The Toy Association has unveiled a Safety Education Program and an exclusive International Toy Safety Database to help ensure toy company representatives are knowledgeable and up-to-date on U.S. and international toy safety regulations and requirements. The Toy Book spoke with Ed Desmond, executive vice president of external affairs at The Toy Association, to get the scoop on these important new resources and how they can be leveraged by Toy Association members free-of-charge.

The Safety Education Program, announced at Toy Fair New York, is a brand-new resource offered by The Toy Association. Why was it created?

Ed Desmond: The Toy Association has a long-standing commitment to helping toy companies produce and deliver safe playthings to kids. Our staff is at the forefront of advocating for effective new standards and revising existing ones as new products, trends, and technologies emerge – and one of our main priorities as an association is to ensure that toy professionals stay in-the-know about evolving regulations and standards.

To that end, we designed the Safety Education Program to help toymakers and retailers understand key aspects of toy safety laws and requirements at the state, federal, and international levels. Ultimately, the program aims to help ensure that companies remain compliant as standards continue to evolve. (Course materials will be revised periodically as standards are created and/or revised).

The Toy Association has been educating members on toy safety regulations and requirements for many years. The Safety Education Program is unique in that it is accessible online 24/7 for participants to go through at their own pace and as their schedules allow, as opposed to our in-person safety seminars and conferences, and webinars that are held at set times.

What does the program cover and how does it work?

Toy Association senior staff members and an outside expert cover everything from testing and certification and chemical regulations, to navigating compliance-related trade barriers between markets. These subjects are explored over about six hours of curriculum presented in webinar format and delivered via 11 modules of content. At the end of each module, participants must correctly answer questions on the content in order to move ahead to the next module. Everyone who successfully completes the program gets a certificate from The Toy Association.

Is it open to everyone in the industry?

ED: Yes. It’s free for Toy Association members; non-members can access the course materials for a fee. I encourage your readers to find out more on our website.

Tell us about the International Regulatory Database.

ED: The regulations database is an exciting new tool for members that contains consumer product requirements for countries and regions around the world, including Australia, Canada, the European Union, Mexico, and the U.S. (including state level requirements). Users can search for and access product requirements by region/country and product category; get update alerts; view requirements for labeling, packaging, and restricted substances/materials; and more. The information is offered via Bureau Veritas’ OneSource platform and is exclusively available to Toy Association manufacturing members.

For more information, including details on how to access the database, members may contact Heather Easley (heasley@toyassociation.org).