The many wonderful pool industry associations
There are a number of trade associations within the pool and spa industry offering an array of benefits for the pool service professional.
Perhaps one thing these associations have in common is their capacity to bring otherwise competing business entities together, allowing service professionals to form human connections.
Provided in the following pages are select trade associations available to pool service technicians.
The California Pool & Spa Association™ (CPSA) has been the de facto government relations and public policy arm of the California swimming pool and spa industry for over 40 years. CPSA is the only organization registered to lobby on behalf of the pool and spa industry in California, and the only organization that has consistently maintained a presence in the California Capitol with a proactive government relations program designed to monitor and engage on issues affecting the swimming pool and spa industry at all levels of government.
Members include California’s swimming pool and spa builders, swimmingpoolandspaservicecompanies, manufacturers and distributors, and other industry associations.
CPSA is the statewide umbrella trade association designed to promote the industry and to educate the public; local and state regulatory agencies; and, the California Legislature on critical issues such as water and energy conservation, water safety and child drowning prevention, consumer protection, and unlicensed contractor abatement.
Most recently, the association worked diligently to ensure that California’s pool and spa companies maintained essential status at the beginning stages of the COVID pandemic.
They are also currently fighting against efforts to ban or restrict the use of natural gas in new and renovated construction projects, which would eliminate the possibility of gas heaters and other gas appliances.
In the 2014 California drought, they fought to keep the industry from being shut down with a statewide lobbying and public education campaign. The pool construction and remodeling industry would have suffered tremendously in California and, along with it, most of the sales of pools and spas and their related equipment.
With their new affiliation with the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance, member benefits of joining CPSA are numerous. See accompanying article about PHTA for extended benefits.
CPSA members also have access to online and in-person training to strengthen their professional standing and relationships with consumers through better industry skills.
Members have the opportunity to find classes and training of interest on topics ranging from business management, proper pool maintenance and advanced water chemistry to transporting hazardous materials and more. Many of these topics are available as on-demand webinars.
CPSA also provides regular updates concerning advocacy efforts so that members can stay informed about legislation that may affect their businesses.
Becoming a member of the CPSA supports California’s pool and spa industry.
Membership is $230 per year for a single person service company, $599 per year for a multi-person service company, and $599 per year for a pool builder or subcontractor.
For more information or to become a member, visit www.thecpsa.org, email [email protected], or call 906-447-4113.
The Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA) provides government relations representation on behalf of its members to the Florida Building Commission and the Construction Industry Licensing Board as well as other legislative bodies that regulate the swimming pool industry in Florida such as the Department of Health.
Founded in 1959, the association has 16 chapters across the state. The 700 member companies state-wide are involved in their local community, sponsoring water safety events and fundraising for local charities, and actively advocate for the swimming pool industry.
Florida Swimming Pool Association The Association provides educational courses for industry professionals and produces an annual industry trade show, the annual Everything Under the Sun Expo. This February, they were the first to host an in-person event since the onset of the pandemic, and by all accounts, it was a success.
FSPA is an approved course provider by the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB), the Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board (ECLB) and the Board of Landscape Architects (BOLA). Currently they offer more than 100 continuing education courses on topics ranging from basic pool operation to business management. Continuing education courses are free to members.
Members enjoy tremendous benefits in addition to these extensive educational opportunities.
According to Wendy Parker Barsell, Executive Director for the Florida Swimming Pool Association, while there are numerous advantages to being part of the association, the most valuable is that of access.
“FSPA provides pool professionals with access to the latest industry information, free continuing education, state and local government affairs programs, networking through local chapter meetings and events, an arbitration program, scholarship program for college students as well as an awards program,” Parker Barsell said.
Other benefits include: All FSPA members are listed in all categories that your scope of work applies to within the consumer search engine.
Consumers choose a category and enter their ZIP code to see who they can call for their swimming pool needs. Only FSPA members get this extra advertising for their business.
FSPA offers free job posting to members searching to fill positions within their companies.
FSPA has negotiated special rates with AsktheSeal.com on criminal background checks as well as a special set up rate ($99, rather than the usual $1,000) for their Seal of Security and Confidence program, which distinguishes your company and your employees from inferior competitors.
When things get tough to resolve on your own, use their arbitration program for rapid and inexpensive resolution of consumer disputes.
The Florida Swimming Pool Association endorsed insurance program provides competitive premiums, great service, knowledgeable underwriting and cash dividend payments for good performance. Through Insurance by Ken Brown, members are eligible for insurance programs designed specifically for the pool and spa industry. These programs include property and
IPSSA members pose for photo opp at 2020 event.
casualty, auto, hazardous materials coverage, employee dishonesty, workers compensation and “pool popping.”
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FSPA offers a Prescription Discount Card for its members. Some members have saved up to 75% per prescription by using the card! FSPA now offers a Pet Prescription Discount Card!
FSPA members get discounts with Office Depot/OfficeMax, USPAY, 4imprint, FedEx,AccountingDepartment. com, and Avis/Budget Rental Car.
The Florida Swimming Pool Association Scholarship Program is available to dependents of owners and employees of member companies. This program helps members meet the high cost of college expenses for their children and is presented by the Swimming Pool Education and Safety Foundation.
Anyone who works in the pool industry or related fields can join. Membership is $935 for most pool and spa professionals.
To learn more or become a member of FSPA, go online to www.floridapoolpro. com or call 941-952-9293 Independent Pool and Spa Service Association
The Independent Pool and Spa Service Association is about camaraderie. IPSSA members are there to help each other, with technical questions and repairs, with tips and tricks of the trade, and especially, in times of sickness or injury, The cornerstone of IPSSA is their sick route coverage. That promise to be there for one another transforms what could otherwise be a financially devastating situation into something much more manageable.
The benefits of IPSSAmembership go beyond sick route coverage.
IPSSA membership also comes with a subscription to the IPSSAN, a monthly newspaper that includes industry updates, technical tips, and educational articles. Membership also gets you many discount advantages as well as safety features to share with customers.
One of the biggest advantages of IPSSA membership is their endorsed insurance program, offered through Arrow Insurance Service, a division of HUB International. Arrow has been IPSSA’s insurance broker/ advisor since its inception in 1988 and their goal is to provide members low-cost coverage that’s the best in the industry and unavailable from other insurance providers.
Arrow offers IPSSAmembers General Liability coverage of $3 million with a low $500 deductible for property damage claims. There is no deductible for bodily injury claims. Higher liability limits are available, too. The insurance program also includes coverage for Haz-Mat spills, pop-up coverage, and a $1 million coverage for chemical injury or property damage claims. Members also have $50,000 group life insurance and $5,000 medical coverage if they are accidentally injured at the jobsite.
The insurance program also covers faulty workmanship claims, meaning you are covered for damages done to equipment or tile that is being worked on, including plaster damage caused by a bad start-up procedure. Arrow even covers carbon monoxide related claims as well as claims for cryptosporidium, e-coli and Legionnaires disease, which other insurance plans exclude under their “communicable disease exclusion”.
Pool technicians are sometimes asked their opinion regarding the swimming pool condition, which can lead to claims that most companies also don’t cover. The IPSSA insurance program, however, includes Professional Liability coverage, that covers claims based on a faulty opinion.
Arrow also offers route income loss coverage due to disasters. Members now have coverage if they lose an account because the pool is no longer serviceable due to wildfire, earthquake, hurricane, tornado or flood.
And because pool techs sometimes make mistakes, Arrow just added coverage to reimburse a customer for an excessive water bill resulting from an accidental, overfill of the pool or spa, even if there is no resulting damage.
Optional coverage is available for members who remodel pools and perform janitorial services, as well as those who have offices, warehouses and stores.
The benefits of IPSSA membership are extensive and also include:
• Educational opportunities through monthly chapter meetings. Industry leaders provide presentations, training and assistance to members.
• Access to a network of professionals, educational materials and opportunities.
• Access to the lowest cost group liability insurance in the industry.
• Networking opportunities with other local swimming pool and spa service professionals.
• Take advantage of being associated with the marketing and branding of the IPSSA name. • Scholarship funds available for educational courses related to your business.
IPSSA’s membership is structured through chapters, and their members meet once a month to discuss industry news, share best practices and tip and tricks, and to otherwise network among friends. IPSSA membership is approximately $100 per month including insurance.
In the spirit of brotherhood, most of these chapters are committed to community outreach programs with projects as diverse as donating to Toysfor- Tots, building pools for the disabled, and even caring for sea turtle aquariums in South Padre Island, Texas.
IPSSA has a long and involved history in the pool and spa industry. With over 3000 members, it represents a substantial percentage of the industry as a whole.
For more information or to become a member go to ipssa.com.
National Drowning Prevention Alliance
Dedicated to saving lives through drowning prevention and water safety efforts, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. The NDPA’s mission is to prevent drowning and aquatic injuries, by leading, engaging, and supporting their members, chapters, and partners. Drowning prevention is a complex public health issue requiring a multifaceted approach through community education, scientific research & data, effective policy & codes, safety products, safety practices, and family support.
Every year, the NDPA puts on an educational conference to promote drowning awareness. Attendance at this conference is a great way to gain valuable insight on the best practices, latest research, newest technology, and critical knowledge covering all areas of water safety and drowning prevention. This year’s conference takes place from March 29 through April 1 as a virtual event due to concerns raised by the COVID pandemic.
NDPA’s mission is “UNITED, we can prevent the tragedy of drowning!” and their motto is “Drowning IS Preventable!”
To that end, they are committed to prevent drowning and aquatic injuries by providing a forum to:
• Increase awareness through effective programs, messages and resources to educate and engage the public
• Advise, assist and promote organizations, partners, chapters & members who work to prevent drowning & aquatic injuries
• Promote best practices & provide access to expert information, programs, training, and resources
• Expand our reach & membership through effective alliances & education, both nationally and internationally
• Ensure long-term sustainability of NDPA.
Basic lifetime membership to the NDPA is free. Premium annual membership, which comes with lots of extra perks, is $100.
To learn more or become a member to support the important work that they do, go to www.ndpa.org, email [email protected] or call 1-800-757-9270
National Plasterers Council
For over 30 years the National Plasterers Council has been the authority for in-ground swimming pool and spa cementitious interior pool surface applicators, material manufacturers, suppliers and distributors.
Since its inception in 1988, the Council has conducted numerous plaster
studies, water chemistry test kit studies, evaporation studies and more. Their research is relied upon by builders, plasterers, manufacturers, and service professionals nationwide.
Since 1994, the NPC has published a technical manual, recognized as the authority on sound technical practices in the swimming pool surface application industry. This manual, updated regularly, is a “living document” which continues to be improved upon as new research, methods, and technology become available.
Their website features numerous technical bulletins on water chemistry, new pool start-ups, and plastering.
According to NPC Executive Director, Jeff Henderson, the NPC plans to make this information even more accessible to its members through the creation of a digital library.
“We are aiming to provide education year-round. We’ve started an online database of all of the offerings that we’ve created so far. It is for members only and indexed by subject or teacher. It will be a blend of offerings we’ve had over the years, from conferences and the webinars we want to create, to tech bulletins and videos,” Henderson said They are also currently working on an on-demand start-up certification course which will be discounted for NPC members.
They have presence on Youtube, where members share technical expertise on plastering details. They have also recently launched a new podcast, “Smooth Finish,” where they discuss pool and spa industry related topics. According to Henderson, the podcast already has over 1000 listeners.
The NPC hosts the most fabulous pool and spa industry event of the year at their annual conference. Attendees can expect a cutting-edge seminar schedule when they are not being treated to elaborate dinners and parties in a different exciting city every year.
While they were forced to host a virtual conference this year, they are already planning next year’s conference from February 9-11 in Atlanta Georgia.
According to Henderson, education is the crux of what the NPC has to offer, and their annual conference is the key benefit of the education they provide.
Additional NPC Membership benefits include:
• Ongoing Research on “Hot Button” issues that impact your business
• Membership Directory & Resource Guide - in print and online
• Networking and Education at the Annual Conference
• Start-up Technician Certification and Recertification Program
• Rey Perales Memorial College Scholarship Program
• NPC Technical Bulletins, News and Alerts
• Expanded Pool Inspector Referral Program & Ask the NPC Technical Support
• Use of the NPC Name and Logo
• Networking - Meet great likeminded people, exchange ideas
• Group General Liability, Property and Equipment Insurance coverage through Arrow Insurance/HUB International. Qualifying NPC members are eligible to receive a discounted rate.
• Splash Cash: Poolcorp gives qualifying customers back a certain percentage of dollars spent, which they can then put towards their NPC membership dues.
• Steep discounts at the NPC Online Store Membership pricing is $275 per year for pool service and repair professionals and $475 for plasterers and builders, and $800 for manufacturers and distributors.
To become a member or for more information go to npconline.com The Northeast Spa & PoolAssociation (NESPA) has been the leading trade association representing the pool & spa industry in the Northeast for over 60 years. The Association provides industry education, networking and business support to its membership.
NESPA consist of four chapters – CONSPA (covering Connecticut), Long Island, Metro NY-NJ and Penn Jersey. Their 850 member companies include service professionals, builders/installers, and retail stores.
According to NESPA Executive Director, Dominic Mondi, members of NESPA have the benefit of three organizations all at once: NESPA, the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance, and their local NESPA chapter.
Mondi says that there are direct benefits and indirect benefits of being a NESPA member.
NESPA and its individual chapters have government affairs professionals and advocates throughout the region
NPC visit to NASA in Houston, Texas. Feb. 2020
Northeast Spa & Pool Association who work with legislators on issues impacting the industry on a local, state and national level. They monitor legislative action across the region and represents the pool and spa industry when these important actions are being debated.
“A good example is at the beginning of COVID, we were working to ensure our members had essential workers status and could continue to operate as the rules were being rolled out,” Mondi said.
The direct benefits are numerous.
Members increase their credibility and gain an advantage when competing for new customers. Plus, they can connect with new consumers through NESPA’s Find A Professional Online locator.
NESPA also provides year-round education on the latest business & technical topics for everyone in a pool company.
They publish their own magazine, The Edge, which features the latest industry updates.
On NESPA’s website and publications, members can access the latest information on codes, regulations, and other issues impacting the industry.
NESPA also provides Money Savings Programs such as: insurance offerings, HR and payroll support, and even discounted tickets to Disney! NESPA members can also attend the technical sessions at the Pool and Spa Show in Atlantic City for free.
“We have a 94% renewal rate, so that says that NESPA members like what they are getting. And the most satisfied members are the most involved,” Mondi said.
NESPApowers The Pool & Spa Show (www.ThePoolSpaShow.com), one of the swimming pool industry’s largest events.
Created for the industry by the industry, the Show brings together over 10,000 industry professionals each year and offers nearly 100 courses and showcases the industry’s most innovative products.
For their next Show in 2022, they plan to put on the best pool and spa trade show that anyone has ever been to, so be sure to save the date for the 2022 Pool & Spa Show in Atlantic City, from January 25-27, 2022.
Anyone in the pool and spa industry or related fields can join. Membership is $585 per year.
To learn more about Northeast Spa & Pool Association, view our latest training schedule and get details on The Pool & Spa Show, visit www.nespapool. org or call 609.689.9111.
Pool and Hot Tub Alliance
ThePool& HotTubAlliance(PHTA)is the world’s oldest and largest association representing swimming pool, spa, and hot tub manufacturers, manufacturers’ agents, builders, designers, distributors, suppliers, installers, retailers, and service technicians.
PHTA delivers a vital service to its members: advocacy at a federal, state, and local level. Every year, PHTA combs through thousands of potentially actionable regulatory items to determine any impact on the pool and spa industry. In many cases, the organization sets a clear course of action on the best way to move forward to ideally serve manufacturers, sellers, installers, and others connected to the industry.
They also help develop and implement the standards for the pool and spa industry. Since 1983, PHTA, operating as the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, APSP, has been accredited by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as the Standards Development Organization for the nation’s pool and spa standards. It is the only organization recognized by ANSI to develop and promote national standards for pools, hot tubs, and spas. These national standards establish voluntary minimum guidelines that, when adopted by governments and agencies, have the force of law.
PHTA provides resources for members to build their businesses and advance their skills. They provide fact sheets to help advance the industry’s knowledge surrounding chemical products, processes, and devices that affect water quality maintenance of swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs. There are also publications targeted at consumers, such as safety awareness brochures to remind customers that their safety is our members’ top priority.
It is an association that has an enormous scope and reach within the pool and spa industry, affiliated with the Northeast Spa and Pool Association, the Texas Pool and Spa Coalition, and the California Pool and Spa Association, meaning that members of these organizations are automatically members of PHTA and can enjoy its benefits.
PHTA enhances the business success of its member professionals and ensures consumer safety through:
• Offering education and resources for members to expand their businesses and achieve personal success. • Improving the business environment by advocating and promoting the benefits of the aquatics industry.
• Creating programs and practices to enable our members reach their pinnacle.
PHTA offers a wide array of certification courses to help distinguish pool professionals.
These include: CPO for Operators, CBP for Builders, CSP for Service Professionals, CST for Pool Technicians, CMS for Maintenance Specialists, CHTT for Hot Tub Technicians, CRP for Retail Professionals.
PHTA certification represents excellence in achievement and demonstrates proficiency in the pool and hot tub professional.
With the onset of the COVID pandemic, PHTA has really ramped up their virtual learning, with a plethora of virtual schools, on-demand courses, and webinar series available to members. They have recently launched myPHTA, an online community where members can engage in online discussions.
In addition to the benefits already detailed, PHTA members receive a weekly e-newsletter, online listing in a Member Locator for consumers, major discounts on industry education, certification programs as well as travel discounts and more, and expert interpretation of legislative and regulatory activity whenever it’s needed.
PHTA offers a long list of benefits to all members, whether a distributor, manufacturer, builder, or anywhere in between!
For service companies the annual membership dues are $599 and for single, sole operators, the annual membership dues are $230.
Simply put, PHTA exists to protect, professionalize, and provide for the pool and spa industry.
To learn more go online to www.phta. org or call (719) 540-9119 The mission of the Swimming Pool Association of Hawaii (SPAH) is to provide sick route coverage for its independent professional swimming pool technician member businesses and to enhance professionalism of all members and their companies.
The association was founded in 2000, and members say that SPAH’s sick route coverage is by far SPAH’s biggest benefit.
SPAH believes that professionalism is accomplished through monthly membership meetings, including workshops to further educate members in the areas of insurance, management, marketing, updates on new technology, materials, methods and supplies, and regulations pertaining to the industry.
The ultimate objective of SPAH is to have all companies in the Hawaii pool service industry as members to ensure professional growth within the industry, and the association.
Member benefits include:
• Arrow Insurance coverage
• Sick Route Coverage
• Increasing Technical Expertise
• Education Opportunities
• Business Profitability
• Pool Route Clearinghouse
• Fellowship with Pool Professionals
• Assistance from Other Members
• Networking Opportunities and Referrals
• Advertising and Marketing Privileges
• Member Discounts Monthly SPAH membership is $103 including insurance.
SPAH members take pride in their involvement in community outreach programs and participate in pool safety programs.
For more information, visit www. spahpools.com.
Texas Pool and Spa Coalition
The Texas Pool and Spa Coalition, formerly Aquatic Professionals Education Council, APEC, is an advocacy association the works to protect the interests of the Texas pool and spa industry and the consumer through education while promoting superior standards of safety and efficiency. By uniting lawmakers and industry, they work to bring about effective and sustainable change.
The Coalition works to:
• Represent Texas pool and spa professionals and consumers at the state and local level
• Examine and track bills to keep members up to date on critical industry issues.
• Testify before local and state legislative, regulatory, bodies on behalf of members and the industry
• Maintain a constant presence at Texas legislature and state regulatory agency meetings The Coalition retains lobbyists to execute these goals. Their advocacy efforts help achieve their goal to
Swimming Pool Association of Hawaii
protect the welfare and bottom line of their members while maintaining an uncompromising commitment to industry safety and excellence.
Through their affiliation with the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance, members of the Texas Pool and Spa Coalition enjoy a wealth of benefits. See accompanying article about PHTA.Membership pricing is the same as PHTA.
To learn more about the Texas Pool and Spa Coalition or become a member and support the work that they do, go to www.txpsc.org or email [email protected]
If you are looking to join an association with great insurance and near total autonomy, look no further than the United Pool Association.
With over 1,800 members and growing, this is an association for the very independent pool service professional According to Steve Homer, association president, the whole premise of UPA is to serve the member.
“We look for ways to provide value for the membership – that’s how we grow, and our growth last year was 6.8%. We don’t take any money from our members, which is really important. The money we get, we raise on our own through a variety of ways, from support from our vendors to rebates from our insurance company,” Homer said.
Homer says that among UPA’s biggest perks is their insurance, which is through Allianz, a commercial insurance giant.
“The insurance program is great, with double the coverage of anyone else. We cover up to $2 million for just $67 a month. Most everyone else covers $1 million. It’s a 50-year-old policy with the fewest number of exclusions and limitations,” Homer said.
According to Homer, Allianz pays members back in the form of dividends if membership can keep their losses down. With these dividends, they can use the money to promote UPA and grow it.
Last year, claims were down, so this year, starting from July 1 2021 through June 30, 2022, they will be buying down member’s premiums by $8 a month.And Homer says that’s just another example of how UPA does everything they can to add value for their members.
“But when we do get a claim, we look at it, and research it so that we can learn from it. Then we pass that information to our members,” Homer said.
In Homers opinion, the insurance is the association’s biggest selling point, but second to that is the independence that UPA’s members enjoy.
“The chapters can really do whatever they want. If the members don’t like the way its run, they can call a meeting, hold an election, and put in new leadership. Or they can spin off their own chapter. You are not required to stay where you are unhappy,” Homer said.
And for those that don’t like to attend meetings, or live in areas where there are no chapters, members can join the associations newest chapter – UPA’s virtual chapter.
With over 100 members, this is their largest chapter, and can accommodate people in all 50 states.
Homer says that this is how they are able to compete with no-meetings associations, which tend to appeal to the younger generations of pool service professionals.
“It emulates the chapter meetings where you have a speaker come and talk about pool service issues. We’re accomplishing the same thing without making a guy drive across town and pay for a dinner he doesn’t want,” Homer said.
To accomplish this, UPA takes its members cell phone numbers or email addresses and sends them information about the organization, information about their insurance, and informational videos.
“Some of my favorite videos to send are the Orenda water chemistry videos. Harold Evans has done a killer job with those water chemistry videos. And I like the water chemistry videos because then we get fewer claims which means lower premiums,” Homer said.
UPA’s members are getting a lot out of it. It a big focus now for the association because the younger members are the future of the organization.
“We are vulnerable to these nomeetings chapters and we’ve lost members to them over the years. So, we had to find a way to combat them. The formula from 1992 doesn’t always work. But there’s also a lot of pools in places like Georgia and Oklahoma and our organizations haven’t served them that well. But the virtual chapter can, and it’s been successful,” Homer said.
Recently, they also started a study-athome contractor’s license program for their members in California. And it’s a great value. For just $125, members can obtain their contractors license, and the program has a 97% pass rate.
Members pay monthly insurance dues. Otherwise, membership with UPA is free.
To learn more about UPA member perks and details about their insurance coverage go to www.united poolassociation.org or call UPA directly at 714-274-5566.
United Pool Association