Industry Outlook

Toymakers Give New Safety Education Program an A+


Positive feedback is flowing in from companies whose staff have taken The Toy Association’s new Safety Education Program, an online course that walks participants through the U.S. federal/state and international product safety landscape; provides important compliance details on specific toy types; and lends insight into how to track evolving standards; among other critical information. The program is free for Toy Association members and available to non-members for a modest fee.

“The training is really excellent. I have done the first few sessions and am most impressed,” said Kitty Pilarz, vice president of product safety and regulatory compliance for Mattel Inc. / Fisher-Price. “Mattel thanks The Toy Association for this fine program (…) I hope everyone appreciates this safety education and the tremendous time and research the association used to put it together.”

Added Meredith Dermont Lupion, director of consumer product safety compliance at NSI International, “I want to tell you how great the Safety Education Course is that The Toy Association put together! Thank you for doing that – it certainly will help me to educate my co-workers on basic toy safety. Any tools I can get my hands on to educate product managers, sales staff etc. are very welcome.”

Offered in webinar format, the program includes 12 modules that take about 30 minutes each to complete. Participants may access course materials online and go through each module at their own pace; at the end of each module, they must correctly answer questions on the content in order to move ahead. Everyone who successfully completes the program gets a certificate of completion from The Toy Association. As standards are created and/or revised, course materials will be revised to ensure that toy professionals are up-to-speed on the latest information.

The course is led by The Toy Association’s Joan Lawrence, senior vice-president of standards and regulatory affairs and chair of both U.S. and international committees on toy safety; Alan Kaufman, senior vice-president of technical affairs, both a recognized expert and industry veteran with 40+ years of experience in toy safety; Rebecca Mond, vice-president of federal government affairs, who regularly assists toymakers in understanding and complying with U.S. legislation and regulations; and Jennifer Gibbons, vice-president of state government affairs, who works on product safety, chemical regulation, and environmental sustainability at the U.S. state level. Christian Wetterberg, senior director of product safety and compliance at The LEGO Group and chair of both the CEN (European) and ISO (international) committees on toy safety, brings in-depth insight and learning on the international landscape.

“We’re proud to offer this comprehensive safety program for all levels of toy professionals – from senior safety staff who have the complex task of navigating evolving laws in global markets, to junior level professionals who are just entering the toy industry,” said Ed Desmond, executive vice-president of external affairs at The Toy Association. “This program is an excellent complement to our suite of safety resources, in-person trainings and seminars, and day-to-day guidance offered to toy companies. We encourage everyone in the toy industry to participate.”