Early Childhood Outdoor Play Inspector Program

Course Description

This 4 week online training allows you to complete 12 Health and Safety self-paced training hours from your personal or work computer. This course is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Completion of the course results in a 3-year Early Childhood Playground Inspector Certification.

Through this course participants will learn how to inspect:

  • The physical layout of the outdoor play environment
  • The play area for good sight supervision
  • The play area for age appropriate design
  • The fall surface materials of a play area
  • The play area for ADA compliance
  • Common play components typically found in early childhood play environments

The criteria learned in this online course are based on national standards and guidelines as outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Headstart and Early Headstart Standards, Environmental Rating Scales, National Health and Safety Performance Standards (NHSPS), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS).

Target Audience

This course was designed for a wide range of individuals in the early childhood profession, including those working in early childhood programs, human service regulatory professionals, professionals from Child Care Aware Agencies, independent consultants, playground maintenance workers, allied professionals from the health, safety, and legal disciplines, military personnel, CDC staff, NARA members, insurance agents, and any individuals that want to be a Certified Early Childhood Outdoor Play Inspector!

Course Requirements

The course consists of 12 clock hours of self-paced training.  This self-paced training includes examinations over material covered and completion of a survey. Upon completing the online material, participants are required to perform a playground inspection at a site of their choosing and submit a written report for review.  Individuals who successfully complete all class components will be mailed a certificate approximately four weeks after the exam and assignment are reviewed.  Participants will receive 1.2 CEUs.


Upon completing all course requirements participants will earn the designation of Certified Early Childhood Outdoor Play Inspector through the National Program for Playground Safety, enabling them to inspect outdoor play areas in early childhood settings.  This certification is good for three years.  Individuals wishing to continue their certification after the three year expiration date are required to submit a current inspection report and documentation of activities completed as an Outdoor Play Inspector over the certification period.  They will work with NPPS staff to familiarize themselves on any updated information in the field.  Please visit our recertification page for more information on this process. 

Certified Play Inspectors may choose to have their contact information included on the NPPS National Online Registry of certified inspectors.  This registry allows programs in need of an outdoor play inspection to search for inspectors providing services in their area.   


The cost for completing the Early Childhood Outdoor Play Inspector program is $495. This fee includes course materials, 1.2 CEUs, certification, and listing on the National Registry.  This fee can be paid by credit card, purchase order, or check through our online registration system.

Click here to register for this course.

2018 Course Offerings

January 16-February 9, 2018

February 12-March 9, 2018

March 26-April 20, 2018

April 23-May 18, 2018

May 21-June 15, 2018

July 30-August 24, 2018

August 27-September 21, 2018

September 24-October 19

October 22-November 16, 2018

January 21-February 15, 2019

Additional class sessions may be added for large groups (10+) interested in completing the training program should the scheduled dates not meet the need.  Please contact NPPS for more information.