The Swimming Pool and Spa Association offers the testing side of the swimming pool operator's program for the Pool Operator's Certificate. It is up to the candidates to decide if they want to take a swimming pool operators course, and where they may want to take the training. Candidates may obtain a list of nationally recognized training agencies that offer swimming pool operator's training by visiting the Center of Disease Control (CDC) web site at

The Swimming Pool and Spa Association now has the exclusive right to offer the approved Pool Operator's exam that meets the new 2010 requirements for obtaining a three-year Swimming Pool Operator's certificate within several Northern Virginia jurisdictions, which include the City of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax City and Fairfax County. The new exam requirements for these jurisdictions do not require individuals to have completed a course and no documentation of training is required to challenge the new county exam.

Specific Pool Operator Certificate information for each jurisdiction can be found by visiting their web sites at: County of Fairfax, City of Fairfax and City of Falls Church:, City of Alexandria:

If the individual took the elective, approved American Lifeguard Association PO course prior to challenging the exam, he or she may also have the qualifications for the appropriate health departments to acquire a PO permit for other jurisdictions in other Northern Virginia areas, along with those in the state of Maryland and District of Columbia.

No longer is advance reservation or registration necessary for individuals to schedule their pool operator's exam. The exam is a timed 50-question multiple- choice test that candidates may take up to one hour to complete. Candidates must pass with a grade of 70 or higher in order to get their PO certificate. The exam is offered only in English, and it is to be taken closed book, with no access or reference to student notes, manuals or language dictionaries. Test candidates will be made aware that the examination may be video taped at all times. It will be necessary to bring proper proof of ID such as a driver's license, school ID, passport, or similar photo ID, and candidates must be 16 years of age or older to take the exam. We ask that candidates come in casual business attire, no swim wear or shorts please. The cost of the exam and the three-year permit is $75.00, and the fee may be paid on the day of the examination by cash, check, money order or any major credit card. Upon successful completion of the exam, candidates will receive their PO certificate prior to leaving, and if they fail the exam the candidate may retake the exam after waiting 24 hours. The cost for the retake will be an additional $75.00 that may be paid when they return to take the exam again.


May 1st through August 31st
Fairfax Square Professional Center
9848 Suite C Main Street, Fairfax, VA 22031

Summer Testing Hours:
Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Last testers will be admitted at 4 p.m.
Closed Government Holidays

SPSA will be offering extended evening hours until 11pm, during the week just prior to Memorial Day Weekend, and two weeks after!

During the week just prior to Memorial Day weekend, and the two weeks after the holiday weekend, we will be keeping our testing center open until 11 pm. The last tester will be admitted at 10 pm, and allowed one hour for the exam. These extended hours are for individual walk-ins and group reservations. Groups will only be allowed during these extended hours by advance reservations.

We also have a regional office in Alexandria Virginia open during the months of May and June, on every Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on holidays. Last testers will be admitted at 4 p.m. This additional location is operated so walk-in services are provided for individuals, and is strategically positioned right next to the King Street Metro Station. The address is the Carlyle Crescent Center Alexandria, Virginia 1940 Duke Street, 2nd Floor Alexandria, Virginia 22314.


Testing will be conducted at Fairfax Square Professional Center, which the address is listed above. We will be open two days a week during the off-season, which are Monday and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and closed on government holidays. Walk-in services are provided for individuals, and groups must make advance reservations.


Further information on exam times and location information may be obtained at:

Walk-in services are provided for individuals only, and no advance reservations are required. We require that all groups make advance arrangements for their testing needs by contacting us at We ask that candidates arrive no later than 4 p.m., to allow sufficient time to register, take the 50 question exam, and their new photo ID Pool Operator's certificate card handed out upon successfully passing the exam.

Upon successful completion, candidates will receive their Pool Operator's Certificate that is valid for the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County and Loudoun County. It is recommended that groups contact us ahead of time by emailing us at

In regard to the locations listed above, individuals will not need a reservation, but for groups it will be necessary for them to contact us in advance by emailing us at, so we may make special arrangements to accommodate your group and to prevent any additional wait time for the testing and processing of the individual's Pool Operator's photo id cards that very same day.

In addition to the above locations, the Swimming Pool and Spa Association offers the ability to take the proctored exam at over 1,000 professional business centers across 450 cities in 75 countries worldwide with special arrangements. For further information, we ask that you email us at

If you have any questions or need any further assistance, we ask that you email us at Normally emails are replied to with in the hour, but we ask that you allow up to 24 hours for our response.

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