Playground inspector training

This is a tough time for all of us as we find our way through the Covid-19 outbreak. It’s also a tough time to be in education.

The spread of the Coronavirus has led to cancelling class based training, ensuring our trainers health and safety by not placing them in danger or travelling interstate as well as self isolation.

While Staysafe has suspended class based training for all of its courses. We are being innovative and thinking outside the box to continue delivering these courses, we have taken to video conference which seems to be working well with this course.

Training does not need to be put off till another time, if you need to do this training, it can be done from the comfort of your home or workplace, though the practical will mean going to a local park to conduct 3 inspections. All inspections can be done on the same day to reduce the risk to your health and safety. It would be advisable to do a job safety analysis before going out. If the personal risks are too great, don’t go out. The practical can be left till another time.

If you do go out to inspect a park, choose a park which may be in a quiet suburban neighbourhood that does not attract as many visitors as main parks and facilities. At all times keep yourself safe.

Staysafe has also reduced its training prices significantly for affordable training via video conferencing.

Playground inspector probe information

Trainer and assessor

Terry Dugdale is a qualified trainer and assessor and has considerable industry experience in both a supervisor role for the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens and technical officer at the Sunshine Coast Council.

Role included:

  • Conduct quality and hazard audits on landscape and turf maintenance sites
  • Conduct comprehensive safety audits on contractors operating on council sites
  • Conduct RVI audits on parks facilities and playground – conducting up to 30 audits per week
  • Respond to customer requests
  • Issue ‘Notice to Remedy’ on sites that are not complying
  • Issue ‘Safety Infringement Notice’ to contractors that do not comply with Council policies/standards

Delivery methods and course costs

Class based training – Class based training has been suspended due to the Coronavirus outbreak for the next 6 months, however this course can be done via ‘Zoom’ video conference and can cater for up to 100 persons for each conference. This is a flexible way to learn, or through distance learning.

Staysafe has a private website page which is password protected so that you can access learning resources and assessment tools. Theory and practical assessment is completed with the trainer using PDF fillable forms which can be signed and dated. All assessment tools with photo and video evidence is uploaded to google docs. Links will be sent to you at enrolment to access the private page.

The training timetable is flexible meaning that the theory for AHCPGD206 and AHCPGD305 can be conducted on day one instead of over two days. The practical assessment for both units can be done at the same time on day two. The theory for AHCPGD505 is conducted on day 3 and the practical for AHCPGD505 is conducted on day four.

Refresher training
1 day refresher course $500.00

Upgrade from Operational inspection to Comprehensive audit – $500.00

Video conference ‘Zoom’

AHCPGD206 Conduct visual inspection of park and facilities – $500.00 – 4 hours theory, day 1

AHCPGD206 Conduct visual inspection of park and facilities & AHCPGD305 Conduct operational inspection of park and facilities – $1000.00 –  8 hours theory, day 1

AHCPGD206 Conduct visual inspection of park and facilities & AHCPGD305 Conduct operational inspection of park and facilities & AHCPGD505 Conduct operational inspection of park and facilities – $1500.00 – 20 hours theory, 2.5 days and 12 hours practical – 1.5 days

For the comprehensive inspection/audit, you will need to order and purchase inspection probes through Staysafe, however, a 300mm screw driver and 8m measure tape will be sufficient to determine surfacing depths and entrapment gaps.

The playground inspection and audit hierarchy

The Inspections process is hierarchical, less complex inspections are conducted more frequently and can be undertaken by ground staff who may also be carrying out maintenance tasks during the same visit. More rigorous and thorough inspections do not typically need to be conducted as frequently and require more expertise. All playground inspections shall be carried out by a competent person.

Routine inspection – 1 day course

AHCPGD206 Conduct visual inspection of park facilities

visual inspection of playground equipment and park facilities such as toilets, BBQ, seating, surfacing. A visual inspection is intended to identify obvious hazards that can result from wear and tear, vandalism or weather conditions. This inspection shall be carried out regularly and take into consideration the local conditions, frequency of use and the manufacturer’s instructions. Playgrounds subject to heavy use or prone to vandalism, may require daily inspection. Any potentially6 hazardous situations shall be reported immediately and/or rectified.

Operational inspection – 2 day course

AHCPGD206 Conduct visual inspection of park facilities

AHCPGD305 Conduct operational inspection of park facilities

Quarterly inspection. An operational inspection should be carried out regularly, on a monthly or quarterly basis unless there are compelling reasons to deviate from this inspection frequence.

Comprehensive audit – 4 day course

AHCPGD206 Conduct visual inspection of park facilities, AHCPGD305 Conduct operational inspection of park facilities, AHCPGD505 Conduct comprehensive inspection of park facilities

Annual and post installation of playground equipment. A comprehensive annual inspection shall be carried out. In addition this inspection is intended to determine conformance with the relevant parts of AS 4685 and to establish the overall level of safety of the equipment, foundations and playground surfaces.

The post installation and comprehensive inspections shall be performed by a person who has training and experience that enables them to perform a full conformity check to AS4685. Impact testing in accordance with AS4422 requires the capability to operate specialised equipment and interpret the results. These inspections do not need to be carried out by the same person or organisation. While we touch on AS4422, there is no unit or course as yet for impact testing.

A comprehensive post-installation inspection is conducted by a competent person prior to the opening of the playground. This inspection shall verify that the playground conforms with the requirements of the relevant parts of the AS4685 series and the impact attenuating surfacing test in AS4422, (this is not included in this course) and shall identify and detail the tasks that need to be carried out to conformance.


The timetable for inspector training is flexible and changes can be made to suit the delivery method. Class based training has been suspended for at least 6 months. This course can be achieved through distance learning or video conference over 4 days.

  • Routine inspection  – On average 8 hours
  • Operational inspection – On average 16 hours
  • Comprehensive audit – On average 32 Hours
  • Refresher training – 8 hours
  • Upgrade from Operational to Comprehensive – 16 hours

Theory and practical assessment is conducted within the course duration. There is no pre or after course assessment.

Participants who successfully complete the course/s will receive a statement of attainment (SOA). The SOA does not expire and there is no requirement to re-certify in 3 years time.

What you need to have:
If you doing the comprehensive inspection/audit training. You will need to purchase a set of 2D inspection probes, wear gauge set and surface depth/top up probe. These are purchased separately to course fees. Probes come with an instruction manual, are light, compact and come in a carry case for easy transport. For more information and a brochure. Email:

If you cannot purchase a set of 2D entrapment probes, alternative tools includes:

  • 300mm screwdriver
    8mm Measure tape

Other items you will need

  • Clipboard
  • Pen
  • PPE such as High viz vest, hat and workboots
  • Water
  • Umbrella if weather is wet
  • Sunblock if weather sunny

Video conference
This course can be done via video conferencing for an individual or group of people. Trainer led, video and audio over 4 days. You will need to select a park/playground that has seating, shade, BBQ, toilet block, rubbish bins and at least 5 pieces of playground equipment to do the practical assessments in the afternoons. Video evidence of inspection including hazards, wear and tear, grafitti, overhanging branches, vandalism to be uploaded as part of your practical assessment along with the inspection and risk matrix.

Refresher training
You may require your staff to ensure their knowledge and skills are up to date with industry requirements. Training can be arranged over 1 day and attracts a reduced rate. This training is conducted separately from other training, however upon completing the 1 day course, you will be awarded with a certificate of completion. This training can be done via video conference or distance learning.

Upgrade from Operational to Comprehensive
If your staff already hold the Visual and Operational units. You can upgrade them to Comprehensive at a reduced rate. This training can also be done via video conference or distance.

Use of appropriate PPE
In courses that require the use of PPE (such as heights, confined spaces or playground inspector) Staysafe Industry Training requires all students to wear appropriate PPE.