Management standards and practices provide the managers of public pools and aquatic facilities with useful information about the minimum requirements and best practices in the operation of public pools and aquatic facilities. The Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations (GSPO) is an example of a venue based risk management tool provided as a voluntary guide for operators which assists an operator in satisfying their legislative duties and providing a high standard of care for visitors to their centre.
Operators of aquatic facilities are charged with a responsibility for public and occupational health and safety and they must work within a diverse web of standards, state legislation and industry best practice. Although the GSPO is published by Royal Life Saving, it represents the collective opinion of the aquatics industry and a range of expert personnel across Australia through its development process.
The Guidelines have been primarily designed for application in municipal owned public facilities. However, the Guidelines relate to all facilities in which members of the public are encouraged to attend for recreational, fitness or educational purposes. The Guidelines are intended to be voluntary, acting as a guide to operators on the safe operation of swimming facilities.
The RLSSA Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations clearly set out the requirements for a safe aquatic facility and are a must for managers of aquatic facilities. The GSPO also contains invaluable information for local government, facility owners, architects, engineers, duty managers and pool lifeguards.
The GSPO includes 92 guidelines across the following seven sections of aquatic facility operation:
- General Operations
- Technical Operations
- First Aid
- Facility Design
- Low Patronage Pools
Royal Life Saving undertakes a regular review of the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations. The guidelines may also be amended based on coronial recommendations and industry feedback when necessary.