Money & Business

Swim Lessons: Pool and Spa Group Unveils Overhauled Learning Strategy

By / Feb 4, 2015 (iStock/Thinkstock)

With APSP University, the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals aims to educate a very diverse industry, and beef up its status as a thought leader in the process.

The pool and spa industry is officially headed back to school. Last week, the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals announced the launch of APSP University, a new suite of online and in-person classes designed for all aspects of the industry.

We want to be the go-to resource for education and certification throughout the industry.

“The University was developed strategically to bring everyone in the industry under one umbrella—from the manufacturers to pool builders, people who service the pools to chemical companies, and so on,” said Patrick Giambalvo, vice president of business development at APSP. “We’ll be doing a combination of onsite classrooms and online education. And they’ll include technical education along with a lot of soft business skills for our small business owners, because while they need to know the technical end of pool pumps and chemicals, they also need to know how to operate a profitable business.”

APSP University is a major overhaul of the association’s educational offerings of the past.

“The education that we had prior to this was only geared toward one segment of the marketplace, so the University will help us bust out of that silo and bring the industry together,” Giambalvo said. “And traditionally we’ve only done in-person education at shows and other local events, but now with the help of our members, we’ll be able to offer classes regionally and in Canada.”

The drive behind the overhaul came after several years of membership surveys showed an increasing desire for expanded education and skills-development offerings, but APSP also saw an opportunity to increase its status as a thought leader in the industry as well.

“We want to be the go-to resource for education and certification throughout the industry,” said Giambalvo. “We have the industry experts at our disposal who helped to develop our curriculum, and we’ll continue to tap into their knowledge across the board as we continually curate and perfect this powerful resource for all of our members.”

The tool will roll out this month with a series of six members-only webinars, but Giambalvo explained that it will eventually include sessions for members and nonmembers alike. And APSP is also developing resources for consumers that will include tips for hiring pool installers and service technicians and proper use of pool chemicals.

“Anybody who wants to learn about the pool industry will be able to turn to APSP University,” he said.

Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. More »

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