The Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) certification provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date training on operations, mechanical systems, water chemistry, disinfection, safety and much more. AFO Certification will help you or your staff better understand the entire pool system and run all types of aquatic facilities safely, efficiently and confidently.

Why Become an AFO?

  • Learn from expert instructors and network with other professionals from the field.
  • Join an elite group of more than 8,000 AFO's who have committed to advancing the field.
  • Reduce your agency's liability and take your career to the next level.


AFO candidates should be 18 years of age. There are no education or experience prerequisites for taking the AFO exam.

What Do Other AFO's Think?

"I really enjoyed the AFO Certification Course and took a lot of good information from it that I know I can use at work. This course and the instructor were able to put the information into terms easy to understand and remember."

-- Former AFO Student 

How Do You Become an AFO? 

To become an AFO, you must successfully pass the AFO exam. The AFO exam is 50 questions and covers four core competencies: water chemistry and disinfection, mechanical systems and operations, health, safety, and daily operations. The exam is an open book exam and AFO candidates must achieve a score of 78% or higher to pass.

AFO candidates have two options for taking the exam:

Classroom Course & Exam

The AFO course is a two-day instructor led training, with the exam being administered on the second day. Course attendees will gain practical knowledge from highly qualified instructors with a wealth of experience in the aquatics field. The course covers all the material necessary to pass the AFO exam and exam results are provided by AFO Instructors on-site. Attendees can also earn 1.5 CEUs upon completion of the course. The AFO certification is valid for five (5) years

AFO candidates are highly encouraged to attend the classroom course for initial certification. There is also the option to register to take the exam only at a classroom course. Signing up for a course only takes a few steps and they are offered all over the country.

AFO candidates can locate an approved proctor to administer the AFO Exam. The AFO exam is open book, so candidates taking the proctored exam are highly encouraged to purchase and review the Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) Manual, 7th Edition. Candidates who take the exam at a testing facility will receive their results 4-6 weeks after their test dates.

Apply for the Proctored Exam

AFO Prep Materials and Resources

Looking for study materials and other AFO resources? Learn more about the AFO certification with our prep materials and handbooks, review aquatics standards and guidelines, and access special testing accommodations forms.

AFO Prep Materials and Resources

For more information about becoming an AFO, contact NRPA Aquatics Program Manager, Elizabeth Gonzales at

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