Playground Safety Certification Courses PDF Print E-mail
Written by Cheryl Coyle   
Wednesday, 11 March 2009 14:03

Certified Playground Safety Inspectors - Training, Certification & Resources
Playground Safety Certification provides the authority to examine playgrounds for compliance with California regulations R-39-97.

To become certified we recommend you take the certification course, then sit for the 100 question exam.  Once certified with the National Recreation & Park Association you will remain certified for three years. CPRS is the exclusive provider for playground safety certification courses throughout California.

Click here for playground safety course frequently asked questions.

Upcoming Trainings

September 28-30, 2015
San Diego, CA
October 20-22, 2015
Torrance, CA

Playground Safety Specifications Updates

The new version of ASTM F 1487 contains several significant changes from the F 1487-07ae1 version.  The most significant changes are the requirements for stairs, new specification for swings and a completely new sign/label specification.  The specification of slide entanglement removes the requirement that there be no gaps at the top of the slide entrance.  It now says slides shall be designed to minimize the likelihood of entanglements.

All stairs 48 inches above the surface and higher are required to have barriers. If the highest step in a series is higher than 48 inches then the stairs must have barriers rather than guardrails.   

There are now three types of swings; the Single Axis or To-Fro swing, the Multi Axis or Tire Swing and the new Combination Swing.  The Single Axis Swing has been modified to allow multiple occupant To-Fro Swings.  The new Combination Swing is a combination of both the Single Axis and Multi Axis Swings.  This new specification should dispel any belief that ASTM is making playgrounds too safe.  To do this ASTM has developed a Suspended Element Impact Attenuation Test.  This is a horizontal test similar to the vertical Impact test for surfacing materials that is designed to test the impact of a swing seat that might strike a child.

Signs or Labels are now the responsibility of the owner/operator.  The information regarding the age of the user must be supplied by the manufacturer, designer or consultant. The sign/label must be placed so that they alert the user to the potential hazard in time to take appropriate action.  That means if you have poured in place or tile surfacing the sig/label must be at the perimeter of the play areas not on the equipment because if you are warning that the surfacing might be hot enough to burn you need to warn them before they step on the surface.  The signs/labels must communicate address age appropriateness, supervision recommendation, the removal of helmets, drawstrings or accessories around the neck, hot playground equipment or surfacing when applicable and warning about the hazard of placing equipment located over hard surfaces when applicable.

The new ASTM F 1487-11 is available for a fee at the ASTM Web site at   Select Specifications under the menu on the left side then enter F 1487-11 in the search field.

Certified Playground Safety Inspector Program
has updated content effective January 1, 2012.  Please select this link to review the content updates coming our way.


New/Changed policies for CPSI

Elimination of Lapse Policy - The 90 day lapse policy will be removed as of December 31, 2011.  What this means is anyone who is set to expire after December 31, 2011 must renew by their expiration date in order to continue inspecting playgrounds as a CPSI and maintain their certification. 

If a serious health condition or extreme personal emergency has prevented an individual from completing all recertification requirements, a request for extension may be submitted along with a letter from the treating physician confirming return to full duty.

New Age & Education Requirement - The NCB (National Certification Board) has made it a requirement that an individual taking the CPSI exam be 18 years old and hold a high school degree or equivalent.

NRPA Online Certification Center

The NRPA Online Certification Center can be easily accessed at  Individuals are required to login to the certification center.  All certified professionals have an account with NRPA, if you do not know what your NRPA login is please use your email as your login and click on “forgot my password” to have a password sent to your email address.  The Online Certification Center can be used by both NRPA members and non-members.   **Please contact customer service at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 800-626-NRPA (6772) if you have any problems logging into the NRPA site.

The Online Certification Center offers individuals a chance to:

·         obtain certification expiration dates/numbers & complete initial and renewal applications for certifications;

·         change certification registry status and contact information & print official transcripts.

CPSI practice exam – NOW AVAILABLE!

The CPSI practice exam is available for purchase through the NRPA Online Learning Center at   Any individuals who are preparing to take the CPSI Certification examination may access the examination including NRPA members and non-NRPA members.   The exam questions provided on the practice exam are comparable in style and design to CPSI Exam questions and all questions are based on the CPSI certification exam content areas. 

Up-to-Date Resources
Consumer Product Safety Commission announces an update to Publication #325 -- Public Playground Safety Handbook!
Click on the link below for a copy of the new Public Playground Safety Handbook. You can download this publication at no charge
: All California playground owners should review the changes as they relate to our California playground safety regulations.
You can also find other CPSC playground safety related publications at this link:

Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2015 09:30