Procedure for Obtaining a Pool Operators Certificate
Pool Operator's Certificate
The Fairfax County Health Department has changed the procedure for obtaining a pool operator's certificate for Fairfax County and the Cities of Fairfax, and Falls Church.
Effective April 1, 2010:
- Applicants for the Pool Operator's Certificate must take the Fairfax County pool operator’s exam. This exam is provided under Fairfax County contract by the Swimming Pool Spa Association (details below).
- 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.
- Individuals must score at least 70% on the exam to obtain their certificate.
Any previously accepted pool operator certificate issued prior to April 1, 2010 will remain valid until the stated expiration date on the certificate which is not to exceed three years. Renewing a pool operator certificate will require taking the Fairfax County pool operator exam.
To Obtain a Pool Operator's Certificate
Step 1: Prepare for the Pool Operator's Exam
- A pool operator training class is recommended for first time applicants, but not required. A number of local training providers offer pool operator training that may help you prepare for the exam.
- Candidates must be at least 16 years old
- Learn more about pool operator training on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Healthy Swimming and Recreational Water website.
Step 2: Locate an Exam Site
Exams are available to individuals on a walk-in basis. Individuals and groups can make appointments by calling 703-848-9267. Swimming Pool and Spa Association exam locations:
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.
Closed Government Holidays
- Summer Testing Hours:
Carlyle Crescent Center Alexandria
1940 Duke Street, 2nd Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314
Wednesdays only during May and June
Individual Testing 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Wednesdays only during May and June
ADMINISTRATIVE AND OFF SEASON LOCATION:
American Center Building
8300 Boone Blvd., 5th Floor
Vienna, VA 22182
Labor Day - May 1st Monday-Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Labor Day - May 1st Monday-Friday
NOTE: The last tester will be admitted at 4 p.m. to ensure adequate time to complete the exam process.
Step 3: Take the Pool Operator's Exam
What you need to know:
- 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. No other electronics, books, translators, dictionaries, or reference documents will be allowed in the testing area.
- 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.
- 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.
- Students may NOT use books, study guides, formula sheets, or any other outside help during the exam.
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
More Information about the pool operator's exam in Fairfax County and the Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church.