SPASA Australia — advocating for the industry
Advocating for the pool and spa industry is one of SPASA Australia’s five key pillars. SPASA has been hard at work campaigning to ensure the best possible outcomes for its members with regards to changes in Australian standards and qualifications.
Our goals when representing members with regulators and external stakeholders include:
- Protection: Safety and good governance for the industry and consumers.
- Improvement: Drive professionalism.
- Reduction: Less red tape and burden on business; greater efficiencies.
- Vision: A better future for industry and community.
Here is an update on SPASA’s advocacy over the last six months.
Guide to Standards
SPASA has been working with SAI Global to develop a comprehensive Guide to Standards — Pools and Spas. This free resource will be the go-to document for everyone in the industry, providing an overview of the standards, certification schemes, regulatory requirements and other industry-specific information relevant to anyone working within the pool and spa industry.
Due to be released in Spring 2017, the guide covers every Australian Standard relevant to the industry, and includes hyperlinks to the applicable standards, including an overview of each standard, making it easy for pool and spa professionals to determine whether a standard is relevant to them before purchasing.
The document will be available to all SPASA members and will be accessible via the SPASA, Standards Australia and SAI Global websites.
AS1926.1 Safety Barriers for Swimming Pools
SPASA has raised concerns that the Standards Australia Committee is rushing to have a standard prepared in time for inclusion in the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019, rather than being focused on quality of content.
With that in mind, the committee has determined it is unlikely they will to meet the 2018 deadline for it to be reviewed by the Australian Building Codes Board. If the revised standard does not meet the required timelines for the NCC publication then industry will continue to rely on the current version of the standard until 1 May 2022.
The advantage of delaying the standard will be that Standards Australia Committee members will have time to review and properly consider proposed changes, and these can be fully discussed at meetings. SPASA has stressed that slowing down the process must also include the right to revisit previous ‘decisions’ that in our opinion have been made in haste.
The new timeline for the standard is yet to be confirmed; however, there will be ample opportunity for SPASA, stakeholders and members to provide input via public consultations and a Preliminary Impact Assessment (PIA).
AS1838 and AS1839 Swimming Pools — Premoulded fibre-reinforced plastics
Standards Australia has confirmed that the aged review process affecting this standard has been put on hold so that its withdrawal will not go ahead, on the understanding that the industry moves to develop a Project Proposal to review the standards.
SPASA Australia has established a Technical Committee to review certain aspects of these standards. The Technical Committee unanimously agreed that the standards should not be withdrawn, as they continue to be relied on by industry and other professionals.
The Technical Committee is working to draft a Project Proposal that will be lodged with Standards Australia.
AS4687-2007 Temporary fencing and hoardings
The Australasian Wire Industry Association has submitted a Project Proposal to Standards Australia to revise AS4687. The project was approved by Standards Australia and Lindsay McGrath and Spiros Dassakis have attended two meetings to date with a further planned in late September.
The Project Proposal that was approved referenced and included certain aspects of AS1926.1 in AS4687.
SPASA Australia has strongly objected to AS1926.1 inclusions within AS4687 and provided reasons for why such inclusions would negatively affect the swimming pool and spa industry as well as the industries of nominees who sat on that committee.
SPASA does not support proposed references to or the concepts of AS1926.1 being referenced or adopted within a revised AS4687 for a number of reasons, including that a barrier is defined as a permanent structure under AS1926.1 and the performance requirements prescribed for a permanent barrier could simply not be met on temporary pool fencing.
SPASA is making very good progress in persuading the Working Group to reconsider its current position and adopt a new catch-all clause that deals specifically with temporary fences for swimming pools.
AS60598.2.18 Luminaires for swimming pools and similar applications
AS 60598.2.18 Luminaires — Part 2.18: Particular requirements — Luminaires for swimming pools and similar applications is currently being reviewed. The EL-41 Committee which also reviews AS 60598.2.18 also deals with all matters relating to lamps and related equipment.
SPASA Australia participated in the kick-off meeting for Luminaires for Swimming Pools Working Group in July whereby the scope of the standard was discussed alongside design and other parameters.
Artibus (Swimming Pool & Spa Service qualifications)
The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) is reviewing all Industry Reference Committees (IRCs). Spiros Dassakis is the representative on the Property Services and Construction committees for SPASA Australia.
A case for change has been made by Artibus to review the Cert IV in Swimming Pool & Spa Service. Artibus is a Skills Service Organisation (SSO) and the support conduit for Industry Reference Committees (IRCs). Artibus seeks to attain approval from the Property Services IRC and AISC for a full review of the current Certificate IV in Swimming Pool & Spa Service qualifications.
While SPASA supports the case for changing the Cert IV in Pool and Spa Service, SPASA has also raised the need for a case for change to the Certificate IV in Pool Building which has been long overdue.
For more information on these initiatives, please contact SPASA Australia’s Chief Operating Officer, Spiros Dassakis: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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