Are you certified in the pool industry?
Certified Pool Operator (CPO) certification is currently being offered online in select states. Due to the Coronavirus and social distancing requirements, some states are now allowing online CPO classes, including testing for a limited time.
Many states require Pool and Hot tub Alliance (PHTA) certifications for licensing, and the CPO certification is a common and comprehensive requirement. The two-day, 14 to 16-hour course is taught by a certified instructor and the online curriculum follows the 18 chapters in the PHTASM Pool & Spa Operator Handbook. The cost of a certification class varies by instructor and location. PHTA recommends that interested students contact the instructor directly for information on cost and how to register.
Online courses will be available for a limited time, to accommodate stay-at-home orders or social distancing requirements. PHTA has requested and been granted approval for online courses and testing by many states. See the attached table to learn if your state allows complete online CPO certification. To register for online CPO certification, go to PHTA.org and click on education.
Additional PHTA Certifications PHTA offers additional certification programs such as Certified Service Professional (CSP). Certified Service Technician (CST), Certified Maintenance Specialist (CMS), and Certified Hot Tub Technician (CHTT). Some of these certifications offer optional online courses, but currently the mandatory testing is not available online. PHTA’s exams are delivered through PSI testing centers, which have physical locations, some of which are opening depending on the restrictions of their area. Service technicians can look forward to the availability of online testing for these certifications in the coming weeks, however, as PHTA is moving their testing to a different platform.
Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) Certification
The Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) certification is offered through the National Recreation and Park Association. The AFO program provides comprehensive and up-to-date training for pool operators and includes information on water chemistry, disinfection, mechanical systems, operations, healthy pools and safety.
This certification course and testing is currently being offered online through Educational Leverage, LLC, for $325, and is taught by the company’s President, Kevin Tucker, as well as other instructors with years of experience.
According to Tucker,AFO certification is considered equivalent to CPO certification by many states. While the course and certification are available to anyone, Tucker says that in his experience, most people who seek certification work for Parks and Recreation Departments, although he believes that most states that recognize CPO certification also recognize AFO certification.
Certified Pool Technician
The Certified Pool Technician Course, CPT, is offered by the Aquatic Training Institute (ATI). Prior to stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements, this was the only 100% online accredited pool operator certification course.
The course covers state regulations, swimming pool calculations, filter types and filter selection, circulation systems and pumps, water chemistry and balancing, water testing, spas and warm water pools and aquatic facility management and safety.
According to API, this series of lessons contains the content required by governmental agencies, insurance companies and property managers for certification of pool maintenance operation personnel.
Cost of this certification program is $329.00 and includes the Commercial Pool Technician Handbook, a certificate suitable for framing, a laminated wallet card and a CPT patch.
The Aquatic Training Institute warranties that the information contained in the Commercial Pool Technician program is equivalent to or superior to other programs of this type. Should, for whatever reason, a regulatory agency reject the CPT certification within one year of completion ATI will refund any payment upon the return of the book, certificate, wallet card and a copy of the written rejection.