A three-way alliance has formed between the Foundation for Pool & Spa Industry Education, the National Swimming Pool Foundation, and Hanley Wood, LLC, owner of Pool & Spa News and the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo.

“Because of the vast expertise all three organizations have with various segments of the pool and spa market, as well as long-standing relationships, we felt this was a no-brainer,” said Dick Coleman, group publisher with Hanley Wood, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

The group is starting with three online courses, the first of which is scheduled to launch in spring 2011. The program is leading with its “Aquatic Energy Auditor” class, a FPSIE-developed session that helps pool professionals and others learn how to inspect a pool or spa, and suggest improvements to the system to ensure peak energy efficiency. It will be followed by a class on basic electricity and one covering hydraulics and circulation.

“The world is moving toward more energy conservation, and this strategic partnership helps us bring our industry in that direction,” said Tom Lachocki, CEO of Colorado Springs-based NSPF. “Ultimately, the objective is to have effective energy auditors out in the field who can help facilities become more efficient and possibly even earn credits.”

Though all parties are contributing to the program’s content, marketing and delivery, each will bring its expertise to a different area. FPSIE plans to provide the bulk of the content, whereas NSPF will draw on its experience in packaging and providing Web courses. Hanley Wood will supply graphics generation and specialize in marketing through its print and online publications.

After the initial three courses are produced, the partners will decide whether and how to move forward. “I think this is a dynamic partnership because all three organizations have the ability to look in a very open manner at the future,” said Michael Orr, executive director of FPSIE, based in Sacramento, Calif. “There’s a synergy here. This agreement has far-ranging potential for developing new courses that have not been done previously.”

The Foundation for Pool & Spa Industry Education is a nonprofit educational center geared toward providing vocational training for the pool and spa industry. The National Swimming Pool Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aims to promote and improve aquatics through education and research. Hanley Wood is a leading media company targeting the housing and construction industries.

All courses will be available in 2011 through Websites of the three organizations. This includes Hanley Wood University (www.hanleywooduniversity.com), a centralized continuing education portal for construction professionals. The courses should qualify for continuing education units.

Kendra Kozen provided reporting for this article.