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I'm a Tech FAQs

FAQs for Current Techs

  1. Who is responsible for making sure I recertify?
  2. When is the earliest I can recertify? 
  3. What is the Community Education requirement? 
  4. What is a CEU? 
  5. What is the Renewal Testing Course and who is it for? 
  6. I passed a "Safe Travel for All Children: Transporting Children with Special Health Care Needs" course. How does it show up in my profile? 
  7. Do I need liability protection as a CPST/CPSTI?  
  8. I am a CPST independent contractor, should I have liability coverage?

Additional Tech FAQs


1. Who is responsible for making sure I recertify? 

Although many technicians have people who help them stay certified, like a local instructor or someone with their agency, the individual technician is ultimately responsible for maintaining their certification. This includes updating their online profile and making sure their contact information is correct, entering their recertification requirements (seat checks, CEUs) and paying the applicable fees before their certification expires.

Technicians and instructors are responsible for their certification like manufacturers are responsible for crash testing, they self-certify. They are required to keep personal written proof of the types and content of their CEU achievements.Recertification can be completed up to 4 months in advance without losing any time. If you recertify in March but your cycle is July 15-July 14, it stays July. For information about your recertification requirements, please go to the home page and click on I'm A Tech/Recertification. There you will find information about the requirements for recertification and instructions on how to enter your information in your online profile. To help you keep track of your progress offline, you can print out and use the Recert Log.

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2. When is the earliest I can recertify? 

You can finsh and pay the fee to 4 months in advance of your certification expiration date. You will NOT lose any time--your dates stay the same. Because your certification cycle stays the same, any CEUs obtained after you recertify but before the first day of your new certification cycle may not be applied to the new cycle.

Be sure the official contact information in your Online Profile is up to date so you'll get the reminders and notices.

Since you don't lose any certification time and you have two years to acquire your 6 CEUs, it is strongly encouraged that you recertify early so you don't risk forgetting and letting your certification expire.

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3. What is the Community Education requirement?

OPTION 1: Participate in a two-hour seat checkup event. Participate in a seat checkup event (or events) for a minimum of 2 hours. At least one other CPS technician must be present. You must serve families by using any standardized checklist. You are welcome to combine different checkup events or appointments to meet the time requirement of two hours.

OPTION 2: Provide at least four hours of community education to people who are not CPS technicians. Examples include speaking about child passenger safety at birthing classes, PTA or EMS/law enforcement meetings, a preschool or Head Start program, or other parenting groups and organizations. Working at a health fair where you are primarily talking about CPS also qualifies for recertification. You are welcome to combine different presentations to meet the time requirement of four hours. For example, you can do eight 30-minute education sessions or four one-hour education sessions.

OPTION 3: Attended a one hour (minimum) educational session, live or online.  Examples include how to better reach community members or underserved communities, improve communication skills or instructor development and learning about other cultures and their beliefs in your community.

Technicians may choose material from a variety of credible resources as long as it reinforces best practice. A great resource for technicians is the NHTSA Operation Kids CPS Awareness Course. It can be saved or downloaded from the CPS Board website

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4. What is a CEU?
Generally, one hour of technical contact time counts for one continuing education unit (CEU), with a few specific exceptions. All categories of CEUs must meet the content requirements of improving CPS technical knowledge such as LATCH, a child restraint manufacturer workshop or CPS technical update. Non-technical CPS sessions, such as how to get funding or run an inspection station do not qualify.

Read more about CEUs.

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5. What is the Renewal Testing Course and who is it for?

The 8-hour National CPS Training Certification Renewal Testing Course is a way for once-certified individuals to become certified again. In order to be eligible for this course, the student must have a CPS profile with a certification status of EXPIRED. There is no limit for how long ago their certification expired but they must be "ready to test".

All students MUST be current in their CPS knowledge and skills and come ready to test! Students must pass the skills test (only two attempts per station) and make at least 84% on the written test. There is no limit to the number of times students can take this course but if students do not pass, it is recommended that they retake the full Certification Course.

How do I register? Technicians with expired certifications must register using the online system. If you are not able to register online, it is likely you logged in as a new user. If you did, your status will show as CONTACT rather than as EXPIRED in your online profile (see right column).

If you have ever held national CPS certification, you already have an assigned username and password. If you log in as a new user instead, the system will show no record of your certification history. If you do not know your username or password, and you have the same email address you did when you were originally certified, try clicking on "Forgot Your Password?" at the log in screen. You may also contact CPS customer service at cps.certification@safekids.org or toll-free at 877-366-8154 877-366-8154.

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6. I passed a “Safe Travel for All Children: Transporting Children with Special Health Care Needs" course.  How does it show up in my profile? 

The National Center for Safe Transportation of Children with Special Healthcare Needs at Riley Hospital for Children receives all paperwork from the course instructor within 30 days of the completion of the course. Once the paperwork is received by the National Center, Safe Kids is provided with the rosters and tech profiles are updated within 2 business days. When your profile is updated, you will see "Extra Training: Special Needs" in your CPS Online Profile.

Did you pass a course and it’s not in your profile? Contact the National Center directly: Judith Talty: jtalty@iupui.edu.

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7. Do I need liability protection as a CPST/CPSTI? 

Safe Kids, as the certifying body for the National Standardized Child Passenger Safety Certification Training Program, does not provide liability insurance for individual technicians or instructors. Most child passenger safety activities, including car seat checkup events, are covered by an employer or by the agency sponsoring the event. Wherever the event, keep these tips in mind:

  • Always discuss liability concerns with your employer. You may be covered under a general liability policy.
  • Always use a checklist whenever you check a car seat. The form will guide you through the process, so it is important that it be fully and accurately filled out. This serves as your key documentation of how the child arrived and left your checkup. Be sure the parent or caregiver signs your checklist before you begin to work with them.
  • Teach correct installation and use of child restraints and seat belts based on best practices, including active participation by the caregiver. Do not go beyond your scope of practice as a health educator.
  • Use appropriate resources such as child restraint instructions, vehicle owner’s manuals and up to date recall lists. At every checkup event, have a copy of the latest LATCH manual and the child restraint manufacturers’ instructions CD.
  • After you have completed the checkup, review the form to be sure all items are completed accurately. Document your findings, particularly if a caregiver chooses not to follow best practices or to correct identified misuse.
  • Have a clear written policy about replacement seats and how to dispose of old unsafe seats.
  • When possible, have a fellow technician review the installation, checklist form and caregiver education.
  • Safety is a priority for everyone at an event.

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8. I am a CPST independent contractor, should I have liability coverage? 

As an independent contractor, you may consider carrying your own professional liability insurance. You may look into companies that offer insurance to part-time or full-time Health and Safety Educators. The annual fee will be influenced by how much coverage you want. A couple of examples (not recommendations or endorsement of any kind) include the American Council of Healthcare Professionals – Allied Healthcare Professional Insurance Center, http://ahc.lockton-ins.com/pl/coveredProfessions.html and the Healthcare Providers Service Organization, www.hpso.com. Contact your homeowner insurance provider to see what they recommend for you. When searching for insurance, be sure the provider understands that you are an educator – that you do not install car seats. Be prepared to explain the training, certification and continuing education requirements for your technician status.

  • Always use a checklist whenever you check a car seat. The form will guide you through the process, so it is important that it be fully and accurately filled out. This serves as your key documentation of how the child arrived and left your checkup. Be sure the parent or caregiver signs your checklist before you begin to work with them.
  • Teach correct installation and use of child restraints and seat belts based on best practices, including active participation by the caregiver. Do not go beyond your scope of practice as a health educator.
  • Use appropriate resources such as child restraint instructions, vehicle owner’s manuals and up to date recall lists. At every checkup event, have a copy of the latest LATCH manual and the child restraint manufacturer’s instructions CD.
  • After you have completed the checkup, review the form to be sure all items are completed accurately. Document your findings, particularly if a caregiver chooses not to follow best practices or to correct identified misuse.
  • Have a clear written policy about replacement seats and how to dispose of old unsafe seats.
  • When possible, have a fellow technician review the installation, checklist form and caregiver education.
  • Safety is a priority for everyone at an event.

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