The National Swimming Pool Foundation has signed a partnership agreement with the Independent Pool & Spa Service Association Inc. that will further expand the Certified Pool Operator Program.

As part of the agreement, NSPF will train 10 individuals from IPSSA as Certified Pool-Spa Operator instructors. Within the year, these instructors will offer CPO courses at regional meetings in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.

Though a timeline has not yet been established, NSPF CEO Thomas M. Lachocki, Ph.D., speculates that the instructors will be ready to hold their first CPO class for IPSSA members by early 2007, if not earlier.

For NSPF, the agreement is another in a long line of strategic partnerships that is growing the CPO brand. Most recently, NSPF partnered with the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. The trade association terminated its PPSO program in favor of NSPF?s CPO curriculum.

In addition, NSPF has promoted the CPO program through donations to the Foundation for Pool & Spa Industry Education, as well as agreements with the Public Health Foundation and the National Environmental Health Association.

?When it comes to partners, we?re not going to reject hugs from any organization,? Lachocki said. ?Our arms are wide open because that?s how we think we?re going to accomplish our mission by working with the industry, not competing with it.?

IPSSA plans to formally unveil the partnership to its members in its February newsletter, according to Vickie Lester, IPSSA director. For more information, IPSSA members should contact their regional directors, or visit NSPF is based in Colorado Springs, Colo., and certified 16,000 CPO professionals in 2005.