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Pool and spa safety barrier registration and compliance certificate information

Find out about:

Registration forms:

As of 1 December 2019, new safety standards were introduced by the Victorian Government to improve pool and spa safety.

The new Building Regulations 2018 requirements are to ensure that all swimming pools and spas have a compliant barrier/fence to restrict access to the pool area by children under the age of 5.

On the 26 May 2020 the Victorian Government extended the deadline for the mandatory registration of private pools and spas due to the impacts of COVID-19. Find out about the new deadlines below.

Registration deadline extension

Private pool and spa owners now have until 1 November 2020 to register their pool/spa with Council – an extension of five months from the original 1 June, 2020 deadline, by five months. This therefore also pushed out the deadline for owners to lodge their first Certificate of Pool & Spa Barrier Compliance.

The date by which owners are required to lodge their first Certificate of Pool & Spa Barrier Compliance has also been extended to 1 November in the years 2021, 2022 or 2023 depending on the age of the pool/spa.

The new deadline is an acknowledgement of the extra pressure on families and the increased workload on councils due to the pandemic.

Pool and spa registration process

You must register a swimming pool or spa capable of holding a water depth greater than 30cm. This includes:

  • in-ground and above ground pools and spas
  • inflatable pools
  • relocatable pools that have been erected for 3 or more days
  • 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:

  • small toddler or wading pools that cannot hold more than 30cm depth of water
  • structures such as bird baths, fish ponds, fountains
  • spa-baths inside bathrooms that are used for personal hygiene
  • water supply/storage tanks
  • dams, rivers, creeks and lakes.

Small inflatable pools that do not contain multiple components and do not require any assembly are not subject to the barrier requirements.

An example of such a product is a small inflatable pool that requires no assembly other than inflation and cannot hold more than 30cm depth of water.

However, relocatable (moveable or portable) pools and spas on land that you own must be registered if they are erected for 3 or more consecutive days.

  • If it was erected before 1 November 2020 and remains erected for at least 3 consecutive days immediately before 1 November 2020, you must register by 4 November 2020.
  • If it was erected on or after 1 November 2020 and remains erected for 3 consecutive days, you must register the pool and spa on the 4th day after it was erected.

NB: If your relocatable pool or spa is only in place for a period of less than 3 consecutive days, there is no need to apply for registration.

If the pool and spa are within the same enclosure you only have to register once.

If you have separate pool or spa enclosures you will need to register them individually.

When you register your swimming pool or spa, we will advise you on:

  • the date or period of construction of the swimming pool/spa
  • the relevant standard the safety barrier must comply with
  • the date the safety barriers must be certified as compliant by.

We will endeavour to provide this information as soon as possible.

Once the swimming pool or spa has been registered with us, 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.

The one-off registration costs $79 plus a credit card surcharge. These fees are set by the Victorian Government.

When registering you will be required to pay this fee. Should you be experiencing hardship at this time Council may consider individual situations in terms of payment at a later date. If you wish to request hardship please do not register now, but instead send an e-mail to building [at] bayside.vic.gov.au quoting your reference PS number to arrange for registration and request delayed payment consideration.

All property owners (including landlords) will need to register existing pools and spas by 1 November 2020.

If you are part of a unit development with common use/shared pool/spa which is managed by an Owners Corporation, owners should not individually complete the application form but instead have the Owners Corporation representative submit the application. This will ensure it is only done and paid for once as required.

Pools or spas built after 1 November 2020 must be registered within 30 days of receiving an occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection.

If there is no longer a pool or spa on your property, you can apply to take it off the register.

Apply to take a pool or spa off the register

You can either register your pool or spa online or download and complete the form before posting it to us.

Register your pool or spa online

Download the form:

Fill in and post it to:

Bayside City Council
PO Box 27
Sandringham VIC 3191

Certificate of pool and spa barrier compliance

The property owner must engage a registered private Building Surveyor or Building Inspector to undertake the inspection and provide a Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance.

Council does not provide this service.

You can search for a registered building practitioner authorised to carry out inspections and certification using the VBA's find a practitioner tool.

The certificate will say if the safety barriers are compliant to the correct standards.

You will need to lodge the certificate with Council and supply a new one every 4 years.

Once the swimming pool or spa has been registered with Council, we will advise you of:

  • the date or period of construction of the swimming pool/spa
  • the relevant standard the safety barrier must comply with
  • the date the safety barriers must be certified as compliant by

This information will be sent back to the owner/applicant via e-mail and/or letter.

You will require this information to be provided to the Building Surveyor/Inspector who will be conducting an assessment of the safety barrier on your pool/spa as required by the Building Regulations. Council do not provide this inspection service and you will need to engage a registered private Building Surveyor or Building Inspector.

There is no set fee for a safety barrier inspection. We recommend obtaining quotes for this work from at least two practitioners before you proceed with the inspection.

Owners of pools or spas with barriers that require multiple inspections before being certified as compliant will likely face higher costs than those whose barrier is certified as compliant after the first inspection.

Note that should your pool/spa not meet the necessary standards the Surveyor/Inspector will direct you to carry out the necessary works within a specified timeframe by:

  • issuing 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 re-inspect the barrier.

Once any defects have been fixed, the Building Surveyor/Inspector can then issue a Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance.

The owner is then required to submit the Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance with Council; online and pay the prescribed State Government legislated fee (payment in person is currently unavailable due to COVID-19).

The fee to lodge your certificate costs $20 plus a credit card surcharge. These fees are set by the Victorian Government.

Non-compliant pool and spa barriers

Should your Building Surveyor or Building Inspector issue a Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Non-Compliance they will provide you with a copy, and also a copy to Council.

Upon receipt of the non-compliance certificate from the Building Surveyor or Inspector Council, we will notify you and you will have to pay a fee by the due date specified in that correspondence.

The fee applicable for your Certificate of Non-Compliance costs $385, plus a credit card surcharge. These fees are set by the Victorian Government, and are administration fees provided to cater for the enforcement role Council must now undertake.

When Council receives the certificate of barrier non-compliance, the Municipal Building Surveyor will issue either:

  • a barrier improvement notice, or
  • a Building Notice or Building Order under the Building Act 1993 (if the Municipal Building Surveyor considers that this is appropriate, depending on the nature of the non-compliance).

A barrier improvement notice may be issued by a Municipal Building Surveyor after the Council receives a certificate of pool & spa barrier non-compliance. A barrier improvement notice is usually issued for minor non-compliance matters. The notice specifies what you must fix to make the barrier compliant, as well as the period that you must take this action within.

These are issued pursuant to the Building Act for more serious cases of non-compliance and also set out requirements for compliance as well as time frames.

If you fail to comply with Building Notices and Orders it can ultimately see the matter referred to the Magistrates Court.

Frequently asked questions

Some of our residents’ most frequently asked questions are listed below. Additional questions can be found on the VBA website.

A certificate of pool and spa 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.

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.

An inspector must immediately issue a certificate of barrier non-compliance if for example:

  • 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 1.2 metres in height, measured above ground level from the approach side.

After registering your pool or spa, if building work is carried out on the barrier that requires a building permit, the relevant Building Surveyor or Inspector must inspect the barrier and determine if it complies with the applicable barrier standard.

If the relevant Building Surveyor or Inspector determines that the barrier complies with the applicable barrier standard, they will issue a Certificate of Pool and Spa 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 or Inspector will require the work to be brought into compliance.

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.

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.