The world is getting a little smarter about pool care.
A growing number of professionals are earning the Certified Pool Operator accreditation worldwide. The trend is sending some instructors from the National Swimming Pool Foundation to far-flung locales to teach CPO courses.
That’s how Rudy Stankowitz landed a teaching gig in the South American country of Guyana. The CEO/president of Aquatic Facility Training & Consultants in Archer, Fla. , recently certified eight maintenance workers at the Guyana Marriott Hotel Georgetown, the country's first 5-star hotel. It opened in April of last year. They were the first in the nation to earn the certification.
Monty Lewis, the Guyana Marriott’s director of engineering, planned to get his custodial crew certified ahead of the country’s Golden Jubilee, which celebrated 50 years of independence from British rule on May 26. Anticipating a surge of guests, Lewis wanted to ensure that the pool was on par with the hotel’s 5-star accommodations. That meant finding an expert to train his staff. Lewis chose Stankowitz to lead the two-day course after discovering his consultancy practice online.
“He decided that this was the level of safety that he wanted to provide guests at the facility,” Stankowitz said. “It was really a top-notch facility that wants to offer nothing but the best for the people who stay there.”
To his knowledge, the English-speaking nation does not have much in the way of codes concerning commercial swimming pools. Still, the Marriott staff had a good grasp of the fundamentals.
“There was a lot of fine tuning, but it wasn’t outside the realm of any of the other classes I taught,” Stankowitz said.
In addition to the new CPOs in Guyana, the NSPF has certified 66 professionals over the past 12 months in Peru, Ecuador, Panama and Brazil. There is now at least one CPO in seven of the 12 South American countries, said NSPF CEO Tom Lachocki, Ph.D.
The program also is making inroads in Eastern Europe, where the foundation certified more than 160 students in the past 12 months.
In all, there are Certified Pool Operators in 96 countries.