IPEMA at a Glance
IPEMA at a Glance
IPEMA is a non-profit, membership, trade association originally formed to represent and promote an open market for manufacturers of playground equipment and surfacing. Recently, IPEMA has expanded its focus to include promoting increases in the quality and quantity of children’s play. This is where the Voice of Play comes in.
IPEMA’s Voice of Play initiative is an effort to increase education and awareness about the benefits of play. Our membership is concerned about recent trends in education and government that have reduced both time for play and access to playgrounds. Increased testing demands on students have resulted in many schools eliminating recess and local government budgets have been cut, hurting communities’ abilities to build and upgrade playgrounds. IPEMA members feel strongly that play is not expendable and that our kids need it to develop, learn and grow stronger physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively.
IPEMA began as a division of the Equipment Council of the National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA). In 1995, members within the Playground Equipment Section wanted to start a third-party certification program. NSSEA’s Board of Directors asked the group to reorganize into a separate trade association due to potential liability issues.
The members of the Section formally voted to start a new organization and the Play Equipment Manufacturers’ Association was incorporated in January of 1996. There were 13 charter members of the organization and it was organized and administered by Bill Duffy, a staff liaison of NSSEA, in Silver Spring, Maryland.
IPEMA contracted with Detroit Testing Laboratory (DTL) to conduct its third-party testing for the certification program and added a surfacing certification program to its program.
On October 1, 1998, the organization officially changed its name to the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA). The Board decided to hire a full-time management company to handle the day-to-day affairs of the organization in April of 2004, and headquarters moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
IPEMA has 123 members, 40 companies in the Surfacing Certification program, and 31 companies in the Equipment Certification program.
IPEMA serves its members in the following ways:
- Representing and serving all manufacturers of the playground equipment and playground surfacing industry.
- Providing members with timely, in-depth information on key economic and governmental issues affecting the industry.
- Promoting relationships with other related organizations to enhance the strength of the marketplace.
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