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SWD Membership and Certification / (Click here for PDF Version)


In 1998, Genesis 3, Inc., was founded to educate, certify and connect watershape professionals through coursework, projects, examination and continuing education. In January 2016, Genesis 3, Inc. merged with the National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF®). GENESIS® is a federally registered trademark of NSPF, as is the GENESIS® design mark. Genesis University™ is the creator and deliverer of the educational programs which lead to certifications within the Society of Watershape DesignersCM (“Society”). NSPF / GENESIS® is accredited by the International Association of Continuing Education Units & Training (IACET).

Classifications within GENESIS® and the Society of Watershape DesignersCM

All industry professionals who take one or more Genesis University™ classes are GENESIS® Students.

GENESIS® Students who take and successfully pass GENESIS® CONSTRUCTION: 201 Basic Pool Construction are GENESIS® Associates. The career progression of each GENESIS® Builder is tracked as they work to amass the 150 credit hours of GENESIS® instruction that qualifies them as a GENESIS® Graduate.

GENESIS® Graduates are encouraged to apply for membership within the Society of Watershape DesignersCM – progressing from the entry certification level of SWDCM Registered, leading ultimately to SWD Masters in the field of pool design and construction. (Note: the SWD Associate certification level -- established briefly at the time of the merger and now equivalent to GENESIS® Associate -- has been eliminated, ensuring that all certified members of the Society are full-fledged GENESIS® Graduates.)


EXHIBITS A & B outline the criteria, fee requirements and benefits of classifications within GENESIS® and the Society of Watershape DesignersCM. EXHIBITS C & D outline Terms and Conditions of Membership and Logo Use, respectively. EXHIBIT E is a form used to seek CEUs from non-GENESIS® courses. EXHIBIT F is the protocol by which SWD Registered can apply for SWD Master status. APPENDIX answers Frequently Asked Questions.






Is a GENESIS® Builder, having completed C201



Is a GENESIS® Graduate, having completed 112 core hours of training (D101, D201/2/3/4, D211, D231, D271, E211, C201) plus 38 hours of electives



Has accepted the Society of Watershape DesignersCM (Society) Terms and Conditions



Has paid the annual Society membership fee and attained the necessary 12 CEU hours annually



Has been recommended for SWD Master status and has been accepted by peers based on personal attributes, professional achievements and sound business practices.



BENEFITS SWD Master SWD Registered

Permitted to use logos of GENESIS® Associate, GENESIS® Graduate and SWD Registered and SWD Digital Seal



Permitted to use SWD Master logo



% Discount on Genesis University™ education



Acknowledged as an SWD member on GENESIS® and Society websites



Eligible to volunteer on Society Taskgroups



Eligible to be elected to Advisory Board or selected for Education Board



Eligible to serve as Technical Assistants during Genesis University™ schools



Invited to Annual SWD Masters meeting at International Pool | Spa | Patio EXPO



Projects eligible for the Outdoor Living Showcase Website (priority to given Masters)



Eligible for special discounted media rates for SWD Masters



Have dedicated page on Society websites



Projects featured in advertising and Genesis University™ educational programs



Receive special callouts in print advertising and social media



Receive media inquiries for information and interviews





  1. Intellectual Property. All Genesis University™ (hereinafter referred to as “Genesis”) courses, materials, books, logos, brands, images, processes, and procedures are the sole property of GENESIS® and its owners and assigns. All GENESIS® course presentations are protected by U.S. copyright laws and shall not be replicated by any person or entity without express written permission.

  2. Terms. All Members must read, acknowledge, and abide by the terms and conditions set forth in the following documents available at www.Genesis3.com under “Certify” on the home page, which may change at any time at the sole discretion of GENESIS®: Logo Terms of Use, Position Statements of GENESIS® and any referenced standards, Position Statements of the American Shotcrete Association and any referenced standards, and the SWD Code of Conduct.

  3. Codes / Other. All Members must be aware of, and make reasonable attempts to comply with, all applicable federal, state, county, and city codes including, but not limited to, International Building Code, International Residential Code, International Fire Code, International Energy Conservation Code, International Plumbing Code, International Mechanical Code, International Fuel Gas Code, the National Electric Code; acquire licenses; file permits; and, maintain proper insurance, as required.

  4. Conflict of Interest. All Members shall avoid conflicts of interest including transactions, relationships, services, or considerations which are, or appear to be, contrary to either GENESIS® or the Society’s best interests, or where the interests of a member or other organization have the potential to be placed above the Society itself. Members agree not to modify, revise, edit, or create derivative works from GENESIS® course materials, brands, logos, in whole or in part, or to derive personal gain from the goodwill associated with GENESIS® or the Society, whether for the purpose of directly or indirectly competing with GENESIS® or the Society, or for any other purpose.

  5. Behavior. GENESIS® and the Society reserve the right to approve applicants for, or expel applicants from, any of its schools, programs, or certifications. Students must act in a professional, moral, drug-free, and ethical manner, else be subject to suspension or expulsion. Inappropriate behavior during GENESIS® schools and programs will not be tolerated.

  6. Privilege. Membership in the Society is a privilege, not a right. The privilege of Society membership may be suspended or revoked by an affirmative vote of 2/3 of the GENESIS® Advisory Board for improper conduct or actions considered contrary to the best interests of the Society.

  7. Release. By signing the membership application, you hereby freely and voluntarily, jointly and severally, release the officers, members and staff of GENESIS® and the Society from all liabilities, claims, or demands whatsoever arising from the actions, including but not limited to any personal injury to you or others associated with you whether such injury or damage is caused by actions of the elements or by acts or omissions of any such parties, whether such injury or damage occurs prior to, during, or after the event. The person attending GENESIS® courses shall indemnify GENESIS® from liability that may result from the participant’s or participant’s party’s actions or failure to act in any manner whatsoever.



  1. The National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF®) logo, which shall only be used by NSPF, GENESIS® and authorized agents for digital or print media is shown here:

  2. The GENESIS® base logo which shall only be used by NSPF, GENESIS® and authorized agents for digital and print media is shown here:

  3. A specific variant of the GENESIS® base logo includes a subtitle sponsor, which shall only be used by current sponsors.

  4. A specific variant of the GENESIS® base logo includes a subtitle student, which shall only by used by students who successfully complete at least one GENESIS® class.

  5. A specific variant of the GENESIS® base logo includes a subtitle builder, which shall only be used by students who successfully complete GENESIS® CONSTRUCTION 201, pay the annual enrollment fee, accept terms and conditions and keep up their continuous education requirements.

  6. A specific variant of the GENESIS® base logo includes a subtitle graduate, which shall only be used by students who successfully complete the 150 hours of education required for certification within the Society of Watershape Designers, pay the annual enrollment fee, accept terms and conditions and keep up their continuous education requirements. All certified members of the Society of Watershape DesignersCM may also use this logo variant.

  7. The trademark Genesis University™ can be used in text by GENESIS® Students, GENESIS® Associates, GENESIS® Graduates, and certified members of the Society of Watershape Designers.
  8. The design mark for Society of Watershape DesignersCM has been classified as a certification mark. SWD is also a certification mark to be accompanied by the text Registered or Master – the two certification levels within the Society of Watershape Designers. In addition to a logo, GENESIS® created a seal for the Society of Watershape Designer certifications for use by SWD Registered and SWD Masters. Neither logo nor seal can be used in a way that gives the appearance that a person has achieved a higher certification level than the person has actually achieved.

  9. The National Swimming Pool Foundation® (“NSPF®”) grants graduates of the CPO® Certification program a limited, and graduates of the ASTCM Certification program a limited, non-exclusive license to use the appropriate name(s) and/or logo(s) (the “NSPF®” Marks), solely in connection with the promotion of the status of having the certification(s.)

  10. The logos here presented, as well as others within its stable of products and services, are the exclusive copyright-protected property of NSPF/GENESIS. Parties that choose to use the logo(s) due so with temporary authorization only which may be revoked at any time. If a user loses its logo privilege they must remove it from digital and print media within 30 days and 180 days, respectively.

  11. NSPF/GENESIS® reserves the right to modify its logos at any time and is not responsible for expenses that may be required to update user’s digital or print media. Changes requested by NSPF/GENESIS® shall be completed for digital media within 30 days and for print media within 180 days.

  12. In some cases, the logos are available in other colors and grayscale for use over dark backgrounds. The logos shall not be modified by the user except for changes in proportional scale. This includes font style and spacing and color changes. The logo shall not be rearranged to move or scale the triangles relative to text. Authorized users shall obtain copies of the logo from NSPF/GENESIS. Do not copy from other sources.

  13. For GENESIS® specific logos, when used for digital media (e.g. websites, e-mail signatures, social media, blogs, advertising, etc.) the image shall be clickable and shall link to http://www.genesis3.com and no other site, subdomain or specific page within the http://www.genesis3.com site. For NSPF specific logos, the image shall be clickable and shall link to http://www.nspf.org and no other site, subdomain or specific page within the http://www.nspf.org site.





I. A Candidate for SWD Master Status (“Candidate”) must:

  • a. Be an SWD Registered member in good standing;
  • b. Secure a written recommendation from a current SWD Master, who has worked with the Candidate and knows his reputation;
  • c. Send the letter of recommendation to the GENESIS® Director of Operations (“Director”);

II. Director shall:
  • a. Connect with the Candidate, and provide the SWD Master Application (“Application”);
  • b. Alert the Managing Director, recommending SWD Master, and the Advisory Board (AB) about the pending Application.

III. The Candidate shall complete Application and submit it to Director along with the following:
  • a. Work Product—3 completed projects, preferably from 5+, 3 and 1 years past. Include concept drawings, construction plan documents, construction photographs (steel, plumbing, finish material install, pre-deck), proposal and construction contract, completion photographs;
  • b. Reference list of 3 clients, with 2 of the 3 currently owning pools submitted as Work Product. All three clients must be open to contact. Include contact name, address, phone no. and email;
  • c. List of 3 key industry vendors. Include contact name, company, address, phone no. and email;
  • d. List of 3 key subcontractors. Include contact name, company, address, phone no. and email.

IV. Director shall alert Managing Director, recommending SWD Master and AB when the Application is complete and ready for peer review.

V. Within 30 days of receiving Application, a minimum of two of the three current AB members shall perform the following:
  • a. Review submittal for completeness and alert Director of anything rendering the Application incomplete;
  • b. Interview the Recommending SWD Master about the Candidate;
  • c. Contact the consumer references by phone;
  • d. Contact industry vendors / subcontractors as needed to verify business practices;
  • e. Interview the Candidate by phone.

VI. Within 45 days of receiving Application:
  • a. The participating AB members shall write a formal report on their findings and share it with the third AB member, should he / she not have been involved in the vetting process.
  • b. AB, acting unanimously, shall submit their report – containing the recommendation to either accept or deny SWD Master Status for Candidate -- including their reasoning -- to the Managing Director with a copy to the Director and the recommending SWD Master, any of whom may request a conference call with AB to discuss the matter further prior to notifying the Candidate of GENESIS®’s final decision.

VII. Within 60 days of receiving Application:
  • a. Director shall alert the Candidate of GENESIS®’s final decision. Note: Should the request for SWD Master status be denied, Candidate shall be eligible to reapply after two calendar years, so long as their SWD Registered status remains current.


APPENDIX: Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Why become a member of the Society of Watershape Designers?

A: SWD certifications are marketed to the public – meaning other trade professionals and homeowners. Fifty percent of all certified member fees are directed toward efforts to reach those end consumers. There are other benefits listed below; but, most importantly, SWD members form a strong family creating the most beautiful watershapes in the world and assisting one another along the path to professional and personal excellence.

Q: In addition to networking and education, what benefits accrue to SWD certification holders?

A: The specific benefits for the SWD certification levels are outlined in EXHIBIT B. Generally speaking:

  • SWD certification holders are eligible for discounts on GENESIS® education. Such discounts shall be honored, upon request, after the student successfully takes and passes the course.
  • SWD Registered and SWD Masters have access to, and permission to use, the Genesis Builder and Graduate logos, the Society of Watershape DesignersCM logo and Society of Watershape DesignersCM seal (digital) according to the Terms of Use (Click here for PDF)
  • SWD certification holders receive exposure – via the web, social media, print advertisements, print editorials – when the Society of Watershape DesignersCM and its certified members are promoted to other professionals and the buying public.

Q: What are SWD certification member fees used for?

A: Half of all SWD certification fees are used to support the work of GENESIS® in creating and delivering educational content to raise the professionalism of the pool and spa industry. The other fifty percent of fees support the promotion of the Society of Watershape DesignersCM certifications and holders.

Q: What are the Continuing Education requirements for SWD certification?

A: To simplify things, all SWD certifications require 12 GENESIS®-approved CEUs per year. Carryover credits are possible from one year to the next; meaning if a student has taken a sixteen-hour GENESIS® course, four credit hours can rollover to the following calendar year, leaving only 8 more hours to meet that year’s requirements.

Q: Where can I get my Genesis transcript?

A: GENESIS® makes a transcript available to all GENESIS® Associates, Graduates and Society Members at the end of each calendar year. With NSPF as its partner, we are moving towards a system that enables transcripts to be created and viewed throughout the year, but we’re not there yet.

Q: Can non- GENESIS® courses apply towards re-certification CEU’s?

A: GENESIS® believes that third-party accreditation is paramount to the quality and validity of any educational system. For SWD Registered and SWD Master members, courses taken for personal and professional gain may be deemed acceptable as Continuing Education Credits, especially if offered by an IACET-approved provider. To ensure that credits will apply towards re-certification, the GENESIS® Student should seek approval in advance of registering for any non- GENESIS® education (See Form EXHIBIT E).

Q: Can GENESIS® courses be repeated, and still apply toward CEU requirements?

A: Yes, as courses are updated. GENESIS® works hard to ensure its classroom instruction remains cutting edge. SWD Registered and SWD Masters should review the Genesis University™ Catalog and sign up for new and improved courses – not only for personal advancement, but also to meet, encourage and mentor new GENESIS® Students, perpetuating the family network that makes GENESIS® so successful and unique.

Q: Is online learning an option?

A: Yes! Through its merger with NSPF, also an IACET-approved content provider, GENESIS® Students and SWD members are welcome to take any online courses that NSPF offers to satisfy CEU requirements. Such courses are NOT substitutionary with respect to achieving SWD Registered status – neither for required courses or options. However, such online courses may be used by SWD Registered and SWD Masters to fulfill their ongoing CEU certification requirements.

Q: What are the GENESIS® Position Statements?

A: GENESIS® founders, faculty and SWD Masters have created “Position Statements” on a variety of topics important to industry professionals. These papers can be found at www.Genesis3.com under “Connect” off the Home page. All GENESIS® Associates, Graduate and SWD candidates must download the Position Statements, review them and acknowledge / read receipt as part of the application process.