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CPO Certification FAQ's

What content is covered in a CPO course?

A CPO® Certification provides individuals with the basic knowledge, techniques, and skills to manage pool and spa operations. This training has helped protect millions of swimmers by reducing hazards at aquatic facilities. The PHTA® Certified Pool/Spa Operator® (CPO®) Certification program, the world's leading verifiable pool and spa training credential, is available as a blended (online and in-person) training program. The CPO® Certification program is also eligible for IACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

The CPO® certification is valid for 5 years. See a list of upcoming classes and register online here!  


Pool & Spa Management, Regulations & Guidelines, Essential Calculations, Pool Water Contamination & Disinfection, Water Balance, Pool & Spa Water Problems, Chemical Testing & Chemical Feed & Control, Water Circulation & Filtration, Heating & Air Circulation, Spa & Therapy Operations, Facility Safety & Record Keeping, Troubleshooting, and Facility Renovation & Design


What is the format of the CPO courses that you teach?

There are 4 different formats of CPO course.  Please visit the Course Formats page for more info on each format. 


How do the 100% virtual classes work?

Visit our either our Course Formats page or our Online Course Page for more info.  


CPO courses have always been managed by the NSPF.  What is this new PHTA organization on all of the CPO materials?  

The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) was a non profit organization that was founded in the 1970's and, among other accomplishments, created the CPO (Certified Pool Operator) content and course.  It also managed certifications for pool operators across the globe. The NSPF was based out of Colorado Springs, CO and continued to update and improve the CPO program since it was created so many years ago. In 2019 the NSPF merged with another industry non-profit (the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, or APSP) to create a unified new organization: The Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA). Simply put, the PHTA is the new name of the NSPF. The PHTA is new name of the organization that manages all worldwide CPO courses and certifications. The "NSPF" no longer exists.  


What is a traditional 2-day course? 

See our course formats for more info.  We do not offer any regularly scheduled 2-day format classes at this time, but we can teach this format for a private class if requested.  


What is a "Fusion" course, and what is the "Online Primer"? 

See our course formats page for more information. 


What if I have already been certified as a CPO?

Those who are currently CPO certified or who have expired within the previous 60 days may take advantage of an expedited re-certification process.  You do NOT need to complete the ~8-hour online primer.  You need only register for the course, attend the 1-day classroom (or virtual Zoom) session, and take and pass the certification exam (make sure you review before coming to class!!).  Please call or send us an email immediately after you register to let us know you are requesting the expedited process.  We also will need a copy of your current or recently expired CPO certification – email it to


How much does the certification cost? 

The 2023 registration fee for our CPO courses is $350 per person.  This fee covers everything for your initial certification except lunch!  Your CPO handbook, all course materials, worksheets, handouts, access to the online training portion of the course, the examination, the classroom instruction, and a 5-year certification.  


I already purchased and completed the online "CPO Primer" somewhere else, what is the cost to attend your 1-day classroom session and take the exam to finalize my certification?   

$200.  Please call or email us to register over the phone.  This option is not available for online registration at this time.  


What knowledge and experience is required to enroll in this course?

There are no prerequisites for this course.  You do not need to be a pool maintenance professional or pool expert.  We see many home pool owners, municipal park-board members, recreation supervisors, head lifeguards, and sometimes even the "lifelong learner" who is simply thirsty for knowledge.  With focus and a willingness to learn, almost anybody can take this course and receive the CPO certification.  


Where/how do I log-in for my online Fusion training? is where the online training is located.  Follow the step by step instructions that were sent with your book to login and get started.  If you have lost your instructions or if you need assistance logging in the first time ... please give us a call at 614.642.2276.  We'll be happy to assist you.  


Why should I take CPO training with Premier Pool Management (PPM)? 

1) All PPM instructors actively work every single day in large, bustling pool environments.  We know and understand the challenges of this field because we deal with them day-in and day-out.  We did not learn the CPO course material sitting in a classroom ... we have practical knowledge from real-life experience and we LOVE sharing our experiences with class participants with the hope of helping you avoid some of the pitfalls and errors that we have experienced in our careers.  

2) We make the content interesting!  We have real-life situations and solutions to apply to every topic discussed in the course.  Your classroom time with us will fly by!

3) PLUS....once you have completed the course and receive your certification, you can call on us to discuss any problems/issues/questions you have relating to the material covered in the course.  As a matter of courtesy to our participants, the team of instructors at Premier Pool Management LLC offers this to you at no additional charge.


Who should take this training and obtain the CPO Certification?

In addition to swimming pool operators and maintenance supervisors, we often welcome home pool owners, municipal park board members, recreation supervisors, hotel general managers, hotel engineering staff, head lifeguards, college students, and sometimes even the casual "lifelong learner" who is simply thirsty for knowledge.  This is also a great certification for professionals who, at times, need to "back-up" a pool maintenance professional due to vacation schedules or vacancies in employment.  


Do you teach the traditional 2-day course?

We typically teach the Fusion style course (see course formats) for our regularly scheduled courses. During COVID, we are primarily teaching the Fusion format with the 1-day classroom portion being taught on Zoom.  We can teach the traditional 2-day course for private groups if they prefer this format.  Please contact us if interested in a private course. 


Do you teach private courses?  

All the time!  Contact us for pricing for your private group training.  We can teach at your location and we take great pride in our ability to be flexible with the scheduling of private groups (dates and times, etc).  With multiple instructors on staff we can honor just about any request!


Is there a discount for active or retired military personnel?  

Absolutely!  Please email us at and we'll send you back a discount code for use when registering.  You will need to bring and show your military identification when you arrive for the class.  Thank you for your service to our country!


Is the course taught in Spanish?

Regrettably, we do not have a Spanish speaking instructor at this time. 


Can I earn Continuing Education Units (CEU's) for taking this class?

Yes, by way of the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), we are an Authorized Provider of International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) continuing education units (CEUs). IACET CEUs are recognized internationally for professionals who need them for their job responsibilities such as environmental health officials and teachers.  In addition to being an IACET CEU provider, our courses are approved for CEUs by many other agencies and organizations. Let us know prior to the course if you will be requesting CEU's.  


What is the refund policy for equipment and supply purchases?

Refunds are permitted 30 days from purchase date so long as products have not been opened, used, or damaged.  There will be a 20% restocking fee on all returns.  Please email us for a RMA# before sending us your return. Return shipping must be paid by the customer. 


What is the cancel/refund policy for CPO courses?

You may transfer your registration for free one time to a future Premier Pool Management CPO course by contacting us any time before your course date.  If you need to transfer a second time or more, there will be a $20 fee required for each transfer. 

You may substitute a different person at any time prior to the course as long as the online primer has not been activated yet.  Once the online primer is activated in a student's name, it is “spent” cannot be transferred to another person without a $50 fee.  Also, please note that per the PHTA, your online primer access expires 6 months after the date your first activate it, so you must complete the online primer within 6 months of starting it.

Refund requests received 2 weeks or more prior to your original course date are entitled to a refund, less $50, as long as your primer has not been activated.  If the primer has been activated, the refund fee will be $100 instead of $50.  All materials that have been sent out will need to be returned for the refund to be processed.  Refund requests inside of 2 weeks prior to your original course date are not available. 


Is there a minimum number of participants required to make a course run?

While a class cancellation for lack or enrollment is incredibly rare, it can occur.  Each course has a minimum number of participants required to run the course.  If that number is not met several days prior the course, we may need to cancel the course.  We will offer you the choice to move your registration to a future Premier Pool Management CPO course at no charge, or to receive a full refund less the cost of any books and materials you decide to keep.


Is the CPO certification exam "hard"?

The exam is 50 questions and you must score a 754% to pass.  The test is not an "easy" test, but the online primer and the classroom training provide the information to allow the vast majority of students to pass the exam.  The exam is open book, open note, and calculators ARE permitted.  The class is less about memorization, and more about being able to do some math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) and the ability to find information in the book.  If you take the online primer training seriously, complete the practice test / homework assignment that we provide, and ask questions in class ... you have a very good chance of passing. 


What happens if I do not pass the exam?

The online training is very thorough, and the classroom session serves to fill in any "gaps" that may exist with your understanding of the content.  If participants take the online primer training seriously, complete the short math "homework assignment" that we provide you before coming to the classroom session, and ask questions in class when unsure about a topic --- it is very rare that a participant will not pass the exam.  The exam is open book, open note, and calculators ARE permitted, Passing the exam is more a matter of understanding the information and being able to find this information in the manual than memorization.  However, should you not pass the exam, an opportunity may be made available to retake the exam at the instructor's discretion for $60, payable at that time. OR, you may come to a future Premier Pool Management class and re-take the exam for $60.  Please let us know beforehand if you plan to attend a future class.


Is lunch provided?

In an effort to keep registration costs low, lunch is on your own.  In-person classes will be scheduled in an area with nearby eateries and food options.  Participants are welcome to bring their own lunch as well.  The break for lunch will typically be 45 minutes.


What should I bring to the course?

Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable, casual clothes.  Classrooms can get chilly and often we are not in direct control of the thermostat, so we recommend you bring a light jacket or sweater as well.  Additionally, it is highly recommended that you bring a calculator.  You will be permitted to use a calculator in class and on the exam. Please note, you will NOT be permitted to use your cell phone calculator app on the exam, so bring an old-fashioned, simple calculator.  You must also bring your "Certificate of Completion" from your online primer training.  And finally, bring your lunch if you don't want to go out and grab a bite.


Is there a discount for multiple registrations?

Yes.  Organizations with 5 or more registrations in the same class are eligible for a discount on each registration.  Please call us for more information.  



I lost my certification card.  Can it be replaced?

Yes.  The quickest way to get a replacement card is to contact the PHTA directly at (719) 540-9119 and request a replacement certification card.  You can also email them at, which actually seems to be quickest.  If you are not successful with the PHTA, please free to call or email us as well.  We can work with the PHTA to get your certificate reissued.