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Compliance Framework

Education authority accountability
School operations
Employment relations

Playground Equipment

Issues such as buildings and grounds, and essential services maintenance.

Please scroll to the bottom of the page for contacts and links

Do you need to comply?

Yes - if your school has playground equipment.

Conditions of compliance

All playground equipment design and installation should conform to the following standards:

  • AS/NZS 4486.1:1997
  • AS 4685:2004 (including Parts 1 - 6)
  • AS 2555:1982
  • AS 1428 parts 1 - 4:1992
  • AS/NZS 4422.

If you have to comply, what do you have to do?

The Victorian Government Department of Education and Training (Vic DET) provides the following advice to Government schools:

Only playground equipment items, which are in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards, may be erected in school grounds.

A full list of approved equipment items would be impractical, but for general guidance, the following have been approved:

  • sandpits
  • slides
  • horizontal and vertical ladders
  • horizontal bars
  • gymnastic combinations
  • jungle gymnasiums
  • climbing nets and frames
  • climbing ropes (fixed)
  • track glides.

The following items of playground equipment are not approved for use in schools:

  • seesaws
  • swings (including log swings)
  • maypoles (including climbing poles)
  • merry-go-rounds
  • roundabouts
  • flying foxes.

All apparatus must be fixed unless specifically designed to be portable (e.g. A frames).

Vic DET also provides advice for Government schools regarding footings, heights and soft-fall conditions.

Suppliers should provide written confirmation that the playground equipment and its installation meet the requirements of the Australian Standards.

All playground equipment should be inspected weekly and repairs and maintenance acted upon in accordance with the school's maintenance provision. Particular attention needs to be given to the under surfacing beneath and around the playground equipment.

What are the consequences if you don't comply?

There is the possibility of legal action against the school in the event of an injury.

Who will help you?

Independent Schools Victoria contact:

Peter Roberts
Director, School Services
Ph. 03 9825 7211

Kieren Noonan
School Services Advisor
Ph. 03 9825 7275


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Documents for download

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PDF icon Independent Schools Victoria: Playground Equipment 'Vital Signs' Checklist (prepared by Willis Risk Management)

Links and Resources

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Worldwide web icon Vic DET: School Policy and Advisory Guide - School Site Safety
Worldwide web icon Vic DET: School Policy and Advisory Guide - Supervision and Access
Worldwide web icon Vic DET: School Policy and Advisory Guide - Duty of Care
Worldwide web icon Play Australia
Worldwide web icon Standards Australia
Playgrounds and Recreation Association of Victoria
P: (03) 8846 4111
F: (03) 8846 4110


Other minimum standards

In addition to their professional obligations, principals and teachers have a legal duty to take reasonable steps tp protect students in their charge from risk of injury that are reasonably foreseeable.

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Submitted 5/29/2006, edited 05/08/2015