The Differences Between Fitters, and Why I Think You Should Choose An Independent Type 1 For Your Next Service.

It’s a confusing, and unregulated industry out there. What to look for when booking your next safety inspection or installation service
So, you need your child’s car safety seat installed and you’re finding it a bit confusing, but who do you even use for that?

It doesn’t matter whether this is your first, or your fifth child; car safety restraints are confusing, intimidating and they change dramatically in a short period of time. They also will only perform to their fullest, and marketed standards if they’re installed, and used correctly. This can be the difference between on overly tightened tether, or a harness set to the incorrect height. But, who’s there to help you learn all the ins and outs of your restraint, to show you how it all works or how your child should be set up and when to adjust things?


When it comes to installing your car restraints, not all vehicles are the same. Most vehicles on Australian roads have ADR compliant child anchorage locations, or provisions for them to be put in. But some don’t, and this can cause families incredible stress when it comes time to installing their child’s safety restraint!

So, first things first – do you have an anchor point, or a provision for an anchor point in the vehicle you intend to fit the child restraint?

Yes – Great, you’re going to need a “Type 1 Travel Safety Professional” or a type 1 fitter. A type 1 fitter can guide you through the process of choosing the correct restraint for your needs, the installation Do’s, and Don’ts, and they’ll also walk you through how to use your restraint for the duration your child will fit it.

It’s important to note that not all type 1 professionals, or installation providers offer the same service, so it’s up to you as the consumer to ensure you’re booking with someone that’s going to provide you with what you’re hoping for. We’ll touch more on the differences between providers and services shortly.

No – Ok, you’re going to need to find a “Type 2 Travel Safety Professional” or a type 2 fitter. These can be a little trickier to find, but these guys will be able to tell you whether your vehicle is a suitable candidate for an aftermarket anchor point installation. Not all vehicles are, so prepare yourself for some potentially bad news. Think worst case scenario going into these types of enquiries as not all vehicles have adequate positions to safely engineer a point in. Remember, this anchor point needs to withstand the force of an accident + the weight/force of your child and their restraint. It can add up to a lot of pressure on one bolt!

A Type 2 will not only ensure the chosen location can withstand any forces, but they’ll also reinforce it and then they’ll organise to have the entire works engineer safety checked and certified, so that the work is ADR compliant. This ensures the vehicle can pass road worthy inspections as well as ensure the work is suitably safe for use.

It’s VERY important to check a few things when booking in for an aftermarket anchorage installation.

  • The type 2 fitter is Accredited and has trained under an approved organisation and can provide evidence of this training.
  • The type 2 fitter is fully insured – there are a lot of people offering type 2 installation work, who are not trained nor insured. This is particularly worrisome when we are discussing altering a vehicle, sometimes quite significantly, to safely accommodate children.
  • The type 2 is going to have the work engineer certified and handle the updating of vehicle compliance records with VicRoads. This is imperative, without this there is no guarantee the work that has been done is sufficient for its intended purpose, or that the vehicle will pass future road worthy certificates with such work having been completed. You’ll also be hard pressed to find any fitters going forward that will install a restraint onto an aftermarket anchor point, without seeing its compliance certificate.

There are various options for anchor point installations, some are better suited to some vehicles and some not at all, so it’s important to discuss the options when you do choose a fitter you are happy with.

The best place to find a thorough and up to date list of type two fitters in Victoria, is via KidSafe Victoria.

Example of two aftermarket anchor point locations in a dual cab ute, installed by a type 2 fitter, and then the restraints installed by myself.

So, lets discuss the differences between the Type 1 Professionals, and what you’ll get with their services –


Well, obviously if you’re reading this, I hope your search will lead you back to Be Seated! That’s not always going to be the case though, whether it be distance or availability, and if that’s so, then I hope your decision lands you with another independent fitter. The reason I hope for this, is that not only are the best in the business, independents, but I know many of them personally and can tell you on a professional and personal level that these people are passionate and they care about keeping your child safe.

The independent fitters of Australia have undergone education and training that they themselves funded, often completed whilst raising their own children, working another full-time job, and completing in depth business prep and plans. We spent hours in the evenings and weekends completing paperwork, online modules, booklets, learning outcomes, crash dynamics and physics, business management skills, ADR knowledge, state specific transport laws, client service outcomes, best practice guidelines and so much more, before taking time away from our families and lives to travel to our nearest training providers (for many of us, this was an interstate couple of days away, or venturing hours out of rural towns to the big smoke, remember; self-funded!) so that we could complete our face to face training, and find out whether we might have what it takes, to handle a future in this really fun, and sometimes scary industry we have fought so hard to be in – for me that has totalled around 300+ hours of online learning and training, not only industry relative, but specific to my role as a child travel safety professional and business owner, too. It’s been my mission to ensure I provide the best service out there, and I can unequivocally say the same about my fellow independents out there.

To an independent, this isn’t just another job – nope, it’s much more than that to us. This is a big and sometimes defeating industry in which we have CHOSEN to cement ourselves into the core. We appreciate and understand that putting your child in the car can be scary business, each of us take it upon ourselves to commit to holding your hand through the entire process. Rain, hail or shine, morning, afternoon, and night. As Rebecca Maher (BabySafe Liverpool) recently perfectly put into words “Being an independent means we can take our time and make sure each install is correct and our customers are comfortable with how to use their seat.” That really is what each one of our aims is. Here are the main reasons I believe that booking with an independent, is going to serve you well in the long run.

  • We’re unbiased and will give you the best advice regarding your set of needs and constraints, considering best practice methods to keep your child/ren as safe as possible
  • We’re not paid by a store to peddle a product or sales
  • In fact, it’s safe to say we so often go the extra mile to ensure things are so perfect, we forget we’re supposed to be running a business some days!
  • I’m talking travelling back out to client’s houses when necessary, regularly giving away installation accessories because we know the install will be safer with it, not taking money at all when it turns out a service wasn’t needed, working overtime to complete bits of research for clients to ensure their journeys are fun and functional and much more.
  • Giving away all our tips and tricks on social media if it means getting one more family home safely every single day
  • Providing a personalised service that considers you, your needs and what you’re willing to learn. If you want to be the jack of all trades, whoops, restraints, we will teach you!
  • and many more aspects that you just will not receive, when you book in at your local baby store, or safety inspection hub. Not because they don’t want to or can’t offer the same, but very often just don’t have the capacity to; whether it be time constraints, or limitations set by employers.

Booking with an independent, helps assure you won’t be sent away wondering “what next”.

When you book with your local baby store or chain fitting service, you’re very likely booking with someone who underwent internal training, is restricted to time constraints, has limitations on what they can and can’t say and do outside of installing the car seat for you, has bias forced upon them by manufacturers and employers who want products flying off shelves, may also have kpi’s and sales goals they need to meet, and are often pushed to consider those factors over others. This isn’t to say that fitters working in big chain or baby store settings don’t care about your child’s safety, but are they passionate about it? Often, they don’t even have the time, or the “wiggle room” within their positions to do much more than install your car seat and send you on your way.

Ultimately, wherever you go, you’re going to have your car seat installed. Your job as the consumer is to ask some question; is the fitter you’re going to use personally accredited; do they hold certificates for their training, provide full reports of their work, are they fully insured, are they a registered to operate, are they offering a personalised service that looks at the whole picture and not just at securing a service, and will they offer quality and satisfaction assurances on the work they complete. Does this person want to keep your child/ren safe, and help you to do so too?

An Independent, will be able to answer yes to all those questions.

To find your closest independent child restraint professional (in Vic) please head to



or, visit www.beseatedsafety.au to see if I service your Suburb 😀

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