So you're considering becoming a CRST (car seat tech)...

What is a Children’s Restraint Systems Technician?

CRSTs are nationally certified through the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada.  They can be anyone interested in child passenger safety – parents, professionals, daycare providers, grandparents, volunteers…anyone!


How long is the course?

Certification requires participation in both full classroom days, passing a written exam, and a hands-on practical exam to take place at a seat check clinic on the third day.  Days 1 and 2 are typically from about 9:00-5:00, and Day 3 (clinic day) is from about 9:15-2:00, with actual seat checks from 9:30-1:30.  We break when necessary, including a short lunch break.  This schedule is flexible depending on the needs of the group, but the total number of hours is not.


How long is my certification good for?

Certification is valid for three years, and requires a yearly refresher session  (can be done online or in person as needed), proof of at least ten documented seat checks per year, and a willingness to remain current and informed about changes in child passenger safety.


What can I do with my certification?

You can help keep kids safe in the car!  This could be your own children, family members, and friends, or you may use your certification in your work place.  Many techs also like to volunteer at community seat check events.  Working with a team is a great way to build experience and learn from others, and if you find yourself in a tricky situation, having others to help is a bonus.  Participation in seat check events/clinics is not a requirement, but most techs find them fun.


What do I need to bring with me?

Your instructor will provide all materials.  You may wish to bring a highlighter if you like to mark up your course manual for studying.  Wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear, as you will be climbing in and out of vehicles.  Tie back long hair, and trim long nails.  Uniformed professionals may wish to be in uniform for the clinic portion of the training, but will probably be more comfortable in street clothes for the classroom portion.


Can I bring my nursing infant?

Non-mobile infants are welcome during the classroom portion of the course, but please be considerate of others; be aware of your child’s temperament and your own limitations in a classroom environment.  Alternate child care arrangements are required for the clinic portion of the course.

How much does it cost?

Total cost varies by location, and whether the instructor needs to travel from home in order to teach.  Fees in the neighbourhood of $125-175 can be expected, with a non-refundable $40 deposit required to reserve a place in the course, and full payment due within two weeks of the course start date.


How do I register?

Email Laura Hagen at  Laura is the only CPSAC instructor on Vancouver Island at this time.  If you are not local to Vancouver Island, and would like more information about upcoming courses in your area email to be connected with an Instructor near you.

If you would like to be notified of any upcoming courses in BC email Laura at, and she’ll keep you on her list for advance notice of anything in the works.


When and where are there upcoming courses?

Nothing scheduled at this time.

6 comments to So you’re considering becoming a CRST (car seat tech)…

  • Elizabeth Casper

    Hello, I was just wondering when your next course is. Or if you know of any closer to me. I live in Chilliwack. Also what are the requirements for becoming a tech Thanks so much! Lizzy

    • jshapka

      There aren’t any scheduled for the Island at this time but there is an instructor on the mainland. If you email with a course request they can forward your info to whomever is closest. Anyone can become a tech! A lot of people (us included) were “just” interested moms looking for more info to keep our own kids safe and our interest and passion has evolved into this 🙂

  • Chloe

    After three years do you have to completely redo the course Thank you.

    • jshapka

      No, you can recertify, and if you’ve kept up your skills and met the minimums to do so you can recert online and the fee is $40 (at least as of today!) 🙂 ~Jen

  • vanessa

    Where do people become employed Who hires car seat tech What is the average annual income for a car seat tech Thank you

    • jshapka

      Very few can work full time as a technician, but many incorporate it into their daily job in a related field as a way to add value to their role (health care, law enforcement, retail, injury prevention, mother-baby care, etc). Others do it strictly as a volunteer. I am unable to tell you the average annual income, I’m sorry.