• Michael Bowers

What is a CPO and why is it important?



CPO stands for Certified Pool & Spa Operator. CPO certification is provided by the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and is designed for daily pool and spa operators or maintenance staff at hotels, pool parks, public pools, etc. This is an entry-level certification that provides basic pool-related knowledge. Below is an excerpt from the PHTA website. *This certification should not be confused with the Certified Pool and Spa Technician.


The Certified Pool & Spa Operator® (CPO®) certification program is the world’s leading education and certification program for keeping pools safer and keeping them open. Over 400,000 students have been trained since 1972.

CPO certification provides individuals with the knowledge, techniques, and skills required for proper pool operations. This course is available as a blended training program and is also eligible for IACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs).


Why the CPO designation is important

  • Reduce risks in and around the water

  • Prevent drowning, recreational water illness, suction entrapment, evisceration, diving accidents, electrocutions, chemical hazards, and slips and falls

  • Address regulatory guidelines

  • Maintain disinfection and water balance

  • Manage water problems

  • Perform troubleshooting, chemical testing, and record-keeping

  • Manage chemical feed

  • Utilize automation and technology

As you can see this is an entry-level certification program that should not be mistaken for certification as "Service Technician. The CST program is much more in-depth and requires real experience and knowledge and should be a minimum for anyone providing pool or spa service.


While the CPO designation is a great starting point it is not sufficient training or education to adequately or professionally repair, design, or service pools and spas. It is always recommended that when looking for a reputable Pool Service Company, that you hire a Pool Service Technician with a CST certification from the PHTA.

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