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Aquatics Facility Operator (AFO)


The Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) course is for individuals responsible for operating clean, safe, and efficient aquatic facilities. The course offers in-depth instruction on: 

  • Filtration 
  • Disinfection, water testing, and treatment 
  • Design considerations 
  • Facility management 
  • Risk management 
  • Facility troubleshooting 
  • Much more! 

The Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) program is a state-of-the-art five-year certification for professionals managing and operating aquatic facilities. Individuals who obtain the AFO credential are knowledgeable in the systematic approach to pool operations including pool chemistry, management, pool safety, and risk reduction. The 18-hour course features the AFO Manual, which is revised every three years to stay current with changing technology. The text is reader-friendly and enjoyable.


You will receive your course materials approximately three weeks prior to the first day of the course. NRPA highly recommends studying the course materials provided prior to attending the course so that you are prepared to ask the AFO Instructor questions, if any, about the material being presented.

Earn 1.5 CEU’s while participating in this seminar. NRPA will forward you a transcript of your attendance 6-8 weeks after the course is finished. 

You will receive a notification with your exam results at the completion of the exam directly from the instructor. If you pass the exam, you will be certified as an AFO for a period of five years. At the end of your certification cycle, you can elect to attend the course again (recommended) or elect to take the exam only. Due to changes in regulations and content, it is highly recommended you repeat the coursework prior to renewing your certification. 

Virtual trainings will be limited to 20 participants.

In-Person training capacity will depend on the venue size.

A minimum of 10 participants is needed to hold training.

A candidate who has a disability may request special accommodations; the request must be submitted in writing at the time of course or exam registration. The request form is available online at To properly accommodate all persons with disabilities, it is recommended that all requests be made 45 days prior to the scheduled date for the course and exam.

English as second language (ESL) candidates may request a time extension and/or the use of a strict translation dictionary. Request forms/fees must be submitted to NRPA no less than 30 days prior to the exam. The request form is available online at


The aquatics industry provides safe and enjoyable opportunities for people of all ages to engage in recreation, increase their fitness and health, learn sportsmanship, and spend time with family and friends. With the passing of the Virginia Graham Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, the national increase in destination/recreational tourism, and the increased presence in the media of world-class swimmers, people are paying more attention than ever to water-related sports and activities.

NRPA’s AFO program is a state-of-the-art educational training program for pool operations and management staff. The program is specifically designed to meet the needs of those working in public, semi-public, and municipal pools or waterparks, and to provide training and information for both supervisory and operations staff. The AFO instructor team is comprised of top aquatic professionals who have diverse backgrounds in aquatic facility operations and management. The instructors are consistently rated as excellent speakers and trainers by the AFO students.

The AFO program creates better aquatic operators, who in turn make safer and increasingly efficient programs for aquatic venues.


MPRA hosts an in-person class in the fall and a virtual class in the spring each year.
Our next course is October 15-16, 2024. Registration will open July 1!
Click the button to learn more about our pricing and class information.


Day 1:

8:00 am - Noon

Welcome & Introduction, Foundation & Health Concerns, Circulation, Filters & Chemistry

Noon - 1:00 pm


1:00 - 5:00 pm

Breakpoint Chlorination, Stabilization & Balance, Dosages & Testing, Automation & Controls, Deck Equipment

Day 2:

8:00 am - Noon

Heaters & Heating, Disinfection, Spas & Special Pools, Design & Maintenance

Noon - 1:00 pm


1:00 - 2:00 pm

Human Resource Management, Programming, Fiscal Management

2:00 - 2:30 pm

Exam Review

2:30 - 5:30 pm           Open-Book Exam

MPRA Members are eligible for certification reimbursement. MORE DETAILS HERE


Visit for additional resources.

No refunds or credits after the registration is complete. Substitutions will be allowed up until the deadline.

Course fees include all course materials, exam, and lunch both days (for in-person classes). You may select the exam-only option if you have a current AFO Certification and choose not to retake the course.

Contact Sarah Veile at the Missouri Park & Recreation Association at or by calling 573-636-3828.