Locating a playground inspector
Several organizations in Canada offer programs to certify playground inspectors. These groups can connect you with trained professionals who may be available to inspect your playground and provide advice on safety improvements.
- The Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) provides a Canadian Certified Playground Inspector Certification program to individuals who successfully complete the Theory and Practical training courses through the Canadian Playground Safety Institute (CPSI).
- In Québec, playground inspector training is available through the Institut Québécois de la Sécurité dans les Aires de Jeu (IQSAJ).
- L'Association des architectes paysagistes du Québec (AAPQ) (Landscape Architects Association of Quebec) (Click "association", then « Liste des membres accrédités pour la certification des aires extérieures et équipements de jeu des Centres de Petite Enfance et des Garderies du Québec ».)
- L'Ordre des technologues professionnels du Québec (The Society of Professional Technologists of Quebec)
- The Canadian Association of Playground Practitioners (CAPP)
Owners/operators such as daycare centres can also contact similar organizations to obtain referrals to playground inspectors that were found to be helpful and professional. When seeking referrals, consider whether or not the inspector submitted their report on time. In addition, a thorough inspection includes photographs of any issues, sufficient time to answer client's questions and an itemized list which prioritizes any necessary repairs. Watching the inspection process can be informative for the client.
Hiring a playground safety inspector
When contacting potential playground inspectors, it is helpful to consider several key points.
- Can they provide proof of current Playground Safety Inspector Certification issued by a credible organization, such as the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) or Ontario Parks Association, Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec (INSPQ)?
- Do they have a solid, technical understanding of the most current CSA Standard for Children's Play spaces and Equipment?
- Will they be assessing the risk of potential injury by using the various surfacing performance testing devices and other playground equipment testing instruments described in the CSA Standard?
- Can they provide a list of current references that you can contact?
- Do they have any conflict of interests to declare? If they work with, or are dependent upon, any playground manufacturers, suppliers and/or other contractors, they may not objectively assess your playground.
Playground inspection cost
The cost of a professional playground inspection will depend on many factors, including the size and age of playground, location, requirements from the playground operator's insurer, and the experience and credentials of the inspector.
Photographs may increase the inspection report cost, but they can be a very helpful tool for understanding the report recommendations, in addition to communicating your needs to other contractors who may be doing repairs or renovations.
In remote areas, there may be a greater cost associated with hiring a playground inspector due to longer travelling distances. Owners/operators can address this challenge by pooling their resources and arranging a playground inspection which encompasses multiple playground site inspections in one trip.