“A nationwide partnership formed to contribute to the advancement of the playground building industry by promoting playground installation as a legitimate contracting profession.” –Purpose of the NPCA
Many playground-related organizations have continued to evolve and adapt to accommodate the changes in the industry in the past 25 years. For instance, there wouldn’t be a National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI) if there hadn’t first been a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) would not have come into being if the American Standard for Testing and Materials (ASTM) had not been in existence. These organizations directly affect consumers, manufacturers and maintenance personnel. Since 1997, the National Playground Contractors Association (NPCA) has provided the appropriate link for installers to become part of industry decision-making through professional association.
Like many other non-profit associations, the NPCA promotes itself through a network of members who donate countless hours of their time for the greater good. With over 15 committees chaired and run by NPCA member volunteers, they have accomplished numerous tasks in a short period of time. Every stakeholder in the playground industry—equipment manufacturers, manufacturer’s representatives, playground purchasers/owners, and most importantly, the children—is affected in a positive way by the presence of the NPCA. This is evidenced by the higher standard the NPCA has created.
Every stakeholder in the playground industry—equipment manufacturers, manufacturer’s representatives, playground purchasers/owners, and most importantly, the children—is affected in a positive way by the presence of the NPCA.
One member committee, charged with overseeing the Handbook for Public Playground Safety translation into Spanish, led to the organization of another committee whose job was to distribute and introduce the document to Spanish-speaking customers. This led to the opportunity for NPCA members to contribute their time and resources to the building of a playground structure that was donated by an NPCA manufacturer member. After one full year of planning, NPCA member volunteers installed the structure in two short days. The children of the city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, have a new playground and the translated CPSC Handbook distributed to the city officials was welcomed by the Mexican community.
It is because of this kind of continued interest and collaboration that the NPCA, in conjunction with NPCA manufacturer members, will donate another playground structure to the village of Estanada in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. The volunteer labor of NPCA members plans to build the project in February 2004.
Another example of what the NPCA has been able to accomplish is the Qualified Contractor Program, designed to distinguish reputable business operators from their competition. Implemented in 2003, NPCA members can increase their company’s credibility by participating in the program. Bid specifications that now require the completed installation to be inspected by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) may soon require that the installation is completed by a qualified contractor. The NPCA staff collects and manages pertinent information for every member that elects to participate. This includes current certification with NPSI, appropriate contractor’s licenses for the state(s) in which a member operates and applicable liability and workers’ compensation insurances. All documents must be kept current to be considered for the program.
To find out more, visit the NPCA Web site at www.playground-contractors.org or call 888-908-9519.
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