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 instructor/technician proxy verification of the seat check activity required for recertification is observation of interactions with parents and children. 

The instructor/technician proxy verifying seat check activity should feel confident in the technical and communication skills of the technician/instructor they are reviewing. This should be done by direct observation of their ability to communicate accurate information to a parent or caregiver and ensure that communication is accurate and consistent with the information and methodologies detailed in the standardized curriculum. All seat checks should be double-checked ensuring the installation and paperwork are appropriate and correct.  

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.
    • Mock seat checks should be a final resort to meet any seat checks not able to be completed at actual events. Observing interactions and education with caregivers is best practice and is the best way for an instructor or technician proxy to assess the communication and technical skills of the tech/instructor.
  • 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.