On 1 December 2019, new laws to improve swimming pool and spa safety came into effect in Victoria.
It is now mandatory to register:
- some types of relocatable pools.
Once your pool or spa is registered and you have received your registration letter, you need to:
- Organise an inspection of your safety barrier.
- Lodge a certificate of barrier compliance.
- Get a new certificate of barrier compliance every 4 years.
Property owners are responsible for registering pools and spas and maintaining their safety.
About these regulations
The Victorian Government introduced regulations for pools and spas to prevent children from drowning.
More than 80% of safety barriers in Victoria don't meet the required standards. On average, 4 children die in pools and spas every year and many more are taken to hospital after near-drownings.
The Victorian Government sets the fees for registering and lodging a certificate of barrier compliance with councils.
If you own a property in our region with a pool or spa you need to register it with us.
To find out what’s classified as a pool or spa, visit the Victorian Building Authority website.
- Register your details
- Approximate date that the swimming pool or spa was constructed
- Let us know if any changes have been made to the safety barrier since it was built.
- Upload documents or photos showing the changes (if available).
A $79 registration fee applies.
Register your pool or spa
After you register
Wait to receive a registration letter from us via email before booking an inspection of your safety barrier. The registration letter will advise:
- when your pool or spa was built
- its applicable construction standard
- when you need to lodge a certificate of barrier compliance.
You will need to show the registration letter to the building surveyor or inspector at the time of the inspection.
Organise an inspection
Your pool or spa barrier needs to be inspected and certified to show that it’s safe. A registered building surveyor or inspector will tell you if your barrier meets the required standard, or what you need to do to make it safe.
Who can conduct an inspection
Any registered building surveyor or inspector in Victoria can inspect your barrier. The Australian Institute of Building Surveyors has a tool to help you find a building surveyor in your area.
We are not affiliated with any independent swimming pool inspection companies. We will not give out any information regarding your property or personal details provided as a result of registering your swimming pool or spa.
If your pool or spa was built on or after 1 November 2020, you can register your pool or spa, and lodge a certificate of barrier compliance at the same time.
We will then email you to advise when your next certificate is due.
The fee is $20.40 to register and lodge a certificate of barrier compliance.
Register your compliant pool or spa
If your pool or spa is already registered and the barrier has been inspected, you can lodge your certificate of barrier compliance.
Lodge a certificate of barrier compliance
Only registered building surveyors or inspectors who inspected the pool or spa can lodge a certificate of barrier non-compliance.
The building surveyor or inspector must also give a copy of the certificate of barrier non-compliance to the property owner.
When your barrier meets the required safety standard, your building surveyor or inspector will issue you a certificate of barrier compliance.
You need to lodge your certificate with us within 30 days, otherwise the certificate will expire.
Once you have lodged it, we will email you to advise when your next certificate is due.
Lodge a certificate of barrier compliance
The fee is $20.40 to lodge a certificate of barrier compliance.
Lodging a certificate of barrier non-compliance
Inspectors can lodge a certificate of barrier non-compliance with Council via email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Get a new certificate every 4 years
Over time, wear and tear or renovations can mean that gates and barriers no longer meet safety standards. You need to have your barrier inspected and certified every 4 years to make sure it stays safe.
Are you compliant? You can check
You can check if your pool or spa barriers are compliant using the Victorian Building Authority’s 3 self-assessment checklists. They reflect the standards and regulations that are applied to your pool or spa, depending on your installation date. Choose the one applicable on the VBA's website - www.vba.vic.gov.au
All swimming pools and spas must have a safety barrier to restrict access to the pool area.
Owners of properties with a swimming pool or spa have a legal obligation to ensure that they maintain swimming pool and spa safety barriers to reduce the risk of unsupervised access. Residents must also ensure these barriers are always closed.
Which pools and spas must be registered?
Any swimming pool or spa that can hold water to a depth greater than 30cm and used, designed, manufactured or adapted to be principally used for swimming, wading, paddling, or the like, including a bathing or wading pool, or spa must be registered with Council.
- 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 (including portable spas).
This does not include:
- structures such as bird baths, fish ponds, fountains
- spas inside a building that are used for personal hygiene
- inflatable swimming pools (typically toddler or wading pools) not capable of containing a depth of water greater than 30cm and will be erected for less than 3 days
- water supply/storage tanks
- dams, rivers, creeks and lakes.
Why have the requirements changed?
Drownings and near drownings are the most common cause of preventable death or disability. The number of drowning incidents, and the high levels of non-compliance of safety barriers with the Building Act’s requirements, indicate that the past regulatory requirements have not been successful in ensuring the safety of private swimming pools and spas.
When do I need to register by?
You can register your swimming pool or spa with Council via its online portal from 2 December 2019.
Existing pools and spas must be registered by 1 November 2020.
New swimming pools or spas constructed after 1 November 2020 must be registered within 30 days of receiving the relevant Occupancy Permit or Certificate of Final Inspection.
Do I need to register my swimming pool and spa separately?
Where an owner has both a swimming pool and a spa, they will need to register the swimming pool and spa separately with Council unless the swimming pool and spa were installed together (i.e. both pool and detached spa are in the same approved pool/spa enclosure) or form part of each other.
How do I register?
You can register your swimming pool or spa with Council via its online portal - you'll start by entering your address:
Register your pool or spa
What does it cost?
The Registration Fee is $79.00 which includes a registration fee of $31.80 and a records search fee of $47.20
have your safety barriers inspected by a registered building surveyor or a registered building inspector - this price will vary depending on the individual inspector/inspection
lodge your certificate of compliance with Council - $20.40
The cost of registration and lodging the certificates with Council are set by the Victorian Government.
The cost of the inspection of the safety barriers will be up to the individual inspector and will depend on your particular circumstances. Consider getting quotes from several companies to ensure a better rate.
What happens after I register?
When you complete your application to register your swimming pool or spa, Council will email you confirming:
- the date or the period of construction of the swimming pool
- the relevant standard that the safety barrier must comply with
- the date the safety barriers must be certified as compliant by.
The timeframe to provide this information will depend on the age of the swimming pool or spa and may take up to 30 days.
Once the swimming pool or spa has been registered with Council, it will remain registered until the swimming pool or spa is removed and the owner applies to take it off the register.
Registrations, once submitted, do not need to be renewed for the life of the pool or spa.
Inspections and the submission of certificates of compliance must be completed every 4 years.
What happens if I don’t register?
It is an offence not to register within the required time frame and is subject to a fine of $330.