National Construction Safety Officer Updates

NCSO Program: NCSO Standards

Exam

The exam will include various content from the previous NCSO courses taken. Individuals are expected to have the ability to self-study and register for the exam when they are prepared. The exam will be offered through remote proctoring hosted by Saskatchewan Polytechnic and by paper exam in both SCSA office locations (Regina & Saskatoon) on pre-determined dates. Photo ID will be required on the date of the exam. The cost of the exam is $75.00 plus GST and pre-payment is required at the time of registration, non-refundable. Individuals must abide by the “Exam Guidelines” and NCSO Code of Ethics during the exam. Failure to do so will result in the individual immediately being removed from the exam and further penalty to be determined by the SCSA Vice President of Operations.

The exam will be available in English only. The weighting of section scoring will not be released. Individuals are given a maximum of two hours to complete the closed-book exam. The exam requires a passing score of 75%. However, only a pass or fail indication will be revealed to the individual by letter. Under no circumstances will the individual be able to receive their score in % nor will they receive the exam back. Marking of the exam may take 4-6 weeks.

Upon failure of the NCSO exam a waiting period of 90 days will be enforced before the individual may re-write the exam. Each attempt will cost $50.00 plus GST. A maximum of two re-writes will be allowed. Failure to achieve NCSO certification following a second re-write will result in the individual having to submit a new SCSA NCSO Application Form and experience letter(s) for consideration. Acceptance would be dependent on the individual meeting the national standard experience criteria as of Sept. 1, 2017. Upon acceptance, the individual will be required to repeat all current Compulsory Courses (10) and Elective Courses (2) before being eligible to write the NCSO exam to achieve the new three-year NCSO certification.

New NCSO Certification

The new NCSO certificate will be valid for a three year period. Individuals shall receive a wall certificate, wallet card and passport sticker. Evidence of completion will be evident through the introduction of a nationally recognized NCSO logo and certificate with three-year expiry. These will be key indicators to employers of those who have achieved NCSO certification, meeting the new national standard.

Maintenance of NCSO Certification

Holders of the NCSO certificate are solely responsible to maintain any/all Compulsory Courses and Elective Courses which expire as well as maintaining a valid SCSA Internal Auditor status.

The following submission items are required before the NCSO certificate expiry date:

  • copies of any valid certificates (proof of maintaining courses which expire)
  • one personal maintenance audit during the three-year validity of the SCSA Safety Auditor Training. The audit must be conducted using the SCSA national standard audit document. Best practice is to submit the required audit to the SCSA no later than four months prior to their SCSA Safety Auditor Training expiry date to allow time for the audit review and possible corrections. Certified NCSO’s must contact the SCSA office prior to their NCSO Certification expiring to provide proof of maintenance requirements and be issued a new certificate.

Failure to Maintain NCSO Certification

Holders of a NCSO certificate (three-year expiry) are solely responsible to submit all maintenance requirements in sufficient time prior to expiry. Failure to meet the maintenance requirements before expiry will result in the individual having to write the NCSO exam to renew certification. Once again, all NCSO training requirements must be met before being eligible to write the NCSO exam.

Equivalency of NCSO Certification

Holders of a NCSO certificate will benefit from the ease of transferability to other provinces. At minimum, a component of a provincial legislation exam will be required per province via the local participating CFCSA members. The individual shall present their home province NCSO certificate and photo ID to the local participating CFCSA member in the province which they intend to work. Upon successful completion of the provincial legislation exam (and possible training to meet provincial legislation on-site requirements), an NCSO equivalency certificate will be issued to the individual. The local participating CFCSA member will match the certification expiry date of the individual’s home province NCSO certificate. Individuals shall receive a wall certificate and wallet card.

Equivalency Maintenance of NCSO Certification

Holders of an NCSO equivalency certificate are solely responsible to provide a copy of their home province NCSO certificate each time it is renewed in order to maintain their equivalency status in another province. A training transcript issued by your home province safety association may be requested for equivalency purposes to verify all courses are valid at the time of certificate issue. Possible training to meet provincial legislation on-site requirements may be applicable. Upon recertification, individuals shall receive an updated NCSO wall certificate and wallet card.

Failure to Maintain NCSO Equivalency Certification

NCSO Equivalency certification is dependent on maintaining the NCSO standards required in your home province. Equivalency certification may be revoked for failing to provide a copy of your renewed certificate. Contact locations you obtained equivalency from for further information if you have expired.

Should you have any further questions, send an email to ncso@scsaonline.ca
Please refer to this webpage for updates as they become available.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why should I become an NCSO?

This is considered an entry-level certification for an individual who has a minimum of three years field experience in the construction industry. Achieving certification recognizes a combination of formal training and on-site field experience in basic health and safety and verifies a nationally recognized level of competency. Many employers view an NCSO’s as a valuable resource in the administration and implementation of a company’s health and safety management system. This program is a starting point for those interested in pursuing a career in health and safety. Individuals may or may not have extensive safety experience.

Why is there an NCSO exam?

The completion of a nationally recognized exam verifies the NCSO meets the national standard. The new certification truly supports the NCSO as they transfer between provinces.

What can you tell me about the exam?

Here are some brief details:

  • exams will be scheduled on pre-determined days, just like SCSA courses
  • cost is $75.00 plus GST (non-refundable)
  • photo ID will be required at the time of the exam
  • closed-book, written exam - maximum two-hour timeframe to complete
  • a score of 75% is required to pass
  • no pre-course or study class will be provided
  • no % score will be revealed to the examinee, only a result of successful or not successful
  • the examinee will not receive the exam back

If I am unsuccessful (score less than 75%) on the NCSO exam, may I re-write?

Yes, a waiting period of 90 days will be enforced before you may re-write the exam. Each attempt will cost $75.00 plus GST. A maximum of two re-writes will be allowed. Failure to achieve NCSO certification following a second re-write will result in the individual having to submit a new SCSA NCSO Application Form and experience letter(s) for consideration. Acceptance would be dependent on the individual meeting the national standard experience criteria. Upon acceptance, the individual will be required to repeat all current Compulsory Courses (10) and Elective Courses (2) before being eligible to write the NCSO exam to achieve the new three-year NCSO certification.

Why expire the NCSO certification and require maintenance for recertification?

Renewal/refresher training is best practice in the areas of compliance, safety, quality, processes and procedures. This will ensure you are staying current with construction health and safety standards. Conducting/submitting one audit in the three-year validity of your SCSA Safety Auditor Training certification reinforces previous knowledge and skills.

If I pass the NCSO exam how will my employer know I upgraded my NCSO certification to the most current standard?

The new NCSO certificate will be valid for a three year period. You will receive a wall certificate, wallet card and passport sticker. Evidence of completion will be evident through the introduction of a nationally recognized NCSO logo and certificate with three-year expiry. These will be key indicators to employers of those who have achieved NCSO certification, meeting the new national standard.

Are all provinces recognizing this NCSO exam?

Nearly a dozen CFCSA members are recognizing the NCSO exam with the exception of Quebec and Nova Scotia.

Do I have to write another NCSO exam when working in another province?

No, if you are interested in obtaining a NCSO certification in another province, the NCSO exam will be accepted by members of the CFCSA (with exception of Quebec and Nova Scotia). However, at minimum, a provincial legislation exam will be required per province and there may possibly be additional training to meet provincial legislation on-site requirements.