If our complimentary site evaluation turns up no problems with the playground, is it automatically certified?

No. The site evaluation is a big-picture look at your playground: safety, supervision, developmental appropriateness, and usage issues. A certified inspection visit is much more detailed. It takes several hours and includes measurements, note-taking and other gauges. The benefit of taking advantage of our free evaluation is that you can anticipate major problems before paying for a certification visit. The cost of the certification visit is the same, whether or not your playground meets the standards.

What does the cost of the certification visit include? The inspection itself may take several hours, depending on the size of and conditions of your playground and the number of children using it. The inspector uses a detailed checklist to note all findings and will discuss any concerns with you on the spot. After the visit, our office will type a certified inspection report. This will document your site's compliance with all applicable standards. Any items that do not comply with these guidelines will be noted with specific directions describing how you can bring the item into compliance. Your certified inspection report will be mailed to your center in a folder designed to keep ongoing inspection logs and maintenance reminders in an easily accessible format. Ongoing plans for maintenance are one element of the NAEYC evolving accreditation criteria.

How often will we need to re-certify our playground? The frequency with which playgrounds should be inspected by a certified inspector depends on the number of children and hours of use the playground gets, as well as any structural or usage changes. To ensure that playgrounds continue to meet safety certification guidelines, we recommend that programs re-certify their site every 2-5 years, or whenever any structural or equipment components are added to the playscape. In our Certification report, we include space for customers who maintain their playground as certified according to our enclosed guidelines to sign off each year that they have made no changes to equipment or use zones.

What if our playground does not pass the first time? Is the return visit free? In most cases, you will not need a return visit. You will just need to prove that you have corrected the problem(s) to meet CPSC standards and attach documentation of these adjustments to the Certified Inspection Report.

Do you repair playgrounds on the spot?  We will give you an on-site estimate for any necessary repairs to be scheduled at a later date. If the repairs can be accomplished with materials we have on hand and the inspector has time in the schedule, you may be able to have them done the same day, but we can't promise this.

I can look up the standards, can't I? Why do I need you to inspect my site? Three reasons. First, the NAEYC accreditation criteria require an inspection by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector. Second, the standards are complicated and can be difficult for laypeople to understand and apply. Finally, it's easy to overlook our own shortcomings. A fresh pair of trained, experienced eyes can help you see your playground in a new light.

How can I make sure my home outdoor play equipment is safe? Click here for a printable CPSC brochure with basic suggestions for backyard play areas. The CPSC also has more detailed suggestions for planning a home playground in this 13-page downloadable pamphlet.

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