The Swimming Pool and Spa Association offers the Pool Operator's exam that meets the requirements for obtaining a three-year Swimming Pool Operator's certificate for Fairfax County and the Cities of Fairfax, Falls Church, and Alexandria.
Effective April 1, 2010:
- Applicants for the Pool Operator’s Certificate must take the exam provided by The Swimming Pool and Spa Association.
- Attendance and successful completion of a pool operator’s training class are no longer required. This new procedure allows water recreation facility owners and management companies to directly train their employees in pool operations and individuals to demonstrate their knowledge of pool operations without having a requirement to attend formal training.
- A pool operator training class is recommended for first time applicants. A pool operator training class is recommended for first time applicants. A number of local providers offer pool operator training that may help you prepare for the exam.
- Learn more about pool operator training on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Healthy Swimming and Recreational Water website
What is on the exam?
The pool operator’s exam covers, but may not be limited to, the topics listed below as they relate to pool operators and pool management.
- Pool Operator Responsibilities
- Safety Requirements
- Filtration System
- Filter Types and Operation
- Recirculation System
- Flow Rates
- Water Quality
- General Chemical Information (Safety, Regulation, Readings, and Ranges)
- Algae and Algae Control
- Pool and Spa Closing
- Pool and Spa Volume and Capacity Calculations
- Pool and Spa Surface Maintenance
- Pool and Spa Operations
What type of exam is it?
- The Pool Operator’s Certificate exam consists of a 50-question multiple choice formatted test. There is only one correct answer consisting of choices A, B, C, or D.
- Any questions that are left unanswered will be marked incorrect. Individuals must score at least 70% to obtain their certificate.
What you need to know before taking the exam:
- Applicants must bring proper photo identification, such as a driver’s license, school ID, or passport.
- Please do not wear swimwear to the exam site.
- Pencils and calculators will be provided at the exam site.
- Students may NOT use books, translators, dictionaries, reference documents, study guides, formula sheets, or any other outside help during the exam.
- No talking or cell phone use is allowed during exams. Speaking or using a cell phone will void your exam and result in a failing grade.
- Applicants will receive a certificate by passing 70%of the Fairfax County pool operator’s exam questions. Upon successful completion of the exam and payment, individuals will receive their pool operator’s certificate prior to leaving the exam site.
How much does it cost?
- The cost of the exam for a three-year certificate is $75.
- The fee may be paid in advance or on testing day.
- Payment options include cash, check, money order, or any major credit card.
- Individuals who fail the exam may retake the exam as early as the next business day. The fee for retaking the exam is an additional $75.
Applicants in Fairfax County and the Cities of Fairfax, Falls Church, and Alexandria must take the exam provided by The Swimming Pool and Spa Association.
SUMMER TESTING LOCATIONS AND TIMES:
May 1st-Labor Day
Fairfax Square Professional Center
9848 Suite B Main Street, Fairfax VA 22032
Summer Testing Hours:
Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Last testers will be admitted at 4 p.m.
Closed Government Holidays
We also have a regional office in Alexandria Virginia open during the months of May and June, on every Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on holidays. Last testers will be admitted at 4 p.m. This additional location is operated so walk-in services are provided for individuals, and is strategically positioned right next to the King Street Metro Station. The address is the Carlyle Crescent Center Alexandria, Virginia 1940 Duke Street, 2nd Floor Alexandria, Virginia 22314.
SEPTEMBER 1st THROUGH APRIL 30th TESTING LOCATION AND TIMES
Testing will be conducted at Fairfax Square Professional Center, which the address is listed above. We will be open two days a week during the off-season, which are Monday and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and closed on government holidays. Walk-in services are provided for individuals, and groups must make advance reservations.
For more information about the requirements for the pool operator’s certificate in Alexandria, visit Aquatic Health Program.