What is a Certified Playground Safety Inspector? What does CPSI training involve? And are there alternatives to becoming a CPSI that still ensure safe inspections? Keep reading for answers to all of these questions and more!
What Is a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI)?
A Certified Playground Safety Inspector is someone who has gone through official training from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to learn how to assess and inspect the safety of a playground and other play spaces. They may have earned certification in order to inspect their own playgrounds, or they may offer their services to others.
What Does CPSI Training Involve?
CPSI certification has evolved over the years, but currently, it focuses on four main areas:
- Identifying playground hazards
- Understanding playground equipment specifications
- Understanding playground surfacing requirements
- Managing risks for children at play
The requirements consist of an online course, a training session with a virtual instructor, and a 100-question final exam. CPSI certifications are good for three years, after which you must retake the test (and retake any trainings as needed) to renew your certification.
Do I Need a CPSI to Inspect My Playground?
CPSIs are a valuable asset to any playground manager. The work they do helps limit playground owner liability and spread the word about playground safety. And, above all else, their work keeps children at play safe. However, there are a few difficulties to consider when utilizing a CPSI as part of your playground inspection program.
First, while there are over 7,500 CPSIs in the United States, depending on the location of your playground, there may not be an available CPSI local to you. Finding someone who will travel to you for regular inspections may be expensive.
Second, working with a CPSI can be inconvenient. You will likely need them for regular inspections (which may be weekly, monthly, or quarterly), as well as for inspections immediately after severe weather. And, if you need a return visit for repair work or maintenance, it may be days or weeks before they can come back depending on their workload. This means your playground may be closed for weeks at a time waiting on a simple inspection or repair.
If there is an affordable CPSI available in your area, they can be a great option. However, many playground managers don’t have a huge budget to work with and can’t wait on a third-party to service their playground. Luckily, working directly with a CPSI isn’t the only option to ensure your playground’s safety.
Playground Inspection Without a CPSI
If you’re looking to leverage the expertise of a CPSI in a fast, convenient, and affordable way, Park Protector might be the perfect fit for you. Whether you manage a single playground or are in charge of a team managing many playgrounds, here are some of the features Park Protector can offer you.
1. Create and Maintain an Inspection Schedule
Half of the battle of playground inspection is sticking to a consistent schedule. With Park Protector, you can easily schedule and assign inspection tasks and keep comprehensive records of all of your inspection findings. And, you can set deadlines and reminders to keep you or your entire team on track.
2. Get the Inspection Guidance You Need
Park Protector offers guided inspections with easy-to-answer questions to simplify playground inspection and help make our playgrounds safer. The app was created by a team of CPSIs so you can feel confident in the thoroughness of your inspection.
3. Create Work Orders and Track Progress
If your guided inspection results in suggested maintenance or repairs, you can create work orders directly in the app, complete with photo documentation. Comprehensive features like these save you time, money, and hassle.
4. Review and Analyze Inspection Data
With all of your information in one place, it’s easy to see the bigger picture and prevent injuries and accidents on your playground. Looking at your data as a whole can help you categorize recurring issues and let you know when playground elements need to be replaced.