Pools and spas registration

The Victorian Government has introduced new laws to make swimming pools and spas safer for everyone. All swimming pools and spas must be registered with your local Council and a certificate of compliance provided stating that safety standards for fencing/barriers have been met.

UPDATE: On Tuesday 26 May 2020, the State Government announced a five-month extension on pool and spa registrations in Victoria due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Residents now have until 1 November 2020 to register their pool or spa. The registration process remains unchanged.

The age of your pool determines which safety standard must be met. For more, read the swimming pool and spa legislation.

The Victorian Government introduced this new scheme after numerous Coronial investigations found that unmaintained and non-compliant pool barriers had contributed to the deaths of children in backyard pools. Read more on the Victorian Building Authority website.

What types of pools/spas are impacted?

It is now mandatory for owners of land where a swimming pool or spa is located to register their pool or spa with Council.

All swimming pools and spas in Victoria that are capable of holding more than 300 mm (30 cm) of water are required to have a pool safety barrier to restrict access to a pool area by young children.

This includes inflatable pools, above ground pools, indoor pools, hot tubs, and bathing or wading pools.

Also included are all pools associated with residential facilities (e.g. Caravan Parks, Hotel/Motel, Aged Car Facilities).

In addition, all gates, fences or walls that form part of the barrier around the pool must be maintained and kept in good working condition.

Owners of land where a swimming pool or spa is located will now have to complete the following steps.

Step 1 - Register

How to register

Registration costs $79.10 which includes registration fee and a records search fee.

Payment is made via credit card through a simple online form.

Register and pay online

What information do I need to provide?

To register you simply need to provide your name, property address and contact details. You will need to upload any building permit in relation to your pool/spa (if available).

Why do I have to pay for a records search?

Under the new Victorian laws, Councils are responsible for determining when your pool/spa was constructed and therefore which safety standard applies.

Council will conduct an archive search to verify the age of your pool/spa. This is covered by the total $79.10 fee.

If the age of your pool/spa cannot be verified, the current safety standard will be applied.

Find out more about Registration on the Victorian Building Authority website.

When do I have to register by?

All existing pools and spas must be registered by 1 November 2020.

Any new pools or spas built after 1 November 2020 must be registered within 30 days after issue of occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection.

What happens next?

Once you have registered your pool, Council will confirm via email:

  • the age of your pool/spa; 
  • the level of barrier standards you must meet; and
  • when you must lodge your first compliance certificate with Council.

Step 2 - Inspect and Repair

How to arrange a pool inspection

Once your swimming pool/spa has been registered with Council, you must arrange an inspection to ensure the safety barrier around your pool/fence meets the required standard.

Read more about Inspection & Compliance on the Victorian Building Authority website.

An inspection of your pool or spa barrier can be carried out by:

  • a registered building surveyor or building inspector
  • any registered building practitioner whose registration authorises the carrying out of inspections of pools or spa, including the associated barriers.

Note: If you construct a pool or spa after 1 November 2020, the registered building surveyor who conducts a mandatory inspection following the construction of a pool or spa barrier can also conduct the inspection and issue a certificate of barrier compliance.

Search for a registered building practitioner authorised to carry out of inspections on the Victorian Building Authority website.

There is no set fee for a safety barrier inspection. The Victorian Building Authority recommends you obtain quotes from at least two practitioners before you proceed with the inspection.

What can I do before the pool inspection?

Once Council has given you the relevant barrier standard you can use the corresponding checklist below prior to your pool inspection.

Date range of barrier construction Date compliance certificate is due
Checklist 1 - pools & spas installed before 8 April 1991 1 June 2021
Checklist 2 - pools & spas installed between 8 April 1991 to 30 April 2010 1 June 2022
Checklist 3 - pools & spas installed from 1 May 2010 1 June 2023

What do I do after the inspection?

After inspecting the pool or spa safety barrier, the inspector will either:

  1. Issue you with a certificate of compliance if your pool/spa barrier meets the required standard;

    OR
  2. If the barrier does not comply with the applicable barrier standard, the inspector will:
    • issue a written notice of repairs needed (within a maximum of 60 days, when they will re-inspect);

      OR
    • issue an immediate certificate of barrier non-compliance if the barrier poses a significant or immediate risk to life or safety, or is not likely to be repaired within 60 days.

How do I arrange any repairs or changes?

You can engage a private contractor to undertake any required repairs.

It is recommended you obtain quotes from at least two practitioners before you proceed with engaging a contractor to undertake works.

Step 3 - Lodge compliance certificate

How do I obtain a compliance certificate?

A certificate of pool and spa barrier compliance certifies that a pool or spa safety barrier complies with the applicable barrier standard.

The following persons can conduct barrier inspections and issue certificates of barrier compliance:

  • a registered building surveyor or a registered building inspector;
  • a swimming pool and spa inspector.

Read more about compliance certificates at the Victorian Building Authority website.

When do I have to lodge the compliance certificate?

Under the Victorian law, the due date for lodging your certificate of compliance depends on the age of your pool/spa safety barrier.

Date of construction Due date
Before 30 June 1994 1 June 2021
July 1994 - 1 May 2010 1 June 2022
1 May 2010 - 31 October 2020 1 June 2023
After 1 November 2020 Within 30 days of occupancy permit/ certificate of final inspection

Fines of up to $1652.20 may apply to owners who fail to provide a certificate of compliance by the due date.

Please note: Once you have received your compliance certificate, please lodge it with Council as soon as possible. Compliance Certificates are valid for 30 days from the time of issue, so make sure you lodge with Council to avoid another inspection.

How do I lodge my certificate of compliance

You can lodge your certificate of compliance online.

A fee of $20.40 will apply to lodge the certificate.

Lodge and Pay Online

Step 4 - Update

How often do I need to update the certificate?

To meet the requirements of the new Victorian laws, you must update your certificate of registration every four years.

Do I need to re-register when I update?

No. You only need to register once. After four years, you will need to arrange another inspection to obtain a Certificate of Compliance stating that your pool/spa barrier still meets required standards.

The new Certificate of Compliance must then be lodged with Council.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my pool/spa has been removed?

If you have removed your pool/spa, you will need to notify Council and provide evidence that this has occurred.

Complete the online form and upload evidence that the pool/spa has been removed, such as photographs.

Please note: An inspection may be required to verify the pool/spa has been removed.

What if I want to remove my pool?

Some people may decide they no longer want a pool/spa or that the cost of required repairs is too great.

You may require a building permit to ensure your pool is safely removed.

If you are considering removing your pool/spa, please contact Council for further assistance on 03 5832 9730.

If my pool or spa is empty do I need to register?

Yes, you are required to register your pool or spa even if it does not contain any water presently.

Do the laws apply to relocatable/temporary pools?

Yes. Under the Victorian Government's new laws, relocatable pools or spas are covered by the new laws if they remain erected for three consecutive days or more.

This covers any pool/spa that is capable of containing water to a depth of greater than 300 mm and can include inflatable children's pools if they are erected for more than three consecutive days.

If the relocatable pool/spa is erected for more than three consecutive days it must be registered with Council by the fourth day it is erected.

What happens if a non-compliance certificate is issued?

A pool inspector can issue a non-compliance certificate in the event of serious safety issues or if repairs have not been made following an inspection.

The pool inspector is responsible for lodging the non-compliance certificate with Council.

Lodge a non-compliance certificate

What if I have recently bought a property with a pool/spa?

Please contact Council on 03 5832 9730 to check whether your pool has been correctly listed on the register.

If it has been registered, Council will advise when your next Certificate of Compliance is due.

Do I need permission to build a new pool/spa?

A building permit is required to be obtained prior to the installation of any swimming pool or spa as specified above, that is capable of containing a depth of water exceeding 300mm (30cm) and to install and/or alter an existing swimming pool safety barrier. You will be required to submit a design and site plan fully detailing the type and location of the barriers which include but are not limited to:

  • Fences
  • Walls
  • Barriers
  • Palings
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Gates
  • Locks
  • Latches
  • Catches
  • Bolts
  • Fly screens that restrict access to the swimming pool or spa
  • Self-closing devices etc.

For more information and helpful resources see the Victorian Building Authority website.

What do I do if I am a renter?

It is the property owner's responsibility to have their pool barrier registered and inspected, and to lodge the certificate of compliance.

Check with the property owner or your property manager to find out if the property you live at has been properly registered by 1 November 2020.