Colorado Springs, CO (March 1, 2005)
The National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF®) and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) have jointly launched the Certified Pool-Spa Inspector™ (CPI™) Training CD to help public and environmental health officials conduct effective inspections and to help pool and spa operators maintain exceptional facilities. This national training program will increase the consistency and effectiveness of inspections, ultimately protecting the public by reducing the potential for injury and illness.
The CPI™ training program comes at an opportune time. Tighter budgets caused by lower tax revenue and an increased need to focus on bioterrorism prevention have challenged health departments to maintain training levels for pool and spa programs. These challenges have prompted non-profit organizations like NSPF® and NEHA to assist local health departments with a standardized national program that trains pool and spa inspectors around the country.
“The beauty of this program is that health departments benefit, the public benefits and local government does not have to spend one penny in tax dollars to develop the program,” says Thomas M. Lachocki, Ph.D., chief executive officer, NSPF®. Nelson Fabian, M.S., executive director and CEO, NEHA, adds, “These are exactly the types of educational products that we like. They are easy to use and effective. They also enable our people to clearly understand the issue so that they can then more capably carry out their job duties.”
The interactive CD-based program provides several advantages. The training is cost effective and convenient, since health officials view the program on a computer at their facility, thus eliminating the need to pay for and travel to classes. Extensive imagery and over 25 minutes of video help the student recognize potential issues and understand safety aspects. For example, videos show how skimmers work, how water circulates to spread disinfectant with a dye test, and how self-closing gates work.
“We designed the program to reflect just how an official performs an inspection. An inspector looks around the pool, in the pool, in the pump and storage room and at the spa” says Alex Antoniou, the NSPF® director of educational programs and the developer of the program. “In addition, the CD contains information about inspecting spas.”
“Our resources include excellent technical materials, some of which come from the NSPF® Certified Pool-Spa Operator® Handbook. We have a distinguished technical advisory committee who guided the development of the program,” adds Antoniou. “They represent six states (Arizona, California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Ohio) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The American Red Cross donated its drowning-recognition video, which is incorporated into this program to help health officials understand the patterns of behavior lifeguards must detect.”
Although the CPI™ CD covers many important topics, some training by all health departments should still be performed. Each health code and inspection form is unique and local health departments must review and train new inspectors on these unique requirements. Both Fabian and Lachocki agree, commenting “Health department supervisors should accompany new inspectors in the field so that their knowledge can be factored into the new inspector’s field experience. In this way, a new inspector is able to combine real world experience with the accumulated knowledge of professionals who have done such work for years. That makes for a particularly effective educational experience.“
NSPF® and NEHA are non-profit organizations committed to improving public health and are the leading education and certification organizations for operators and environmental health officials respectively.