These resources may be your own employees or the specialists of an external contractor. If you have employees who can carry out the maintenance, you must ensure that they have the necessary skills, tools, machinery, parts and instructions – and enough time. However, many need to turn to an external contractor for help because they do not have enough time available. This is also slightly simpler from the perspective of other budgeting, as the contractor ensures that it has the necessary skills, tools and machinery.
Standard EN1176 specifies that annual, operational and routine visual inspections are to be performed. I would argue that anyone with a sufficient technical background can carry out an operational and routine visual inspection of a playground as long as they are provided with good checklists and brief orientation.
An annual inspection is another matter entirely. In my experience, it is a job for a full-time or almost full-time inspector. It’s said that training alone is not enough – true professional skill is the result of work experience. This is definitely true. When I was a full-time inspector, I checked close to 700 playgrounds a year. Now that I’ve transferred to administrative tasks, my expertise is clearly not up to date compared to that of our full-time inspectors, even though I do try to keep up with updated and new standards. Accordingly, you must assess whether your own organisation can perform all the inspections, or would it be better to outsource either some or all of them. Budgeting thus depends largely on your own requirements.