Conflict of interest and pool safety inspections - Are you at risk?

The Code of conduct for swimming pool safety inspectors (the code) sets out the standards of conduct and professionalism expected of swimming pool safety inspectors (PSIs) in the performance of their pool safety inspection functions.

Section 4 of the code provides that a PSI must not perform a pool safety inspection function where there is the potential for a conflict of interest. 

That would include inspecting a pool owned by you and may include inspecting a pool owned by somebody with whom you have a personal, professional, commercial or financial relationship. 

A conflict of interest arises when you inspect a fence you have personally worked on, unless the work was minor repairs you were licensed to do.  Pool owners commonly ask PSIs to recommend fencing contractors.  A potential conflict arises if you inspect fencing work performed by a business in which you have an interest. However, it is acceptable to recommend the services of a contractor, with whom you don’t have a personal, professional, commercial or financial relationship. 

It may also affect PSIs who own, operate or are employed by businesses in the swimming pool industry, such as pool shops, pool maintenance businesses and fencing contractors.  It is important that these PSIs separate their pool safety inspection functions from their other business functions.  

A licensed PSI, who regularly services and maintains a pool, can add value to the service by advising on pool safety compliance, but performing a pool safety inspection function for that customer may give rise to a potential conflict.   On the other hand, there is unlikely to be a potential conflict involved in inspecting a pool for an occasional retail customer.  Pool shop owners who are also PSIs can protect themselves by declining to perform pool safety inspections for clients, with whom they have ongoing maintenance arrangements. 

There is also a potential conflict of interest when a real estate agent or an employee of a real estate agency performs a pool safety inspection function for a pool owner who receives other services from the agency.

Comments (2)

So your telling me I'm not allowed to offer the services of constructing a pool for a client then inspecting the pool fence under one entity/company? So technically speaking its worthless holding both license's?

Good morning, thanks for your enquiry and so sorry for the delayed response. Our pools team have provided the following information: As mentioned in the blog post above, Section 4 of the code of conduct provides that a pool safety inspector must not perform a pool safety inspection where there is the potential for a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest includes when an inspector has carried out building work to which the pool safety standard applies for a regulated pool, other than minor repair work (where the inspector holds a licence that does not restrict them from performing minor repair work on a regulated pool). As an example, a person who builds a pool fence where the scope of work undertaken is beyond the work allowable under the definition of minor repair work in schedule 2B of the Building Regulation 2006, would not be able to inspect the pool for the purpose of issuing a pool safety certificate (perform a pool safety inspection function). This does not inhibit you from performing pool safety inspections where there is not the potential for conflict of interest. If you'd like to discuss further please give us a call anytime on 139 333, or you can get in touch with our pools team directly by emailing poolsafety@qbcc.qld.gov.au. Thanks, Kate