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During the Course

Lead Instructor Responsibilities

The Lead Instructor (LI) has a range of responsibilities before, during and after the Certification and Certification Renewal Testing Courses.

During the course, the LI is responsible for:

  • Making sure the course roster accurately reflects all students and the instructor team, including instructor candidates, by the end of the first day of the course.
  • Monitoring the course to be sure all policies and procedures are followed.
  • Being present and attentive for the entire course. Should LIs discover that they cannot attend part of the course, designate different LIs and update the course profile accordingly.
  • Teaching the course, along with other instructors. As the Certification and Certification Renewal Testing Courses have a national standardized curriculum, LIs must only use the slides provided by NHTSA and cannot edit them or make their own slides.
  • Additional grading responsibilities and accommodating students, as described below.

All courses are subject to auditing by a quality assurance specialist.

Here are two useful instructions for teaching the CPS Certification Course:

Teaching the CPS Certification Course Inside Vehicles - August 28, 2012

Teaching Chapter 9 of the CPS Certification Course Inside Vehicles - February 28, 2013

Grading Responsibilities

In addition to teaching the students, the instructor team grades students on their performance of the activities described below. The lead instructor submits scores for each student at the end of the course, also known as Course Finalization.

  • Hands-on Assessments
    • Hands-on assessments are graded pass/fail.
    • To become a certified technician, students must pass all skills assessments, including vehicle occupant protection system identification, selecting and securing child restraints, and identifying misuse.
    • For Certification Course skills assessments, an instructor candidate may sign off/grade students under the supervision of their mentor(s) using their T#. The mentor will co-sign all paperwork.
    • For the Certification Course, each student has three opportunities to pass each skill assessment.
    • For the Renewal Testing Course, each student has two opportunities to pass each skill assessment.
    • Should students fail any section of any assessment, they will not pass the course and must retake and pass either the Certification Course (or the Certification Renewal Testing Course if they were previously certified) to become certified.
  • Checkup Event -- Each technician candidate must actively participate in and demonstrate correct technical skill and appropriate communication at a safety seat checkup event. Checkup events are graded pass/fail.
  • Written Exams
    • The lead instructor is responsible for overseeing all quiz grading and later, entering a final grade online.
    • Under no circumstances will a student, member of the instructor team or other person modify a student exam answer sheet, except in the case of a grading discrepancy as described in the exam administration guidelines.  The instructor team shares responsibility equally for preventing unauthorized modifications.

Accommodating Students with Special Needs

Students with special needs should send a written request to the lead instructor before the start date of the course, documenting the need and specifying the accommodation requested. Most accommodations may be made on-site at the discretion of the instructor team.

Should any student require assistance with the physical requirements of the course, the instructor team will accommodate the student by assigning an instructor to install seats following the student's specific instructions in each step of the selection, direction, and location process.

For any accommodations given, the lead instructor should note the student's name and a description of the accommodation and keep this information on file for at least two years (one certification cycle).

For more information: Please refer to our Policies & Procedures Manual, and look under Course Administration.