FAQs for NCSO® and NHSA™

Is my Construction Safety Supervisor (CSS) designation still going to be valid?
Yes, there is not an expiry date on your CSS.

I’m a CSS, can I upgrade and what do I need to do?
Yes. Complete this application. If accepted there will be a national exam you are required to successfully complete.

Is my NCSO® transferrable to other provinces?
Yes, but that province may require you to write their provincial exam (most) or require a fee. Please check with the province’s construction safety association directly.

How do I apply for the NCSO® and NHSA™ program?
Complete this application for NCSO® or this application for NHSA, pay the application fee, include a copy of your résumé and records of employment demonstrating your field experience.

How will I be notified of my application status?
You will be notified via email by the program administrators.

What’s the difference between NCSO® and NHSA™ ? Is the same exam required?
The NCSO® is designed for those with at least three (3) years of onsite/field construction experience. The NHSA™ is designed for office based administrative personnel or those without onsite experience who complete administrator safety functions for their company or for people who are looking to gain the experience and then apply for the NCSO®. The exams are the same for NCSO® and NHSA™. Both require successful completion of both provincial and national exams.

Does formal education in OHS or a skilled trade, count toward onsite construction experience?
Construction field experience is defined as: A construction worker (labourer or skilled construction tradesperson) 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) the construction worker, who also works directly and actively in the construction field.

Does experience working as a safety practitioner in an office/company setting count toward onsite construction experience?
Generally, no. The NHSA™ is the best pathway for individuals whose work experience is primarily office based; however, each application will be reviewed individually and consideration may be given to other types of field experience.

What courses are required?
You can see complete course requirements on this page.

Does the NCSO® and NHSA™ expire?
Both designations are good for three (3) years, then they must be renewed.

What is required to maintain the NCSO® and NHSA™? What is the cost?
Professional development events must be submitted every three (3) years along with a renewal fee of $100 + HST.

I’m an NCSO® and NHSA™ in another province. How do I receive the Nova Scotia NCSO® and NHSA™?
Complete the application process and write the Nova Scotia provincial exam.

I have a NHSA™ and now have the required experience to be a NCSO®. What is the process and is an additional exam required?
Apply using the application form. If experience meets requirements, upgrading is possible.

What happens if I let my NCSO® or NHSA™ expire or do not update required training?
You may be required to reapply. Courses without expiry dates will not need to be retaken, but the exams may need to be rewritten depending on the length of the lapse.