By far the worst part of testing (OK aside from feeling like you’re wasting your hard work!) is the paperwork. We try to make our guide as procedural as possible, with check lists to tick off as you work, but its still one of those tedious jobs that needs doing and we’re under no illusions about it ..I particularly like Beth’s doodle margins in the guide! for those of us who’d rather draw flowers and snails (just me?) than focus on the job at hand!
Now there isn’t many shortcuts you can take with paperwork or testing, especially on your first round of toy testing, you need to have everything in your file (certificates, testing evidence, etc etc) but for subsequent toys there are a few things you can do to cut down your time ‘wasted’ on paperwork and testing, now don’t get too excited – its important not to make assumptions on what passes and what doesn’t and you must think about how if needed, you could prove that you were sure that it passed testing. Its better to over test than under test, but here is a few things to think about.
- If your next toy is similar in shape and style to your first tested toy you can take a look at our variations blog to give you an idea of how you can use testing heads to limit your testing of another whole toy
- Double check what actually needs testing and what doesn’t, for example flat applique which you can’t grab/slide a card under doesn’t need weight testing, and fabric alone is not classed as a choke risk unless its stuffed/knotted.
- Flash testing means you can test flammability of similar fabrics without burning a completed toy
- Keep things handy for when testing again – small parts cylinder you can buy online fairly cheaply, or keep hold of the one printed for next time around.
- Adding variations design sheets to your paperwork files to cover minor additions means you do not need to complete a whole paperwork pack for minor changes, your technical file is a working document – so you can add to it whenever needed.
- Cross referencing paperwork and sign posting to previous testing already completed is acceptable if the toy design is similar and constructed the same
- Keeping your certificates filed and numbered means you can reference the file number rather than printing out endless certificates
- Filling it in on the computer rather than printing it right off is something you may find easier (or perhaps the opposite!)
Once you’ve tested one toy, its much easier to do the next as it doesn’t feel like such a massive mountain to climb. Hopefully these tips will help! If you’ve got any more pop them in the facebook comments box and I’ll add them!