Watershape University


Certifications document a student’s progress through Watershape University (WU) and, ultimately, to the International Watershape Institute (IWI). Credentials can be obtained at multiple steps as the student progresses from a beginning student (“freshman”) to more advanced levels of training and expertise (“senior” and “post-graduate” levels). Credentials are acknowledged via wall certificates and digital badging that is verifiable at verify.watershape.org.

The Certified Watershape Plumbing Specialist (CWPS) understands basic pool construction including the importance of safety issues such as suction entrapment, but they have extended their knowledge with additional fluid mechanics engineering plus one day of hands-on training in a workshop where the students solvent-weld PVC pipe as they learn about plumbing excellence from layout to efficient operation. This standard requires verification of professional education and training as well as passing an in-class project.


The Certified Watershape Plumbing Specialist (CWPS) certification may be used for contractor licensing and required continuing education in certain jurisdictions. The CWPS certification builds upon the CWF certification; therefore, all Certified Watershape Plumbing Specialists (CWPSs) are also CWFs which support licensing in the following jurisdictions:

Application Requirements

  • Complete the Certified Watershape Foreman (CWF) certification
  • Complete WU CONSTRUCTION 3341: Essential Plumbing Workshop, or pre-approved equivalent. All students receive a Certificate of Completion and 1.2 IACET CEUs after completing C3341 even if they do not pursue the CWPS Certification.
  • Submit equivalent accredited course(s) to satisfy education requirements on the University Portal here.
  • Apply for Certified Watershape Plumbing Specialist (CWPS) below
  • Pay $100 Application Fee below
  • Sign/Accept the WU Code of Ethics below
  • Sign/Accept the WU Standards of Practice below

Equivalent Classes

Watershape University was founded with a principle of accessibility — allowing students of all levels to obtain meaningful high-quality education at lower cost and reduced travel expense. Portability is a key component of access and is an important principle and reason for institutions to obtain and maintain accreditation such as IACET.

All Non-WU courses need to be pre-approved if you wish to use them as a substitute for education requirements. We will happily accept any third-party accredited program that achieves the same learning outcomes as Watershape University’s Essential Classes:

CONSTRUCTION 3341: Essential Plumbing Workshop:

  • 12 hour minimum duration
  • 3rd party accreditation (e.g., ABET, ACCE, CMAA, IACET, NAAB)
  • Define proper means and methods for installing the various different plumbing systems commonly found within the swimming pool construction industry
  • Employ the means and methods to practice the skills necessary to properly execute these tasks in the field
  • Learn to correctly choose which materials will be appropriate for the specific scope of work for which they will be utilized
  • Apply basic hydraulic rules learned in the course to determine the proper sizing of piping materials for the specific applications for which they will be utilized

Please submit certificates of completion or transcripts from other institutions by uploading via your personal account on the University Portal here.

Exam / Assessment

  • Proctored online exam
  • Schedule exam at your convenience 24/7
  • Pass with a minimum score of 75%


Is this certification accepted by PHTA?

Watershape University is completely independent of PHTA and has obtained approvals from licensing jurisdictions directly. PHTA has no authority over Watershape University and is not required to approve anything.

Will I still need a PHTA CBP to maintain my license?

No. Licensing authorities cannot single-source education and certifications. Continuing education, certifications, and licensing requirements can be obtained through Watershape University completely independent of PHTA.

If you have any other questions, please send an email to certification@watershape.org.

Why is the CWF certification a required prerequisite if I only plan to do plumbing and not build an entire pool?

There is much more to plumbing than just the materials, labor and excellent training. The CWF certification will identify phases of construction before and after plumbing installation that can positively or negatively affect the performance of the system. More importantly, understanding the plumbing as it relates to the watershape structure and finishes will ensure that critical safety and durability issues are addressed.

Certification Path

The Certified Watershape Plumbing Specialist (CWPS) certification builds upon the CWF certification.

Pathfinder Infographic

Click badge for details.

Certified Watershape Foreman (CWF)
Certified Watershape Foreman (CWF)