Everything You Need to Know About Swimming Pools and Building Approvals

You’re ready to build your dream pool or spa, but you need the right approvals first.


We’re here to help. At Rapid Building Approvals, our mission is simple – make getting approval for your swimming pool as quick and easy as possible. Our team of experienced, professional certifiers will guide you through the entire process and ensure your project meets all the necessary regulations. We understand that building approvals can be overwhelming, but we’ll make it easy for you by providing clear guidance every step of the way.


With us, you can rest assured knowing that all regulations are being met so there won’t be any problems later down the line. All our certifiers are fully qualified professionals who take pride in their work and provide exceptional customer service. Let us take care of all the paperwork so that you don’t have to worry about anything except having fun in your new backyard oasis! 


Contact us today about how we can help you get your pool or spa approved by calling 1300 NUMBER or by completing the form on our contact us page.

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    Ryan and the team at Rapid were super-fast getting my building approval back. I rang them in the morning and was able to start building my shed, the next day. Significantly cheaper than other certifiers in the area also. Highly recommend.

    Joshua Collins

    Super professional and quick. Every time I contacted Ryan, he was available and, his responses were quick and easy to understand. Made the process run smoothly, without any guessing.

    Eleanor Gallagher

    We used Ryan for the building approval for our new patio. He provided great customer service and we had the building approval super quick (next business day!), so we could get started with the build.

    James McPeake

    It's so nice to work with a local company who knows their stuff. Thanks again for the old school customer service Rapid Building Approvals.

    Sarah Quinn

    I made the switch to Rapid Building Approvals and Ryan Bird for our projects, last year. He has been an absolute pleasure to deal with. I have never experienced such prompt approval and have never looked back. I have had great feedback from clients about their services and I would highly recommend them to anyone who needs certification or advice. 10/10

    Lysa Thompson

    We engaged Ryan for a patio extension. Very happy with the fast turnaround on the building approval and his extensive knowledge.

    Heidi McPeake

    My father rang 3 companies locally here in Townsville, to enquire about building a granny flat at his property. We have not yet engaged Rapid Building Approvals formally for our project, but Ryan spent over 20 minutes on the phone to my dad, explaining the process, costs and any potential difficulties that may arise. Other companies just asked us to send plans for us to quote and didn't seem very interested. I thought this alone was worth a review, as it's not very often great customer service like this is found.

    Lisa Sutherland

    If you want a one stop certification company with great knowledge and great service, then I recommend Rapid Building Approvals.

    Robert P

    We have used many certifiers over our 15 years in the industry, Ryan and Scott at Rapid Approvals stand out above the rest. They have excellent knowledge, are very reactive to any questions or concerns we might have and are always willing to go the extra mile! Highly recommend to anyone looking for hassle free quick certification, on any residential building project.

    Luke Jager

    Fantastic team to deal with. Extremely knowledgeable and super quick. The name says it all ... Rapid!

    Lisa Sutherland

    Rapid Building Approvals are a great team! Ryan is very knowledgeable and always has the answer. Highly recommend.

    Rachel Hutchinson

    My husband and I are in the design and building industry in Cairns. We highly value Ryan and the teams extensive expertise and most of all, they are reliable. We 100% recommend him and his team!

    Liam Gilligan Builders

    Great service with fast delivery. Highly knowledgeable team and easy to work with!

    Harrison Teo

    What pools need approval?

    Due to the potential risks posed by pools, all pools need building approval from a licensed private building certifier, whether existing or new. The building certifier will be required to inspect the pool and its fencing in order to certify it. Then, that same building certifier will be able to provide you with building approval.


    As far as this article and the relevant legislation is concerned, a pool is a structure or area that can be filled to a depth of 300mm or more and used for human aquatic behaviour; such as swimming, wading, paddling, or bathing. This includes but is not limited to the following:

    • Above ground pools
    • Below ground pools
    • Permanent Spas
    • Some portable and temporary pools or spas (such as wading pools and blow-up pools)


    If you have one of the above that you now use for another purpose, such as a fishpond, the relevant laws and requirements still apply and that structure or area will be treated as a pool.

    Which portable and temporary pools need building approval?

    Temporary and portable pools or spas that meet any one – or more – of the following criteria will require building approval from a building certifier:

    • Those that are capable of holding 300mm or more of water
    • Those that have a volume of 2000 litres or more
    • Those that have a filtration system
    • Those that have a pump


    If you’re unsure whether you require a building approval, it is best that you call us and speak with one of our building certifiers. Otherwise, you run the risk of fines from the local government or worse.

    The Pool Building Approvals Process

    It is wise to involve a building certifier before you begin construction, as under certain circumstances you will require a building approval before you begin. Additionally, if your pool or its permanent fencing don’t meet the necessary requirements, you may need to demolish and rebuild them.


    There are a few things that need doing before your pool can be filled with 300mm or more of water. Firstly, your pool and its fencing or safety barrier must be inspected by a private certifier, such as those here at Rapid Building Approvals. Then that private certifier must provide you, or the owner of the property, with a building approval that certifies your pool and fencing meet the necessary requirements as laid out by the relevant legislation.


    Some of the things a building certifier will take into consideration when determining if your pool and its fencing meet the requirements expected of them are as follows.


    For the pool itself:

    • Where the Pool sits in relation to sewage lines
    • The location of the pool in relation to property boundaries
    • The location of the pool in relation to roadways


    For the fencing or other similar safety barrier:

    • The design of the structure
    • How it was constructed
    • The performance of the fence and its entry points
    • The location and placement of the fence/barrier


    Throughout the construction process, it may not be feasible to install a permanent fence as the pool or nearby elements of your build are being completed. As such, your pool’s safety barrier can be a temporary one, though these come with their own requirements.


    Temporary fences must be inspected and approved by the certifier that submits your building approval application. Once approved by a private building certifier, these temporary fences can be used for up to three months. In order for your temporary pool fence to be used for a period longer than three months, the private certifier must provide additional written approval.


    As part of the building approvals process, a completed project, such as your pool, must undergo a final inspection. Should your pool meet all the necessary requirements your certifier will provide you with a final inspection certificate. However, a final inspection certificate can not be given without a permanent fence in place that meets the relevant legal requirements and has been approved by a licensed private building certifier. 


    Your pool cannot be filled to 300mm or more of water without a final inspection certificate having been received, or an approved temporary fence and related approvals from your building certifier.

    The importance of pool approvals

    The leading cause of death for children in QLD between the ages of 1 and 4 is drowning. The vast majority of what is required of the design and construction of pools and their fencing are in place to prevent these accidents. This means that pool approvals are extremely important to protect Queensland’s youngest citizens from harm.


    Whether there are children or not on your property makes no difference – as one day there may be. They may be your future children, the children of guests or the family that one day purchases your property or even a neighbour’s curious child. 

    How long is your building approval good for?

    While a building approval is good for 12 months for most projects, a building approval for a pool is only valid for six. Under some circumstances, your private certifier can extend this timeframe. So if there are delays in your construction that would put you past the six month point, it would be wise to notify your building certifier and seek their advice. After six months the approval will lapse if the pool has not been completed and undergone a final inspection by your building certifier. Should this happen, you will need to apply for another building approval which will again last for six months.


    Pools built during the construction of a new home may be eligible for a building approval that is valid for 2 years, alongside the rest of the build.

    What happens if you don’t get a building approval for your pool?

    Structures that have not undergone the necessary safety checks and received the appropriate building approvals are not covered by insurance. Should an accident occur, such as a drowning or other injury, or your pool is damaged, you are likely to be deemed at fault. Additionally, should the local council discover your build has not received the necessary approvals, you are likely to be fined.


    Avoid these issues and more by doing things the right way. Get in touch with our helpful team of award-winning building certifiers and speak to them about your project. You can call us at 1300 NUMBER or fill out the contact form on our contact us page here. Reach out today!

    Do you need an approval?

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