PWQA customer FAQ

CIMSPA, the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, is the new single professional body for the sport and physical activity sector in the UK.

CIMSPA operates two award schemes focussed on swimming pools in the UK;

The Pool Water Quality Award, which recognises pools’ compliance with the highest standards of pool water safety and cleanliness; and

The broader European Pool Safety Award which, in addition to ensuring the safety and cleanliness of pool water, also assesses pools’ compliance with regulatory and best practice standards in relation to the operation of the pool as a whole, including supervision and health and safety arrangements.

The following frequently asked questions provide more information on the PWQA.

What is the Pool Water Quality Award?

The Pool Water Quality Award (PWQA) forms part of a scheme to promote and recognise the highest standards of safety and cleanliness of swimming pool water amongst swimming pool operators. By providing independent recognition of those pools operating to these standards, the pool user may have a more informed choice as to their preferred pool, and take assurance that the chosen pool’s water is safe and clean.

How do I know if a swimming pool holds the award?

All current holders of the PWQA are listed in our directory HERE. Your pool should display its current certificate of compliance in its reception area, and may also display a window decal or plaque to indicate it holds the award.

How does the PWQA scheme work?

The scheme is voluntary, and open to all pools within the UK including public pools, hotel pools, health and fitness club pools, and holiday park pools.

Pools applying to join the scheme are independently assessed each year against current standards and best practice (including the British Standard EN-15288-2) by CIMSPA’s qualified assessors. This assessment comprises an audit of their internal procedures and records for water quality testing, and in the first and at least every third year, independent testing of the water.

Pools meeting the standard will receive a certificate of compliance, valid for one year, following initial assessment and annual reassessment.

What can I expect from a swimming pool holding the award?

The award confirms that a pool has met recommended pool water quality guidelines and practice with reference to physical, biological and chemical pollution, thus creating ideal conditions for a clean, safe and pleasant swimming experience.

What can I do to help create the best swimming conditions in my pool? (PWQA)

Individual swimmers can make a big difference to pool water quality by following a few simple rules:

  • Showering before you swim
  • Using the toilet before you swim
  • If you have young children, then by following the guidance HERE

Please look out for public information posters displayed around the pool area, giving more detailed guidance.

What should I do if I am unhappy about water quality at a pool holding the award?

All holders of the PWQA are expected to be open and welcoming to customer feedback. So, please raise your concerns with the pool first. If you are unhappy with their response, email