BISHTA and SPATA are always willing to embrace a challenge, adopting new ways of working to be more effective and efficient. It helps that the ethos of the staff and committee members also fosters this attitude.
The contribution of work with EUSA and WAPSA to the British Isles
There is an added dimension that BISHTA and SPATA can reach out to like-minded National Pool and Spa Associations, both in Europe and in other parts of the World, for their feedback. This article explores what working with EUSA and WAPSA brings to the British Isles.
The European Union of Swimming Pool and Spa Associations was founded in 2006 and currently has twelve members. The countries represented are national Pool and Spa Associations in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK. For more information on EUSA, please see www.eusaswim.eu.
Historically, meetings would be held twice per year in the President's country (this role would be shared amongst the members every two years). At the moment, the Presidency is held by the bsw, the German Pool Association. However, due to COVID, there has only been one face to face meeting (which was in Brussels, as this is where EUSA is officially registered). Other meetings have been held, all of which have been online via zoom. At the meetings, the main topic of business includes promotion through the annual European Pool and Spa Awards, a monitoring service to assess what is being discussed with the EU institutions, regular sharing of good practice, and technical matters.
In its eighth year, the European Pool and Spa Awards have seven categories for domestic pool, spas and hot tubs: outdoor pools, indoor pools, pools by night, pools with an automatic cover, pools with an enclosure, spas, and hot tubs. Each year the awards are held at a European exhibition, which has included aquanale (Germany), Forum Piscine (Italy), Piscine Global Europe (France), Piscina & Wellness (Spain) and SPATEX. The 2020 awards were announced at the beginning of this year, but due to COVID-19, the presentation has been delayed. The awards presentation will now be held at aquanale on Thursday 28th October. The 2021 awards are being presented at Piscina & Wellness on Monday 29th November. Over the years, BISHTA and SPATA members have benefited from rubbing shoulders with colleagues across Europe and obtaining invaluable PR from their wins at Bronze, Silver or Gold level.
There is great importance in knowing what the EU institutions are considering with regulations and directives that could impact our industry, which is important even though we have left the EU. This is because many supplier members export to Europe and because many installer members rely on European imports. Having a say in what goes on in Europe through EUSA is therefore very useful to ensure our voice is heard to prevent misunderstandings about what is known about our industry.
In terms of technical matters, European standards are not EU documents, but they are agreed across the twenty-seven EU Member States and seven other European countries (including the UK). While not necessarily enshrined in law in all European countries, they are always seen as an essential benchmark document when deciding if an issue has arisen and if it is because a standard was not followed. BISHTA and SPATA are very proud of the work undertaken by members of their respective technical committees in helping to develop domestic pool and spa standards, such as EN 16582 (3 parts), EN 16713 (3 parts), EN 16927, and EN 17125. There is currently work on a draft European standard for prEN 17645 on the 'Environmental performance efficiency - Performance evaluation, methodology, and classification of the use of outdoor pools and their equipment'. SPATA is also currently contributing to work on public spas and wellness, and this work continues both in Europe and at home (albeit online)!
The World Alliance of Pool and Spa Associations brings together each of the twelve National Associations within EUSA and Hungary, Romania, and then also Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, and the USA.
Having input from these other countries allows some excellent sharing of ideas, and there has been a concerted attempt to seek market data from across the World.
An annual meeting has been held, and as a result of the recent (4th) meeting as part of SPATEX Virtual, there is planned to be work on revising the data questions to be asked, including some key safety messages. The main thrust of development work is around education and environmental sustainability. Finding out what works in another country can then lead to items being brought back to our country to put something similar into practice. Having a collective voice also means that an issue in one country (such as drought) can be shared with other countries to learn what messages are effective if the same problem arises in another country.
The 5th annual WAPSA meeting is to be held at aquanale in Cologne on Monday 25th October 2021. At this meeting, EUSA colleagues plan to share some ideas on benchmarking the services that each association offers its members, which can provide BISHTA and SPATA with new development opportunities and best practice to bring back to our industry.