The National Swimming Pool Foundation and the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals have reached an agreement to end the APSP?s certification course.

Under the agreement, APSP will no longer offer the Professional Pool & Spa Operator course it started two years ago. This allows both organizations to concentrate more closely on their respective missions, said Thomas Lachocki, CEO of NSPF.

PPSO operators and instructors can transition gradually to NSPF?s Certified Pool Operator program. The PPSO status will remain in effect for those who have earned it. When operators? PPSO certification is up for renewal, however, they must go through NSPF to take CPO training.

As part of the agreement, NSPF will translate key APSP materials, including Tech I, Tech II, Certified Service Professional and Certified Building Professional manuals, into Spanish over the next year. NSPF has already translated its CPO manual.

APSP expects the new translations to help its membership. NSPF also will allow APSP to award $30,000 worth of NSPF?s research grant money each year for the next three years to recipients of its choice. Plus, APSP will earn income by selling some NSPF materials, including the new Certified Pool-Spa Inspector program.

APSP made this move because it thought the two operator programs were redundant, said Guy Larsen, the association?s outgoing chair. ?When we created the PPSO program a few years back, the CPO course had not been reviewed and updated in quite some time, so it was kind of behind the times,? he said.

Some hoped the PPSO program would be a new revenue source for APSP after it sold the International Pool & Spa Expo to Hanley Wood, LLC, which also owns Aquatics International. But in the final analysis, lost revenue wasn?t a concern, said Bill Weber, APSP president/CEO .

In other related news, APSP?s board reincorporated the International Aquatics Foundation, the new standards-writing body, back into APSP. Originally, APSP created IAF to protect itself from the kind of lawsuits that caused its Chapter 11 reorganization. Rather, Weber said IAF would be interpreted as a full-blown trade group, making it unable to seek grants from groups such as NSPF. This would leave IAF more dependent on APSP for support, and too closely linked to protect APSP from liability.