ontario parks association

Protecting Tomorrow Today®

Education and Training


UPDATE: All OPA in-class training sessions have been postponed until after September 1, 2020 due to COVID-19. If you were scheduled to attend a training session, please check you email for further details. Please be sure to watch your email for notices of online training sessions!

Wondering how other municipalities are dealing with COVID-19 related issues? Check out the Discussion Forum where you can post questions and read discussion threads on how others are responding.

Please note that our office will be closed until further notice, with staff working remotely during this time. Please contact us by email if you have any questions or concerns. 

Did you know new and young workers are 4x more likely to get injured within their first month on the job than any other time? This is because they are not properly trained, unaware of the hazards, afraid to ask questions and/or unsure of what to expect.

Our training sessions are instructed by industry experts, all across Ontario. Through a combination of in-class theory and hands-on experience, attendees leave confident in their new skills, and ready to take on additional responsibilities in their workplace. We are always working to develop new courses based on feedback, and to continue to meet the needs of our members

For your convenience and to help stretch your budget dollars, OPA will bring any of our courses to your municipality or organization. We encourage you to let us know if you are interested even if you can only send one or two staff. We will promote your training to neighbouring organizations to fill the course and foster opportunities for networking with other people in the industry.


If you have questions about any of the OPA training sessions or are interested in hosting a session  please click here to email the Training Department.


Click here to read our Registration Policies
















Parks Practitioner Designation Program

Parks employees are a wealth of experience and knowledge, and we want to help recognize that. We hope applying for the Intermediate and Advanced designations in this program will assist members in planning their professional development goals, and give them confidence in the knowledge they have in their field. This program will also help employers confidently choose employees, knowing they have the skills required to competently do the job.

Parks Practitioner Application Form

Upcoming Training

    • 15 Sep 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM (EDT)
    • Online
    • 14
    Register

    In keeping with best practices, all Playground Practitioners registered with Ontario Parks Association are required to attend an update course when a new Z614: Children's playspaces and equipment standard is released by CSA. A new standard is released approximately every 5 years. If you wish to remain an OPA Registered Playground Practitioner in good standing you are required to take part in this half day update and pass the course test.


    Prerequisite: You MUST be a current RPP with OPA to attend this course. Your status will be confirmed prior to invoicing. If you are not a current RPP,  you will be notified and your registration will be cancelled.


    This course will review the recent changes to the CSA Z614:20 standard. Attendees will receive a wallet size card stating that they have attended the update and are still a current RPP with OPA. 

    Prior to attending the training, attendees are required to purchase a copy of the new CSA Z614:20 standard. The test at the end of the course is open book so attendees will need their own copy of the standard (sharing books with other class participants is not permitted). Attendees can choose to use either a hard copy of the book or an electronic PDF version which can be accessed on their tablet or other electronic device (so long as they can turn off the use of internet / text messaging for the test as any use of outside sources is considered cheating and will not receive a passing grade). Books can be purchased at the CSA Online Shop.

    NOTE: This course does not count towards the Parks Practitioner Certificate.

    Click here to read our Registration Policies

    • 16 Sep 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM (EDT)
    • Online
    • 16
    Register

    In keeping with best practices, all Playground Practitioners registered with Ontario Parks Association are required to attend an update course when a new Z614: Children's playspaces and equipment standard is released by CSA. A new standard is released approximately every 5 years. If you wish to remain an OPA Registered Playground Practitioner in good standing you are required to take part in this half day update and pass the course test.


    Prerequisite: You MUST be a current RPP with OPA to attend this course. Your status will be confirmed prior to invoicing. If you are not a current RPP,  you will be notified and your registration will be cancelled.


    This course will review the recent changes to the CSA Z614:20 standard. Attendees will receive a wallet size card stating that they have attended the update and are still a current RPP with OPA. 

    Prior to attending the training, attendees are required to purchase a copy of the new CSA Z614:20 standard. The test at the end of the course is open book so attendees will need their own copy of the standard (sharing books with other class participants is not permitted). Attendees can choose to use either a hard copy of the book or an electronic PDF version which can be accessed on their tablet or other electronic device (so long as they can turn off the use of internet / text messaging for the test as any use of outside sources is considered cheating and will not receive a passing grade). Books can be purchased at the CSA Online Shop.

    NOTE: This course does not count towards the Parks Practitioner Certificate.

    Click here to read our Registration Policies

    • 17 Sep 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM (EDT)
    • Online
    • 19
    Register

    In keeping with best practices, all Playground Practitioners registered with Ontario Parks Association are required to attend an update course when a new Z614: Children's playspaces and equipment standard is released by CSA. A new standard is released approximately every 5 years. If you wish to remain an OPA Registered Playground Practitioner in good standing you are required to take part in this half day update and pass the course test.


    Prerequisite: You MUST be a current RPP with OPA to attend this course. Your status will be confirmed prior to invoicing. If you are not a current RPP,  you will be notified and your registration will be cancelled.


    This course will review the recent changes to the CSA Z614:20 standard. Attendees will receive a wallet size card stating that they have attended the update and are still a current RPP with OPA. 

    Prior to attending the training, attendees are required to purchase a copy of the new CSA Z614:20 standard. The test at the end of the course is open book so attendees will need their own copy of the standard (sharing books with other class participants is not permitted). Attendees can choose to use either a hard copy of the book or an electronic PDF version which can be accessed on their tablet or other electronic device (so long as they can turn off the use of internet / text messaging for the test as any use of outside sources is considered cheating and will not receive a passing grade). Books can be purchased at the CSA Online Shop.

    NOTE: This course does not count towards the Parks Practitioner Certificate.

    Click here to read our Registration Policies

    • 22 Sep 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM (EDT)
    • Online
    • 19
    Register

    In keeping with best practices, all Playground Practitioners registered with Ontario Parks Association are required to attend an update course when a new Z614: Children's playspaces and equipment standard is released by CSA. A new standard is released approximately every 5 years. If you wish to remain an OPA Registered Playground Practitioner in good standing you are required to take part in this half day update and pass the course test.


    Prerequisite: You MUST be a current RPP with OPA to attend this course. Your status will be confirmed prior to invoicing. If you are not a current RPP,  you will be notified and your registration will be cancelled.


    This course will review the recent changes to the CSA Z614:20 standard. Attendees will receive a wallet size card stating that they have attended the update and are still a current RPP with OPA. 

    Prior to attending the training, attendees are required to purchase a copy of the new CSA Z614:20 standard. The test at the end of the course is open book so attendees will need their own copy of the standard (sharing books with other class participants is not permitted). Attendees can choose to use either a hard copy of the book or an electronic PDF version which can be accessed on their tablet or other electronic device (so long as they can turn off the use of internet / text messaging for the test as any use of outside sources is considered cheating and will not receive a passing grade). Books can be purchased at the CSA Online Shop.

    NOTE: This course does not count towards the Parks Practitioner Certificate.

    Click here to read our Registration Policies

    • 23 Sep 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM (EDT)
    • Online
    • 13
    Register

    In keeping with best practices, all Playground Practitioners registered with Ontario Parks Association are required to attend an update course when a new Z614: Children's playspaces and equipment standard is released by CSA. A new standard is released approximately every 5 years. If you wish to remain an OPA Registered Playground Practitioner in good standing you are required to take part in this half day update and pass the course test.


    Prerequisite: You MUST be a current RPP with OPA to attend this course. Your status will be confirmed prior to invoicing. If you are not a current RPP,  you will be notified and your registration will be cancelled.


    This course will review the recent changes to the CSA Z614:20 standard. Attendees will receive a wallet size card stating that they have attended the update and are still a current RPP with OPA. 

    Prior to attending the training, attendees are required to purchase a copy of the new CSA Z614:20 standard. The test at the end of the course is open book so attendees will need their own copy of the standard (sharing books with other class participants is not permitted). Attendees can choose to use either a hard copy of the book or an electronic PDF version which can be accessed on their tablet or other electronic device (so long as they can turn off the use of internet / text messaging for the test as any use of outside sources is considered cheating and will not receive a passing grade). Books can be purchased at the CSA Online Shop.

    NOTE: This course does not count towards the Parks Practitioner Certificate.

    Click here to read our Registration Policies

    • 24 Sep 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM (EDT)
    • Online
    • 15
    Register

    In keeping with best practices, all Playground Practitioners registered with Ontario Parks Association are required to attend an update course when a new Z614: Children's playspaces and equipment standard is released by CSA. A new standard is released approximately every 5 years. If you wish to remain an OPA Registered Playground Practitioner in good standing you are required to take part in this half day update and pass the course test.


    Prerequisite: You MUST be a current RPP with OPA to attend this course. Your status will be confirmed prior to invoicing. If you are not a current RPP,  you will be notified and your registration will be cancelled.


    This course will review the recent changes to the CSA Z614:20 standard. Attendees will receive a wallet size card stating that they have attended the update and are still a current RPP with OPA. 

    Prior to attending the training, attendees are required to purchase a copy of the new CSA Z614:20 standard. The test at the end of the course is open book so attendees will need their own copy of the standard (sharing books with other class participants is not permitted). Attendees can choose to use either a hard copy of the book or an electronic PDF version which can be accessed on their tablet or other electronic device (so long as they can turn off the use of internet / text messaging for the test as any use of outside sources is considered cheating and will not receive a passing grade). Books can be purchased at the CSA Online Shop.

    NOTE: This course does not count towards the Parks Practitioner Certificate.

    Click here to read our Registration Policies

    • 29 Sep 2020
    • 8:30 AM (EDT)
    • 30 Sep 2020
    • 4:30 PM (EDT)
    • Indoor: Cowan Sportsplex (895 Ridgewood Drive, Woodstock, ON N4S 7W2) | Outdoor: Shanna Larsen Park (48 Upper Thames, Woodstock, ON N4S 7W2)
    • 14

    This two day course is an introduction to understand professional trail development and how it relates to trail maintenance. You will receive instruction on how to observe, detect, document and mitigate potential risk resulting from poor trail design, construction and maintenance. This workshop combines in classroom theory and hands-on experiences. Participants will leave the course with a tool kit on how to create and implement a successful trail maintenance program. This course will cover all types of trails from natural surface single track to 3 metre wide crushed aggregate. 

    This course will cover:

    • Overview of Professional Trail Development
    • The Science and Art of Trail Building
    • Maintenance of Trails
    • Environmental Impacts
    • Liability Issues
    • Handwork and Trail Construction Techniques


    Participants are required to have a CSA approved hard hat, safety glasses, closed toe safety shoes/boots, and gloves. It is also recommended that the participant bring with them the following equipment to allow the opportunity for it to be integrated into the course and suit the specific needs/wants and desires of the participants.
    • pin flags
    • clinometer 
    • pulaski
    • mcleod rake
    • And/or any other trail building tools/equipment the organization, government agency or participant intends to use for trail design, building and maintenance. 

    Please note: A bagged lunch is required at this course.

    Click here to read our Registration Policies

    • 05 Oct 2020
    • 8:00 AM (EDT)
    • 06 Oct 2020
    • 4:30 PM (EDT)
    • City of Cambridge ~ Hespeler Memorial Arena - 640 Ellis Road, Cambridge, ON N3C 4N1
    • 14

    Working safely in a parks environment requires a comprehensive understanding of the tasks at hand and the equipment designed to effectively and efficiently perform the work. Today’s parks and open space practitioners must be able to function in various capacities. 

    This two day course is designed to help enhance the competencies of both new employees and seasoned employees, while setting the right foundation blocks for those being introduced to the world of green space maintenance and management. Participants will be introduced to industry best practices, equipment, health and safety in the workplace and liability of the employee or municipality. Participants will also practice documentation and learn legislative requirements for protecting the municipality.

    This course will cover:

    • Legislation (OH&S, Bill C-45, WHMIS)
    • Personal Safety (potential hazards, PPE)
    • Accident Investigation & Documentation
    • Invasive Species
    • Best Practices
    • Equipment Types & Operation
    • CVOR
    • Fuel Handling

    This course is worth 2 credits towards the Parks Practitioner Designation Program.

     

    Please ensure CSA approved safety boots are worn to this course.


    Click here to read our Registration Policies


    • 19 Oct 2020
    • 8:00 AM (EDT)
    • 23 Oct 2020
    • 5:00 PM (EDT)
    • Town of Whitby Operations Building - 333 McKinney Drive Whitby, ON L1R 3M2
    • 2
    Register

    The Ontario Parks Association (OPA) has developed the Registered Playground Practitioner Program to meet the needs of those involved and responsible for the hands-on inspections and maintenance of public playspaces and playground facilities.

     

    Safe Play - A High Priority

    The Ontario Parks Association places a high priority and commitment on the provision of safe play structures in our public spaces. We want to help ensure that they are safe and accessible. OPA also emphasizes the strong need to educate caregivers, supervisors and others about the benefits of positive and safe play experiences for our children.

     

    What You Will Learn

    Attending this course will teach you about significantly lowering the risk of injuries in play areas by providing a safe outdoor learning experience for all. This course uses the CAN/CSA-Z614-14, Children's Playspaces and Equipment, as a base document for the three independent sections of the course. The Ontario Parks Association instructors include experts from the industry including an architect, liability expert, lawyer, representative of the CSA Standards Association and others to give in-depth training on the following topics and includes an on-site demonstration at a local playground structure:


    Playspace Strategies Playspace Evaluation Playspace Management
    space requirements playvalue and hazard identification liability and insurance
    playability inspection and maintenance due diligence
    access/egress requirements surfacing evaluation contractual obligations
    playspace design record keeping risk management
    age appropriate issues CSA overview owner/operator responsibilities
    playspace materials corrective actions employee/manager responsibilities
    playspace construction   playvalue and practical choices


    Upon completion of the program and achievement of a passing grade in the written examination(s) the participant will be registered by the Ontario Parks Association as a "Playground Practitioner" and is qualified to inspect playgrounds.

     

    The OPA Registered Playground Practitioner Program is recognized as a playground safety course for inspectors by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.


    Attendees are required to purchase a copy of the NEW CSA Z614 Standard. The test at the end of the course is open book so attendees will need their own copy (sharing books is not permitted). Attendees can choose to either use the PDF version and bring it on their tablet or other electronic device (so long as they can turn off the use of internet / text messaging for the test as any use of outside sources is considered cheating and will not receive a passing grade) or the hard copy of the book. Books can be purchased at the CSA Online Shop


    PLEASE NOTE: meals are not provided at this training session. Attendees will be required to bring their own lunch, coffee and snacks.

    Click here to read our Registration Policies

    COVID-19 Screening:

    Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we are taking steps to reduce the

    risk of all parties involved in our training programs. Prior to attending training there will be a screening form attendees are required to complete and all attendees and instructors are required to wear face coverings at all times. If you have any of the symptoms below, you may not attend your training session. You will be able to move your registration to a future session when you are symptom free. 

    • New or worsening signs or symptoms such as a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, new smell or taste disorders, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, unexplained fatigue/malaise, chills, or headache?
    • Travelled outside of Canada or had close contact with anyone that has travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days
    • A fever?
    • Close contact with anyone with respiratory illness or a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19?
    • Worked in a lab that tests for COVID-19 within the last 14 days
    • Diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days by a lab test or are you

Past events

13 Jul 2020 Spray Pad Practitioner Online
23 Jun 2020 Spray Pad Practitioner Training Program
22 Jun 2020 Spray Pad Practitioner Online
09 Jun 2020 Trails Specialist Workshop
27 May 2020 Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training - One Day
26 May 2020 Trails Specialist Workshop
20 May 2020 Spray Pad Practitioner Training Program
13 May 2020 Ball Diamond Maintenance and Best Practices Workshop
06 May 2020 Refresher Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training
04 May 2020 Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training- Two Day
28 Apr 2020 Irrigation Technician Workshop
22 Apr 2020 Practical Ball Field Clinic
20 Apr 2020 Parks Operations & Maintenance
31 Mar 2020 Basic Chipper Operations & Safe Handling Training
30 Mar 2020 Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training ~ One Day
25 Mar 2020 Invasive Species Workshop
23 Mar 2020 Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training- Two Day
02 Mar 2020 Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training- Two Day
27 Feb 2020 64th Annual Parks Education Forum - Sponsorship Opportunities
27 Feb 2020 64th Annual Parks Education Forum - Delegate Registration
27 Feb 2020 64th Annual Parks Education Forum - Vendor Table Top Displays
18 Nov 2019 Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training- Two Day
05 Nov 2019 Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training- Two Day
28 Oct 2019 Registered Playground Practitioner Program
08 Oct 2019 Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training ~ One Day
23 Sep 2019 Trails Specialist Workshop
19 Jun 2019 Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training- Two Day
17 Jun 2019 Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training- Two Day
13 Jun 2019 Spray Pad Practitioner Training Program
06 Jun 2019 Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training- Two Day
05 Jun 2019 Refresher Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training
28 May 2019 Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training ~ One Day
15 May 2019 Trails Specialist Workshop
15 May 2019 Ball Diamond Maintenance and Best Practices Workshop
13 May 2019 Spray Pad Practitioner Training Program
08 May 2019 Ball Diamond Maintenance and Best Practices Workshop
01 May 2019 Ball Diamond Maintenance and Best Practices Workshop
24 Apr 2019 Irrigation Technician Workshop
17 Apr 2019 Train the Trainer Workshop
08 Apr 2019 Registered Playground Practitioner Program
01 Apr 2019 Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training- Two Day
18 Mar 2019 Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training- Two Day
28 Feb 2019 63rd Annual Parks Education Forum - Delegate Registration
28 Feb 2019 63rd Annual Parks Education Forum - Sponsorship Opportunities
28 Feb 2019 63rd Annual Parks Education Forum - Vendor Table Top Displays - SOLD OUT!!
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