The sports equipment inspection company should provide a dated, written report describing the condition of all equipment checked, separate costings for all recommended repairs and any recommendations for prioritising repairs. Sportsafe offers electronic reporting with quotations for repairs delivered within 24-48 hours from the point of inspection.

Signed authorisation should be given and a receipt obtained for any equipment needing to be removed to a workshop for repair before being returned to school. A return time for such equipment should be agreed, and checks made that the cost of return is included in the overall repair cost.

Any item judged to be unsafe and beyond economic repair needs to be clearly identified as condemned and must be taken out of service immediately. It is unlikely the inspecting company will physically remove condemned items. The system for completing this needs to be clear and to guarantee the removal or decommissioning of items from use.

Condemned items should not continue to be used even for limited (eg “only sitting on”) or non-PESSPA purposes. All condemned items need to be removed so that they cannot come back into use “inadvertently”. Condemned equipment needs to be made readily identifiable by the inspecting company in order that teachers do not continue to use it in ignorance of the fact that it is unsafe.

Commonly condemned items include benches and matting, both of which should be removed from the storage area. It is not sufficient for condemned mats to be placed at the bottom of the pile, or benches to be written on to say that they should not be used. Removal is the only safe option in these scenarios.

The employer and the inspecting company need to agree that any sports equipment requiring repair is shown to a nominated member of the school staff so the situation can be explained. Whether or not such equipment can continue in use until it can be repaired needs to be confirmed before the inspection concludes.

Any equipment inspection report is like an “MOT” in that it comments on the state of the equipment at the time of the inspection and does not guarantee its condition and safe use at a later date.

A specialist sports equipment inspection does not negate the obligation on teachers to inspect all equipment prior to each use.

Planning Your Sports Equipment Inspection