Recreation SA is currently working on developing a Code of Practice to support public swimming pool operators in SA, in conjunction with its Aquatic Advisory Committee and a Code of Practice Steering Committee.

Public pool operators work within a diverse web of standards, state legislation and industry guidelines to ensure adequate safeguards are in place to minimise the risk of injury to both patrons and employees.  However, the aquatic industry is still largely unregulated.

The purpose of this project is to create a Code of Practice that incorporates all appropriate documentation for operating a public swimming pool, include areas that have been neglected and create a document that is specific to the SA Aquatic Industry.  The Code of Practice will not look to rewrite existing documents, but identify gaps and assign minimum standards for good pool practice.

The Code of Practice aims to benefit all employees and patrons in the aquatic industry by providing a framework for planning and assessing aquatic environments, creating and maintaining safer venues and minimising risks and hazards.

After consultation, an industry-driven approach has been adopted to ensure employees will be appropriately trained and operate in safe environments and patrons are subject to consistent water safety messages to prevent major incidents. 

Funding has been granted from the Office for Recreation & Sport's 'Sport and Recreation Development and Inclusion Program' for the 2015/2016 financial year.

The Code of Practice Committee is now working through the document following a process for each area identified as requiring benchmarks:

1.       Revise GSPOs to determine if areas of concern are specific enough to SA swimming pools

2.       Revise points in NSW’s Practice Note 15 and WA’s Code of Practice on particular area

3.       Discuss standards appropriate for SA

4.       Communicate these standards appropriate to each category of swimming pool

Current areas of inclusion into the Draft Code of Practice:

•         Table: Classification for Swimming Pools

•         Reference List (all Guidelines, Legislation, etc, the COP is to be read in conjunction with)

•         Photography Policy example

•         Missing Child Procedure example

Next areas of inclusion:

•         Lifeguard standards/ Supervision

•         Overcrowding: eg. lockdown procedure

•         Pool Audits: frequency, qualifications, design

•         Training standards & qualification

Other points of discussion:

•         Sustainability of document beyond 1 year funding period

•         Criteria to be a recognized provider to aquatic industry

•         Inclusion/ exclusion of pool safety and workplace design as scope is too broad for funding period

Recreation SA thanks the following members of the Code of Practice Committee for their support and assistance: Alistair Baird, Amanda Carmichael, Ben Grant, Catherine Foreman, Dael Redmond, Grant Watkins, AUSTSWIM, Julie Stevens, Kelly Lange, Kym A’Court, Nathan Byles, Paul Taylor, Samantha Wharton, Sarah McEwen.