom) used for personal hygiene and emptied after each use
- pools or spas that cannot contain a water depth of more than 300 mm.