Register your swimming pool or spa

On average, four young children die in Victoria in home swimming pools or spas each year, and many more are taken to hospital for near-drownings.

The Victorian state government has introduced new legislation to ensure that pools and spas are as safe as possible for everyone. These new regulations apply to pool and spa owners all over Victoria – not just in Nillumbik.

All pool and spa owners are required to register their pool/spa with Council, and have their pool/spa inspected by a registered building surveyor or building inspector.

Looking for information about constructing a pool or spa? Find out more here, including when a building permit is required.

When to register

All existing pools and spas should already be registered - the registration deadline was 1 November 2020. If you have missed the deadline, please ensure you register your pool or spa as soon as possible.

If your pool or spa was constructed after 1 November 2020, you must register your pool/spa no later than 30 days after receiving your occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection.

How to register

Online

Step 1.Have your details ready

If possible, find out the date that your pool or spa was constructed and enter this in your online application. If you do not know the date, please enter an approximate date. Council will search current and historical records to determine the date.

If you have other relevant documentation showing the date of construction, such as a building permit, please attach this to your online application. Note that this is optional.

If your pool or spa was constructed on or after 1 November 2020, please have your Form 23 Certificate of Compliance ready.

Step 2.Have your credit card ready

A one-off registration payment of $79 applies. If your pool was constructed after 1 November 2020, the registration fee is $32.30. 

This fee is set by the Victorian state Government to cover administration costs, including an information search fee. 

Please note we are not able to accept Diners Club or American Express.

Step 3.Register online

Complete the online form, attaching any relevant documentation

Register your pool or spa

Step 4.Organise an inspection 

Once your pool/spa is registered, you will need to have the pool/spa safety barriers inspected, to ensure they meet the relevant standards.

An inspection can be carried out by:

  • a registered building surveyor, or
  • a building inspector

Find a building inspector or surveyor by using the Victorian Building Authority: Find a practitioner tool.

Step 5.Receive your certificate

After your pool/spa safety barrier has been inspected, your building inspector or surveyor will let you know if the barriers are compliant or not.

  • If your safety barrier is compliant, your building inspector or surveyor will issue a Certificate of Compliance.
  • If your safety barrier is not compliant, you will need to carry out improvements to meet the relevant standards. Your inspector will then reinspect and issue a Certificate of Compliance.

Step 6.Lodge your certificate

Follow the instructions to lodge your Certificate of Compliance.

A pool or spa is defined as any excavation or structure capable of containing a depth of water exceeding 300mm, and which is principally used for swimming, wading or paddling.

In Victoria, the construction and installation of swimming pools, spas and safety barriers and barrier maintenance are all subject to the requirements of the Building Regulations 2018.

FAQs for pool/spa owners

Why are these regulations being introduced?

On average, four young children die in Victoria in home swimming pools or spas each year, and many more are taken to hospital for near-drownings.

The Victorian state government has introduced this new legislation to ensure that pools and spas are as safe as possible for everyone. These new regulations apply to pool and spa owners all over Victoria – not just in Nillumbik.

As a pool/spa owner, what do I need to do, and by when?

Pool/spa owners are required to register their pool/spa before 1 November 2020. 

If your pool or spa was constructed after 1 November 2020, you must register your pool/spa no later than 30 days after the date of issue of the occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection.

After registering your pool/spa online, Council will need to confirm the date of construction of your pool/spa, and applicable regulations (Australian Standards) that the barrier is required to comply with. Once we have confirmed these details, we will send you a pool/spa registration certificate. These certificates are generally sent to you within 30 days of lodgement of the online registration form.

Once your pool/spa is registered, you will need to organise an inspection of the pool/spa through a registered building practitioner (Building Surveyor or Building Inspector) of your choosing. Your spool/spa registration certificate will tell you when you need to complete the inspection by.

Once the Building Surveyor/Building Inspector has carried out the inspection and confirmed that your pool/spa safety barrier meets the regulations, they will provide you with a Certificate of Pool and Spa Safety Barrier Compliance (CPSSBC). This certificate will then need to be lodged with Council.

For more information, please see the Swimming Pools and Spas page of the Victorian Building Authority website.

What are the fees/charges involved in this process?

Throughout the pool/spa registration and inspection process the following charges will apply:

  • Registering your pool - a fee of $79 applies, which includes a registration fee of $32 and an information search fee of $47
  • Lodging your Certificate of Pool/Spa Safety Barrier Compliance - a lodgment fee of $20.40 applies
  • Non-compliance - if the inspector finds an issue with your pool/spa safety barriers which means that your pool/spa does not comply with the safety regulations, and the issue is not resolved within 60 days, you may receive a Certificate of Non-Compliance. A fee of $385 applies in this instance.

Note that the building surveyor/inspector who inspects your pool/spa may charge an inspection fee. This is is a commercial fee and not set by council. Council cannot control how much the service provider charges for their services and you are welcome to source multiple quotes.

For further information please refer to Victorian Building Authority website.

How do I register my pool/spa?

Pools and spas can be registered via our online application form (see links above).

The form includes payment of a search/registration fee ($79).

What happens if I don’t know the date of construction of the pool/spa?

This information may assist Council with search of its records, however if you don’t know the date of construction, that’s not an issue. Please leave this field blank on the pool/spa registration form or provide your best estimate.

Following the lodgement of pool/spa registration, Council will search its records to confirm/determine the closest known date of construction of the pool/spa. This information will be communicated in writing usually within 30 days of receipt of the application.

When do I need to register my pool by?

All pools and spas are required to be registered with Council by 1 November 2020.

If your pool or spa was constructed after 1 November 2020, you must register your pool/spa no later than 30 days after the date of issue of the occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection.

Registrations can be completed via an online application form (see above) and payment of applicable registration and search fee ($79).

When do I need to complete an inspection by?

After you register your pool/spa online, Council will send you a pool/spa registration certificate. These certificates are generally issued within 30 days of completing the online registration form.

The pool/spa registration certificate will tell you the date by which your pool/spa barrier inspection is required to be completed, which will be based on the construction or alteration date of the pool/spa. 

What if the inspector/surveyor finds a problem with my pool/spa safety barriers?

In most cases, if the building inspector/surveyor finds an issue with your pool/spa safety barriers which means that your pool/spa does not comply with the safety regulations, you will have 60 days to resolve the issue(s).

Once the issue is resolved, the inspector will issue a Certificate of Pool and Spa Safety Barrier Compliance (CPSSBC), which you can then lodge online with Council

If the issue is not resolved within 60 days, the inspector will issue a non-compliance certificate and submit it to Council. Council will then contact you to issue a barrier improvement notice, which will need to be actioned within 14 days. Please note that in this instance, a fee of $385 will apply.

Building inspector/surveyors can upload a non-compliance certificate online.

Is there a cost involved in engaging a building surveyor or inspector to carry out the inspection?

The pool/spa safety barrier inspection fee is set by the service provider (the building surveyor/building inspector) and is to be paid by the pool/spa owner. Council cannot control how much the service provider charges for their services and you are welcome to source multiple quotes.

The pool/spa inspector is required to be a registered practitioner (i.e. building inspector/building surveyor).

For further information please refer to Victorian Building Authority website.

After my pool/spa inspection has been completed, what do I do with the Certificate of Compliance?

Once your pool/spa is inspected, the building inspector/building surveyor who carried out the inspection will issue you with a Certificate of Compliance.

This certificate will need to be lodged with Council via our online portal.

  • Built 30 June 1994 or earlier: lodge your certificate by 1 June 2022.
  • Built between 1 July 1994 and 1 May 2010: lodge your certificate by 1 June 2023.
  • Built between 1 May 2010 and 31 October 2020: lodge your certificate by 1 June 2024.
  • Built on or after 1 November 2020: your first Certificate of Compliance must be lodged within 30 days of the date of issue of the certificate. You must attach your Certificate of Compliance when submitting your registering you pool or spa.

Will I need to have my pool/spa re-inspected regularly?

Pools/spas will only need to be registered with Council once. Following the initial pool/spa registration, inspection and certification, pools/spas are required to be inspected within every 4 years thereafter.

How can I find a building surveyor/inspector to carry out an inspection?

Please refer to the ‘Find a practitioner’ section of the Victorian Building Authority website (Category Building Inspector/Building Surveyor).

What happens if I fail to comply?

Pool/spa owners are responsible for registration and periodic inspections of the pool/spa safety barrier to ensure that they continue to meet the safety regulations.

If you do not register your pool/spa by 1 November 2020, this will result in an infringement notice (2 penalty units – approximately $330).If you have received an infringement notice, you can pay online.

If you do not comply with Council’s directions to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations, this may result in the referral of the matter to magistrate.

Where can I get further information?

For more information about the Amendment and associated regulations, please visit the Victorian Building Authority website.

Decommissioning of pools and spas

If your pool or spa has been decommissioned (ie the pool or spa is no longer used and has been modified/dismantled), you will not need to register the pool/spa. However, Nillumbik Shire Council is required to be satisfied that swimming pools are not capable of holding 300mm of water before removing them from the register.

Decommissioning of a swimming pool maybe achieved through one of the following options (subject to satisfactory site inspection by council):

Click here to find out more about decommissioning pools and spas

Decommissioning of a swimming pool maybe achieved through one of the following options (subject to satisfactory site inspection by Council)

Relocatable pools

Complete dismantling of pool if above ground. Otherwise at least the removal of the pool liner, access ladder and filtration system and ensure the remaining components cannot hold water to a depth of more than 300 mm.

Total removal of an in-ground pool

A building permit to demolish is required (if the exemptions in Schedule 3 of the Regulations do not apply). Consideration needs to be given to the setback from the boundary and whether the demolition will have an adverse effect on the adjoining property. The excavation will need to be filled with appropriate soil for the site and compacted in layers with a maximum depth of 300mm (or as determined by an engineer taking site conditions into account).

In-ground pools

In-ground pools can either be left in situ and buried or made incapable of holding water to a depth of more than 300mm. The process can include:

  • cut at least two holes at least 500mm x 500mm in the deep end of the pool (or as determined by an engineer taking site conditions into account);
  • remove debris from cut outs;
  • remove filtration system and access ladders;
  • fill the pool excavation with appropriate fill material compacted in layers with a maximum depth of 300 mm (or as determined by an engineer taking site conditions into account). Consideration can also be given to cutting down the side walls.

Please note: decommissioning in-ground or permanent swimming pools that remains in situ can be problematic if any future construction and development work occurs on the site. In this regard the owners should keep a record/photos of the works carried out to decommission the pool.

Following the decommissioning of the swimming pool, please contact Building Services on 9433 3243 to arrange for a site inspection to confirm and removal of the decommissioned pool from Council’s swimming pool register.

As an alternative to the above requirements, pursuant to Section 160 of Building Act an owner may apply and obtain an exemption (known as modification) from the pool registration requirements through the Building Appeals Board. Visit the Building Appeals website here. Should you be successful at obtaining a modification (swimming pool registration requirements) please provide a copy to building.admin@nillumbik.vic.gov.au accompanied by a written request for the structure to be removed from Council’s pool register.

The pool/spa owners that are unable to decommission their pool as specified above must ensure their pool/spa is registered with Council by 1 November 2020.