Aquatic Facility Operator Course & Exam

The Course 

Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) is the most advanced training program in the industry. This comprehensive, two day course provides an in-depth instruction on all facets of aquatic facility operation and management, including:

Free from product bias, AFO course materials are updated as changes occur in the field to ensure information covers the current trends and methods in the industry. To ensure quality, AFO Instructors are subject to an application and training process before they are approved to present the AFO course curriculum. The minimum qualifications to become an AFO instructor are among the highest in the industry.

Dates will be published on this page when the next AFO course & exam are scheduled. Subscribe to the member eBlast to be notified of training opportunities including AFO.


The Certification

In order to earn the AFO certification the aquatic professional must successfully pass the AFO certification exam. The AFO is an open book 50 question exam. Individuals who obtain the AFO credential are knowledgeable in the systematic approach to pool operations including pool chemistry, management, pool safety and risk reduction. Upon successful completion of the exam the National Recreation and Park Association will add all newly certified AFO’s to the National AFO certification database. The AFO certification is valid for five years. At the end of the five year certification period, the AFO certification must be renewed.

The Difference

Participation the AFO program creates more dynamic operators, who in turn give us safer water, more efficient facilities, and increasingly appealing programs for our popular aquatic venues. The AFO program exceeds the Michigan health code requirements. In addition, previous AFO participants have shared the   following benefits of the AFO program over similar aquatic facility training:

  • Highly experienced subject matter experts 
  • Skills that can be applied right “to the deck” 
  • Simplified arithmetic 
  • Up to date course materials that reflect changes in technology and legislation

The Background

In 1989 the National Aquatic Section of NRPA set  out to assemble a training program for pool operators that was appropriate for community swimming pools, free of product bias, instructed by professionals who are thoroughly trained and continually evaluated, and which trained participants not only about daily pool operations but also contained information about risk management, staffing, budgeting and purchasing for     those participants that manage their aquatic facilities. In 1992 NRPA’s National Certification Board voted to approve the association’s Aquatic Facility Operator training and exam, and the most comprehensive aquatic facility operations training in the industry was launched.

Disinfection Risk Management
Water Testing & Treatment
Design Considerations Hot Tub & Spa Operation
Facility Management Pool Safety Facility Trouble Shooting