No matter what line of business you’re in, it’s crucial to have a community or organization of your fellow professionals in order to help each other stay on top of the game, do your best and rocket to success.
Today, The Backyard Gnome takes a closer look at the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP).
When it comes to the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, it doesn’t matter what your skill set is or where you are in the industry: it is guaranteed they will have a program or event that will enhance your skills, build your reputation and help your business grow, whether you’re new to the industry or have been in the game for years.
Operating through 30 chapters located throughout the United States, the APSP brings together people working in the line of pool or spa whether they manufacture, distribute or provide services to the consumer.
Professionals working in the pool and spa business can submit applications for membership.
When they are accepted they are welcomed to a world of benefits that puts them in direct line of contact with virtually anyone they would need in order to operate their business.
This then expands the possibility for more consumers to enjoy the pool or spa experience.
As their slogan states, they “empower members to fill dreams with water.” The association makes it easier and more effective for professionals to get their jobs done.
They have many roles. Some of these roles include:
- Setting industry standards, or advocating for them, in order to serve the consumer’s interests
- Helping, encouraging and facilitating the advancement of technical skills relating to the industry
- Hosting events to gather leaders around issues in the industry
- Protecting the interests of the pool, spa and hot tub industry
- Serving the interests of consumers.
For more than 50 years, the APSP has provided critical industry knowledge to both professionals and consumers, by establishing regulatory practice and developing the nation’s industry standards.
They provide professional and consumer with information on consumer attitudes and industry trends. It is worthy to note that it is the only nationally recognized organization to promote and develop standards for the nation’s swimming pools and hot tubs.
On the application you have to tell them who you are, what company you represent, your area of expertise and what exactly you have to offer the committee.
There is a Willingness to Serve form where you can choose to volunteer your time with the APSP.
There are 30 chapters throughout the United States, located in Arizona, the Central States, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, the Mid-Atlantic, North Carolina, New England, Texas, California and more.
Every year the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals hosts a number of programs and events that you can take part in.
In the biz? At these events, you can connect with other industry network professionals. It’s a great opportunity to network and build your personal industry network whether you are looking for suppliers or new employees or new ways to expand your skill set.
It’s the perfect place to learn the best practices in order to grow your business since you will be learning from other industry professionals.
In addition to the many expos, conferences and summits – sometimes they even go to Canada to share their wealth of knowledge – they also host several meetings per month, depending on the chapter.
Again, your commitment is necessary when you are a member, but you can choose to spend more time, if you’ve got it, by dedicating your free time as a volunteer.
The association discusses many different things regarding pool standards such as the big questions: which is really better, salt water or chlorine?
The information is always changing but APSP is on top of it with seasoned professionals as its members, who provide their expertise and wisdom, setting the standards for others.
In fact, APSP has been the designated Standards Development Organization, as accredited by the American National Standards Institute, setting the nation’s pool and spa standards.
They alone are responsible for 16 American national standards when it comes to pools, spas and hot tubs. These standards were set forth and agreed upon by national consensus.
They are just voluntary minimal guidelines but have the force of law when adopted by governments and agencies.
There is a lot of physics involved with the designed, use and maintenance of pools and spas. These physics will have impacts on user safety and so it is very important that each engineer, manufacturer and installation company follows the same guidelines.
It is wholly with the consumer’s needs in mind that these standards exist, as well as for the development and success of industry professionals.
It’s ideas like this that make for a good society. When everyone is on board, things proceed properly. By having these standards in place, it ensures absolute safety of the users, energy efficiency in the appliance (pool, spa or hot tub).
Standards for public swimming pools
These standards cover pools that are used by the public for swimming, bathing, recreation or competititve activities, whether or not a fee is charged.
This extends to competition pools, wading pools, and those in hotels, motels or condominiums. It addresses technology, safety and and improved understanding of the best practices for constructing and renovating pools.
Their newest edition includes water velocity limits, describing how to achieve maximum performance safety and energy efficiency.
Standards for public spas
This lays out the standards for the design, equipment and installation of public spas.
National Standard for Permanently Installed Residential Spas
This does not cover public or factory built portable spas, but rather for the design, equipment and installation of permanently installed spas, including in-ground pools.
These standards include safety and energy requirements, such as how to determine the right design flow rates in order to ensure bather safety.
Standards for Aboveground Residential
This book sets out the rules for design, equipment and installation for residential swimming pools. Each of these is available, at a fee, as a book or PDF to members of APSP.
Standards for Suction Entrapment Avoidance in Swimming Pools
While swimming pools are designed for the enjoyment of human users, they are still subject to physics with natural elements and this means there are still many things that could go wrong during use.
These standards are the first comprehensive approach to engineering swimming pools and spas to avoid suction entrapment and related hazards. The three root causes of entrapment are suction, water velocity (speed) and mechanical binding.
Based on the best science and practices, this book offers technically sound solutions to prevent all forms of entrapment whether by hair, limb, mechanical entrapment or evisceration.
There are many, many more (16 total) books on standards for specific equipment, water quality and conservation, to name a few. All of these can be found on their website.
Some of the others include standards on energy and portable electricity, and even go so far as to describe how to properly plaster in-ground pools.
APSP is a very official association but still relies on its members to put forth ideas on what enhances and threatens business. As a team effort, it helps to chart an industry course for success.
Standards are absolutely necessary to any industry.
If standards were not in place, then there would be many injuries and mishaps, as well as dissatisfied clients and customers, and this would eventually lead to total dissolution of the pool and spa industry itself.
Rather, with standards, the industry can perform its best and continue to improve.
The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals also advocates responsible water consumption, which is particularly important in states like California or Arizona where they may experience regular drought.
Under their mission for advocacy, they have official positions on all issues pertaining to the consumer, including pool and spa safety, energy efficiency, water conservation, construction standards, disability requirements, licensing and the national electric code.
There are numerous options for learning within the APSP, as they offer the following options for hot tub and pool certification classes:
- Online self-paced courses – recorded training courses and webinars
- Live virtual courses wherein words are given over the phone in addition to slides from the internet.
- Classroom method – the traditional method of teaching and learning in a classroom setting
Finally, APSP has awards programs that recognize prominent achievements and performers in the pool, spa and hot tub industry, serve to define what is state of the art as well as promote the industry to potential customers.
Some of these awards recognize the most beautiful and creative work in the industry.
Others are rewarded for teaching or exemplary service to others, and others are awarded for advancing their retail profession through outstanding achievements and dedication to the industry.