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Train to work in  Leisure Facility Management



  • Learn about the nature and scope of Facility Management
  • Study factors of design and ergonomics
  • Learn about the elements of interior design including those such as surfaces, ventilation and colour
  • Course duration: 100 hours of self paced study - the course can be studied as a stand alone subject or as part of a Certificate or higher qualification.

The course is structured in 2 halves, as follows:-

  • Part 1: The first half of the course relates to the management and maintenance of both indoor and outdoor facilities and equipment, including swimming pools, locker rooms, buildings, gymnasiums, and sports turf. Content includes monitoring the condition of equipment, routine maintenance programming and simple repair procedures.
  • Part 2: The second half of the course looks at developing a manager's ability to participate effectively as part of a design team for major works, or to plan and direct contractors in the development of minor facilities. 
The lessons are as follows:

1. Introduction to Facility Management

  • Nature and scope of the work
  • Developing management procedures
  • Quality (compliance) systems

2. Water Facilities

  • Water treatments: salt, bromine, ozone etc
  • pH management
  • Control of water temperature
  • Filtration systems
  • Air maintenance in an indoor pool area
  • Routine pool maintenance
  • Maintenance of spas, saunas and steam rooms
  • Common problems with swimming pools
  • Pool surrounds
  • Ancillary facilities
  • Managing use of swimming pools

3. Sports Turf Facilities

  • Advantages and disadvantages of turf as a sporting surface
  • Turf condition: what affects the condition of turf
  • Maintenance practices for turf

4. Gymnasiums

  • Sports equipment: track, athletics
  • Gymnasium maintenance
  • Health and safety in a gym
  • Gymnasium standards

5. Public Buildings

  • General building maintenance tasks
  • Health and safety issues
  • Managing building repairs

6. Toilets and Locker Rooms

  • Components of toilet locker room areas
  • Health and safety concerns
  • Routine maintenance

7. Introduction to Design

  • Design factors
  • Types of facilities
  • Site selection
  • Planning process

8. Ergonomics

  • Scope and nature of ergonomics
  • Understanding posture
  • Furniture design
  • Ergonomics for a gym
  • Layout of interiors

9. Outdoor Facilities

  • Pool design: pools and surrounds
  • Water slides
  • Spas
  • Other water features
  • Fountains
  • Playground design
  • Planning for play Community participation
  • Park design
  • Fitness trails
  • Skateboarding
  • Multi purpose courts

10. Indoor Facilities

  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Lighting
  • Heating
  • Ventilation
  • Use of colour
  • Macro design for indoor facilities
  • Local community recreation centres

11. Interior Design

  • Exercise facilities
  • The space
  • The equipment: types of equipment
  • Layout of a gym
  • Interior design

12. Equipment Design

  • Design of fitness equipment
  • Exercise bikes
  • Rowing machines
  • Treadmills Step machines
  • Strength training equipment

13. Managing Construction

  • Nature of the task
  • Safety

  • Identify work tasks involved in the maintenance of recreation facilities.
  • Manage the condition of recreational water facilities, including swimming pools.
  • Manage the condition of a sports turf facility, including monitoring and maintaining the condition of turf.
  • Manage the condition of a gymnasium, including monitoring the condition of structures and equipment.
  • Manage the condition of a public building, including monitoring.
  • Explain design factors for recreation facilities.
  • Explain the concept of ergonomics related to recreation facility design.
  • Explain the design of an outdoor recreation facility used in the industry.
  • Explain the design of an indoor recreation facility.
  • Arrange moveable equipment and furnishings in a way to maximise predetermined criteria, including safety and function, within the physical confines of a facility.
  • Explain the design of fitness equipment.
  • Develop a management strategy for the construction of part, or all, of a recreation facility.

Careers in Leisure Facility Management
This is an exceptionally diverse industry; only limited by the imaginations of those who work in it. 
Often people will start out with a particular idea about what their career might look like; but almost inevitably; it will look very different at the end of their career  to how it looked at the beginning. If nothing else; the rate of change in our world is almost certainly going to guarantee that.
Some will forge a career in the world of elite sports, others in events, some in the theme park or accommodation and tourism industry and others with local government.




What is involved in Managing a Swimming Pool?

Every swimming pool is different; and needs to be managed differently; according to the type of facilities and design; the clientele you are catering to and the resources you have available to manage it.  Here are some of the things a manager may need to consider:
New Pools
  • Establish clientele, recreation needs and usage.
  • Do you include provision for disabilities, gyms, aerobics, baby-sitting etc.
  • Number of users and when.
  • What types of pools are needed, learner pool, conventional pool, leisure pool, spas, saunas.
Establishing atmosphere and social goals.
This will determine the clientele eg, Naturalistic pool or a tropical leisure area or water slides and wave machines.
What is needed for the poolside viewing areas
Financial constraints.
The pool must be the right size for the community that will use it. What do you want and what can you afford.
  • Cost of initial building and surrounds.
  • Running costs and estimated income.
Overall Layout
  • if outside locate for maximum sunlight and privacy, screened from southerly and away from heavily shaded areas and those with extensive root systems. Any leaf fall makes the water hard to keep clean.
  • space needed to handle air movement, high humidity atmosphere and to seal the building correctly.
  • check for soil bearing capacity and that you do not need to remove too much soil from the site, ideally cut and fill should roughly balance. Some access soil can be used for mounding as wind protection or sitting areas.
  • type of pool needed eg. conventional or flexible (eg. with a movable floor that can cover the pool, allowing the facility to be used for alternative events/activities).
  • filtration system needs to be carefully designed (chlorination, salt, etc).
  • heating also needs careful consideration.
  • safety, first aid and emergency procedures,
  • reception and offices. It is necessary to design these areas so that they are sealed off from the hot, humid pool areas. Condensation can damage computer ware and the reception area can act as a heat lock to prevent heat escaping in winter months.
  • food outlets, although you want these near the pool areas you do not want health problems and most are in defined areas, near the entrance or in deck-level areas overlooking the pool.
  • shower and toilet facilities, recently we have seen the incorporation of the family\group style change room. They include family and individual changing cubicles and feature a wet and dry movement system in which you enter your cubicle from one side (the "dry passage") and exit the cubicle towards the pool along the "wet" corridor. Showers can be located so that they are easy to use "before" getting into the pool.
  • maintenance areas and consider overall cleaning of building
  • staff areas
  • parking and access
  • shading and planting surrounds
  • lighting
  • furniture and equipment.
Design of the pool tank
It is useful to design pools so that one pool can be shut down without interference to others

Renovation of Pools.

Many pools are over 25 years old, the building needs upgrading and safety considerations have changed since these pools were designed.
Check for safety of any new equipment such as diving boards or slides especially in relation to pool depth. Consider improving slippery surfaces (eg. painted cement).
There may be a wish to upgrade facility to make it financially viable attracting more customers, in which case consider:
  • overall management; what are the strengths and weaknesses of the operation.
  • advertising, local community newspapers, letterbox drops, editorials, press releases.
  • personal approach by staff, meetings with clubs, schools etc.
  • addition to present facilities eg. playground, baby-sitting facilities, providing new retail outlets selling goggles, swim caps, kick boards, swim club, gymnasium, etc.
Various other features may be incorporated into a swimming/water recreation facility, including:

  • Diving Boards 
  • Wave Pools
  • Swirl Pools
  • Swim jets
  • Water falls 
  • Caves -allowing for undercover swimming
  • Water life (Fish) 
  • Scuba facilities (ie. deep pool)
  • Under water viewing area
  • Learn to swim pool
  • Aerobics pool 
  • Hydrotherapy Pool
  • Disabled entry facility
  • Classes
  • Activities and Events

So ... Why should I take this course?

  • You want to move on in your career towards a management position in the leisure industry
  • To learn about the management and maintenance of indoor and outdoor facilities
  • Contribute knowledgeably as part of the team to major design projects
  • Understand the factors involved with the maintenance of both buildings and equipment






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Study Leisure Facility Management with this ACS course

  • The course looks at facility design and facility maintenance
  • Students should already have some broad experience or knowledge of Leisure Facility Management


Students studying this course will do the following and much more:-

  • Learn to identify work tasks involved in the maintenance of recreational facilities
  • Learn to manage the condition of buildings, facilities and equipment
  • Study ergonomics related to recreational facilities design
  • Develop a management strategy for the construction of a recreation facility



Meet some of our academics

Tracey Jones (psychology)B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies) Tracey began studying psychology in 1990. She has a wide range of experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects. She has been a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work and has also written many textbooks, blogs, articles and ebooks on psychology, writing, sociology, child development and more. She has had also several short stories published.
Lyn Quirk M.Ed.,Dip.Med.,Dip.SportsOver 35 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Bob James B.Sc.,M.Env.Mgt.Horticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc., Grad.Dip.Mgt, PDC, M.Enviro.Mgt.

Check out our eBooks

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ManagementManagement is the process of planning, organising, leading, and controlling an organisation’s human and other resources to achieve business goals. More importantly though, effective management needs to be a process of human interaction and compassion. Most bad managers don’t know they are bad. They may well admit that they are a bit erratic, or they are sometimes late to appointments, but it is rare that they will recognise that they are ineffective as managers. Never fear...read here. This book has something to offer even the best of managers.