Portable and indoor pools and spas

Portable pools and spas

Some portable pools and spas need to comply with the Building Act 1975 and the pool safety law in Queensland Development Code MP 3.4—Swimming pool barriers (PDF, 1.3MB).

Children can drown in portable pools and spas - the water doesn’t need to be deep.

The pool safety laws are aimed at stopping this tragic loss of life.

Where the laws apply

The pool safety laws apply if your portable pool or spa meets any of these criteria:

  • can be filled with water to a depth of more than 300mm
  • has a volume of more than 2,000L
  • has a filtration system.

In this case, you need to:

  1. Get a pool safety certificate from a licensed building certifier stating that your pool complies with the pool safety standard, before filling the pool or spa with more than 300mm of water.
  2. Obtain a building approval.
  3. Register your pool or spa.

Exclusions from the laws

Queensland's pool safety laws don’t apply to a portable pool or spa that meets all of these criteria:

  • can’t be filled with water to a depth of more than 300mm
  • has a volume of less than 2,000L
  • has no filtration system.

Many models of portable pools meet these criteria, but check before buying.

Portable pools and spas don’t need to comply with the pool safety standard unless they’re assembled.

Indoor pools

Pool safety laws apply to indoor pools (including spas). This is a pool that is either:

  • completely enclosed by the walls of a building
  • on a deck or rooftop where the pool can only be accessed from inside the building.

Indoor pools must have a compliant barrier.

Bathroom spas are not considered swimming pools unless they are continuously filled to a depth above 300mm. This also applies to spas.

Outdoor–indoor pools

Indoor-outdoor pools (where the pool extends partly into the building) are treated as outdoor pools.

This means that regarding child-resistant doors:

  • indoor pools may use compliant child safety doors
  • indoor-outdoor pools may not use child-resistant doors as the barrier.


Your local council may offer exemptions on grounds of disability or where it’s impractical to install a fence.

More information

Pool safety inspectors and building certifiers can provide more advice about requirements in individual cases.