What Is a CPO Certification and How Do I Get One?

What is a CPO Certification?

If you work in the aquatics industry, it’s important to know what a CPO certification is and who should get one. The Certified Pool & Spa Operator ® (CPO®) certification program is the world's leading education and certification program that ensures pool operators know how to maintain aquatic environments that are hazard-free and compliant with public health and safety regulations. You may require CPO certification if you manage, own or work at a public pool or spa – whether at a gym, a hotel, a community center or another type of aquatic facility. 

What are the Benefits of a CPO Certification?

CPO certification opens up limitless possibilities. If you are interested in running your own pool business, being CPO certified means that you're ensuring your customers get the highest quality service. You will be able to better reduce risks and hazards in your facility by keeping up with the latest regulations in pool construction and maintenance.

Nearly 700,000 students have been trained to receive their CPO certification, helping to maintain the integrity of safe and reputable facility. All in all, earning a CPO certification is a great way to build a reputation for excellence and safety. People will be more likely to come to your pool when they feel they can do so safely.

State-Specific CPO Certification Requirements

While requirements for CPO certification vary by state and local jurisdiction, there are 25 U.S. states that currently require it for pool operator licensure. Regardless of the requirements, this globally recognized certification will boost your professional credibility in the aquatics industry by showing that you know how to keep pools and spas safe for both users and employees. Learn more about CPO certification requirements from the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA).

How to Get a CPO Certification  

To get a CPO certification, you will need to enroll in a CPO certification course like the one offered by PHTA. You can take a two-day course in a classroom setting or opt for a blended approach, where you do part of the CPO pool certification online and then complete the course with one day in the classroom. In either format, you will attend class on scheduled days and times with a live instructor and receive a copy of the Certified Pool & Spa Operator™ Handbook, a vital industry resource. 

Whether you complete the CPO certification online or in-person, you will obtain the knowledge and skills needed for proper pool and spa operations and maintenance, so you can reduce risk and improve water quality for the well-being of users. You will learn:

  • How to prevent drowning, diving accidents, slips and falls, and chemical hazards
  • How to address key safety regulations to reduce liability and risk of facility closure
  • How to operate a pool more easily and efficiently, including how to use automation and technology  

Successful completion of the course and exam is required for CPO certification, which is valid for five years. As a certified pool operator, you will receive an electronic CPO certificate, as well as a hard copy of your certificate within four weeks of passing your exam. PHTA’s CPO certification program is an approved National Environmental Health Association National Environmental Health Association course, through which you will earn 16 Continuing Education Credits (CEUs). 

Now that you what a CPO certification is, why you should get it, and how to get it, it's time to find a CPO certification class near you