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Seat Checks

Seat Check Requirements for Recertification

Observation and verification of seat checks is critical to quality assurance. Recertification requires that technicians and instructors demonstrate technical and communications skills during each of five seat checks in the presence of an instructor or technician proxy. The five seat checks are:

  1. Rear-facing only safety seat
  2. Rear-facing convertible safety seat
  3. Forward-facing safety seat with harness
  4. Belt-positioning booster
  5. Installation with LATCH: LATCH requires a harnessed safety seat must be used following manufacturer instructions. A rear-facing safety seat secured correctly using the lower anchors only would fulfill the requirement. A tether must be used if it is required for a correct LATCH installation.

The way to determine what kind of seat check is performed depends on the way children are restrained when they leave the seat check appointment. For example, if the child arrives in safety seat that is rear-facing only, and leaves in a rear-facing convertible, this would be considered a rear-facing convertible seat check. For additional information about seat checks, please read the National CPS Board Seat Check Guidelines.

Verification of Seat Checks for Recertification

Upon completing a seat check for recertification, enter each seat check into your online profile. Each seat check will be verified online by the currently certified instructor or technician proxy.

It is the responsibility of the instructor/technician proxy to review requests to verify seat checks. While instructors and technician proxies will be sent an e-mail reminding them to verify the seat check, the reminder e-mail is not required to access the seat check verification request and to verify the seat check.

All required seat check verifications must be entered into the online system and verified online by the instructor or technician proxy before you pay the recertification fee. If you are close to your certification expiration date, Safe Kids recommends that you contact the instructor/technician proxy directly to make sure that your seat checks are verified before your certification expires.

Why Verification Matters

The primary purpose of having an instructor/technician proxy witness and verify seat checks is to observe your interaction with parents and children. Direct observation helps ensure that communication with parents is accurate and consistent with the information and methodologies in the standardized curriculum. The verifying instructor or technician proxy must feel confident in your ability to communicate accurate information to a parent or caregiver and will double-check that the installation and paperwork are correct. Safe Kids encourages all technicians and instructors to be proactive and supportive of each other in their efforts to maintain certification.

Seat Check Guidelines

The following guidelines were approved by the Certification/Recertification committee of the National CPS Board:

  • During a seat check, it is always best to have the child present.
  • Instructors and technicians are strongly encouraged to make every effort to do an actual safety seat checkup.
  • If an actual caregiver is not available, the instructor/technician proxy may choose a mock scenario, where a colleague acts out the part of the parent.
  • It is strongly encouraged that you enter your seat checks throughout your certification cycle, rather than waiting until near your certification expiration date.

Real or mock, an actual vehicle must always be used for seat checks.

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