Stichting Zwembadkeur

Tailor-made audits for safe and clean swimming pools

Stichting Zwembadkeur, the Dutch Swimming Pool Inspection Foundation, guarantees the safety and hygiene of swimming pools in the Netherlands. They do this by supervising various national quality standards. One of these standards is the Veilig & Schoon (Safe & Clean) Quality Mark, an umbrella quality mark for all individual swimming pools in the Netherlands. DEKRA tests swimming pools against this quality mark with our Assessment Services, a customization in tests and assessments. We asked Mariska Hol, Quality Manager at Stichting Zwembadkeur and NRZ, the National Board of Safety in Swimming Pools, what the quality mark entails and how it is tested.

With the Veilig & Schoon quality mark, the management demonstrates that business processes for hygiene and safety are properly arranged, and that employees perform them correctly. Since 2021, DEKRA audits against this national quality standard for swimming pools. We always do this with a focus on the human side. After all, human behavior is the determining factor for success. The people in an organization give substance to processes and monitor quality.

Always in-house expertise

Together with Stichting Zwembadkeur, DEKRA established the parameters for safety and quality. Our auditors then developed the expertise needed to be able to test for the quality mark. “DEKRA has invested a lot in acquiring the necessary knowledge and expertise. I am pleasantly surprised about the way in which DEKRA has quickly mastered this complicated matter.” says Hol. The swimming pool owners are also satisfied with the professional and personal approach of DEKRA's auditors. Hol thinks this has a positive influence on how swimming pool owners view audits. “Previously, swimming pool owners only saw the goal of obtaining the quality mark. Now we see that more attention is being paid to hygiene and safety as an ongoing process. We think that’s a good development.”

Independent audits

When a swimming pool owner wants to obtain the Veilig & Schoon quality mark, Stichting Zwembadkeur appoints a Certification Body (CB). Half of the audits is now carried out by DEKRA and the other half by another CB. According to Stichting Zwembadkeur, this improves the quality of the audit reports and the audit process. Hol: “We deliberately chose not to use one main supplier. When a swimming pool has completed the three-year certification cycle, the next certification cycle is carried out by the other CB. This way, we keep each other on our toes and we guarantee the quality of the Veilig & Schoon quality mark.”

Developments in legislation and regulations

Thanks to the expertise of the Advisory Committee, the audit process and criteria are continuously optimized. This is necessary, since new laws are regularly added, affecting existing quality marks. For example, the Dutch Environmental Act, which will replace the current Dutch WHVBZ law, has a major impact on the Veilig & Schoon Quality Mark. Hol says: “DEKRA thinks along with us about the impact of new laws on the quality mark and how we can improve the quality mark. This makes DEKRA a valuable partner.”

About Stichting Zwembadkeur

The foundation is an initiative of the Association of Sports and Municipalities (VSG) and the Dutch employers' organization for companies in water sports and recreation (HISWA-RECRON). There was a need for one quality mark for all swimming pools in the Netherlands, because they all had to comply with laws and standards. However, it was complex for swimming pool owners to continue to comply with all legislation. The laws and standards come from different organizations. For example, the Dutch Law of Occupational Health and Legionella prevention at the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA). Stichting Zwembadkeur set up the Veilig & Schoon Quality Mark, which they awarded for the first time in 2002. Since 2008, the foundation has been part of the National Board of Safety in Swimming Pools (NRZ).
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Photography: Gerben Pul