Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI)

Certified Playground Safety Inspector Course & Exam

Online courses now available!
Hosted by CPRS Headquarters

Certified Playground Safety Instructor

Playing outdoors is a major component in the health and wellness of our children.  And it is our responsibility to ensure safe, enjoyable play areas for all.  CPRS, in conjunction with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) are offering the Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) course and certification to properly train and certify you and your staff to recognize and prevent potential playground hazards. 
Courses are designed for park and recreation staff, school districts, childcare facilities, health departments, landscape architects, playground manufacturers, installers, contractors, insurance firms, home owner's associations and more.  

CPRS offers both in-person courses/exams and virtual, or "blended learning", courses/exams -- see below for details about each.  Both CPRS members and non-members are welcome to register!

Please contact CPRS HQ with questions at (916) 665-2777.

Register for the August 12-14, 2024 Woodland session here!

Register for the October 22-24, 2024 San Ramon session here!

If you are interested in hosting an in-person course & exam, please reach out to learn more about logistics & benefits of hosting!  

Save the date to join us for an in-person CPSI course and exam March 18 - 20, 2025 in Sacramento, CA.  Participants of this session will be granted complimentary access to the Expo Hall of Connections 2025: CPRS Conference & Expo following completion of their exam on Th., March 20th.  

 

In-Person Course & Exam Information

All course registrants will be mailed a set of course material books: Course Manual & Field Guide and Playground Safety Is No Accident – 6th Edition on USB.  These materials will be mailed via USPS about 3-4 weeks in advance of the course date to the address on file at the time of registration.  It is recommended that course participants review these materials in full prior to participating in the course.
The course is administered over two consecutive days from 8 am - 5 pm, with check-in usually beginning by 7 am.  Lunch is provided on both days of instruction.  
The exam is conducted the following day from 9 am - 11:30 am with check-in beginning by 8 am.  Exam-takers will have two hours to complete their exam & will be notified of their results via email about 3-4 weeks following their exam date. 
Note, a candidate must present two forms of identification at exam check-in: one must be a valid (current) form of government-issued identification that includes your name, signature, and photograph (e.g., driver's license, passport, green card, etc.); the second form of identification must display your name and signature (e.g., credit card with signature or social security card with signature).  

 

Blended Learning (Virtual) Course & Exam Information

The "blended learning" environment will include 12 hours of pre-recorded online learning modules, a 4-hour virtual training course with a live instructor, and an exam proctored at a professional testing location. All course registrants will be mailed a set of course material books: Course Manual & Field Guide and Playground Safety Is No Accident – 6th Edition on USB.  These materials will be mailed via USPS about 3-4 weeks in advance of the course date to the address on file at the time of registration.  It is recommended that course participants review these materials in full prior to participating in the course.

Part 1: Pre-Recorded Online Learning Modules
About 2 -3 weeks prior to your virtual course date, you will receive an email from NRPA granting access to the 12 hours of pre-recorded online learning modules, presented by CPSI expert trainers.  This study-at-your-own-pace "prep course" will give you the basics to be prepared for the live virtual course.  

Part 2: Live Instruction via Zoom 
The 4-hour live instruction course will be conducted via Zoom on the date designated from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm (Pacific).  No more than 45 students participate in each session to allow for maximum engagement among the students and instructor.  2 - 3 weeks prior to the virtual course date, you will receive an email from NRPA providing the information necessary to access the zoom session.  

Part 3: CPSI Exam
NRPA will email you instructions to schedule your computer-based exam with a local PSI Test Center about 2 - 3 weeks before your virtual course date; you may schedule your exam immediately, prior to completing the live instruction.  Results of computer-based exams taken at PSI Test Centers will be available immediately following completion of the exam; there will be a 3 - 4 week delay between completion of the exam and notice of re/certification from NRPA.   For more information about PSI Testing Centers, rescheduling exams, requesting accommodations, and other exam inquires, you can visit the NRPA website to access the CPSI Candidate Handbook.
Please also note, Candidates sitting for the CPSI certification examination must be 18 years or older and have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. 


 

Exam Only & Exam Retake Information

While the CPSI course is highly recommended for first-time candidates, it is not required prior to taking the CPSI exam.  Each of the CPSI courses (virtual & in-person) hosted by CPRS include an option to register for the exam only.  In the event you take the exam and do not successfully pass, you are able to retake the exam.  Whether you want to only take the exam from the outset or retake the exam, register by visiting the registration page for the upcoming CPRS-hosted CPSI course and register for the exam-only option.  

 

Certification

Candidates who successfully pass the exam will be considered a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) and will be added to the national registry.  Re-certification is required every 3 years, expiring on the first of the month you successfully completed your prior exam.  If you forget or lose track of your records, you can contact NRPA at certification@nrpa.org to verify the validity of your certification. 

Course Materials

Registration for the CPSI course includes the purchase of the course materials.  Course materials include (A) "Certified Playground Safety Inspector: Course Manual (2022)" and (B) "Field Guide: Public Safety Standards and Guidelines (2022)."  The Field Guide includes a USB of "Playground Safety is No Accident (Sixth Edition)." 

Course materials are mailed via USPS priority mail to each course registrant approximately 4-6 weeks in advance of the CPSI course to the address on file at the time of registration.  Once a shipment is initiated, the registrant will receive an automated email from "no-reply@pb.com" with a subject line of "A shipment from the California Park and Recreation Society is on its way" providing the USPS tracking number -- don't forget to check your spam for this message.  

If a registrant's course materials are returned to the CPRS HQ office in Sacramento, a CPRS team member will reach out to the registrant to discuss either resending the materials to an alternative mailing address (for a $20 fee) or issuing a refund for the cost of the materials (i.e., $125).

Anyone may purchase a set of course materials from CPRS for $125 plus $20 for shipping.  You may wish to purchase materials for a variety of reasons like studying for the exam without taking the course or updating the copies you keep on file in your office.  To purchase a set of course materials a la carte, please call CPRS HQ at (916) 665-2777 to either pay over the phone with a card or initiate an invoice.  

 

FAQ

We highly recommend reviewing the CPSI Candidate Handbook for the most up to date and detailed information about the Playground Safety Instructor Certification and process. 

If you have questions about the exam or certification not addressed in the handbook, please contact NRPA directly at certification@nrpa.org.

If you have questions about a specific course/exam hosted by CPRS, have any challenges with the registration process, or wish to follow up on the status of the arrival of your course materials, please contact CPRS at (916) 665-2777 or cprs@cprs.org

Anyone (18 or older), regardless of location, industry, and title may register to complete the CPSI course and/or exam with CPRS (there is a cost savings for CPRS members).  The certification is a national standard which is not necessarily specific to any one state.  Please consult with your local or relevant entity to learn if this certification satisfies their requirements/standards. 


Additional Playground Safety Resources: