National Construction Safety Officer (NCSO) – Health & Safety Administrator (HSA)

Here at the Alberta Construction Safety Association, we offer a path to earning one of two construction safety designations: National Construction Safety Officer (NCSO) and Health & Safety Administrator (HSA). These designations indicate that the individual has knowledge in various construction-related health & safety management skills and principles. When a person completes these programs, they are ready to begin the career-long process of becoming a leader in construction safety.

The distinguishing difference between the designations is the requirement for three (3) years of ‘field experience’ to be eligible for the NCSO as opposed to the HSA.

The construction field is defined and established as working directly and actively in the construction field (i.e: residential, commercial, industrial, road building, pipeline construction, mobile equipment operations, etc.); or, an individual who is directly and actively engaged in safety (i.e: Site Safety Coordinator) or responsible for the supervision (i.e: Site Superintendent) of the construction worker, who also works directly and actively in the construction field on a full time basis.

Important Changes to Your NCSO  & HSA Designations


As of July 1st 2017, you will see changes introduced to the NCSO designation, creating a new standard, introducing an exam component, and impacting certain course and maintenance requirements. This new standard aims to strengthen the NCSO designation, making it more credible while allowing ease of transferability among other provinces. Download this helpful Information Sheet as well as this Frequently Asked Questions document for more information.


To maintain the alignment between the course requirements for the NCSO and HSA designations, changes will also be made to the compulsory and elective course options for the Health and Safety Administrator (HSA) as of July 1st 2017. The changes will reflect those brought about with the new Active NCSO standard, which also come in to effect on July 1st 2017.

Please note that the HSA standard will not change and that none of the other updates to the NCSO will apply to the HSA. For now it is just the following course requirements:
• Worksite Investigation Basics now mandatory
• Communication & Ethics for the Safety Leader now mandatory
• Confined Space Entry/Monitor now an elective
• The Prime Contractor course will be discontinued and content will be included in the existing Legislation Awareness course

Read through this helpful Information Package outlining the requirements for each designation, or alternatively you can contact us at or on 1.800.661.ACSA (2272).




Your Career as an NCSO or HSA

Watch this video to learn from our community of safety practitioners what it means to earn your NCSO or HSA designation, and how a career as a safety leader makes an impact on the lives of construction workers everywhere.



Below is a comparison chart outlining the differences in obtaining the NCSO designation from the HSA designation (bullets indicate requirements).

Successful completion in certification in the eleven compulsory courses (see Program Outline).
Successful completion in certification of two elective courses (see Program Outline).
Letter of experience verifying a minimum of three years field experience in the construction industry. [templates/requirements]
LSE Proficiency Package. Click for LSE Proficiency Forms

Acquired Skills

This program will enable participants to:

  • Assist management in the administration, implementation and maintenance of a health & safety management system.
  • Identify and review various health & safety concerns specific to the worksite.
  • Communicate effectively with government, management and workers regarding Health & Safety, on and off the job.

Contact Registrations in Edmonton, Calgary or Fort McMurray for course registration or click for online registrations.

An NCSO designation is considered to be an entry-level field position — individuals with this designation may or may not have extensive safety experience in the field.


NCSO & HSA Program Outline

Compulsory Courses (11) Elective Courses (any 2)
  • Alberta Legislation Awareness
  • Principles of Health & Safety Management
  • Auditor Training Program (Certificate of completion)
  • Leadership for Safety Excellence (LSE Proficiency level certified) – Sample forms
  • WHMIS Train-the-trainer
  • Construction Safety Administration*
  • Basic Instructional Techniques
  • Prime Contractor (will be discontinued as of July 1st 2017 and incorporated in to the existing LEG course)
  • Confined Space Entry/Monitor (must be OSSA accredited) (Note: This will change to an elective as of July 1st for NCSO & HSA)
  • An industry safety orientation (any one of the following):
    • Construction Safety Training System (CSTS)
    • Roadbuilders Construction Safety Training System (RSTS)
    • Pipeline Construction Safety Training (PCST)
    • Electrical Safety Training System (ESTS)
  • Standard First Aid – Two (2) day training (the ACSA now provides First Aid training (see course page for details) or visit the Alberta Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour website for approved external First Aid training facilities)Provide a copy of your current Standard First Aid certificate to be put on your ACSA file.
  • Flag Train-the-trainer
  • TDG Train-the-trainer
  • Back Injury Prevention
  • Alcohol, Drugs and Safety
  • Construction Environmental Awareness
  • Communication & Ethics for the Safety Leader (will change to mandatory as of July 1st 2017 for NCSO & HSA)
  • Effective Claims Management
  • Safe Trenching, Excavation & Ground Disturbance – 201 Standard
  • Fall Protection End-User (OSSA approved)
  • Fall Protection Planning
  • Safety Culture – Roadmap to “Zero”
  • Alberta Temporary Traffic Control
  • Alberta Temporary Traffic Control – Field Applications
  • Scaffolding Awareness
  • Hazard Management
  • Worksite Investigation Basics (will change to mandatory as of July 1st 2017 for NCSO & HSA)
  • Defensive Driving – 3 Demerits

To register in the NCSO program, log in to the Student Services Portal and click on “NCSO/HSA Registration”.