Questions & Answers

For which companies is the Webtool suitable?

The web tool is suitable for any type of company within any sector. Whether you are a client or contractor, contractor, engineer or supplier, anyone can carry out the internal safety culture assessment.

Where can I find the calculation tool?

The calculation tool is available when creating a new questionnaire. The calculation tool is mandatory for both the SAQ Extended and the SAQ Compact.

Respondents don't have an email address - how do I manage this?

*Note: use the method below only if respondents do not have an email address!

The Safety Culture Ladder Web Tool uses a survey method whereby an email address is required to be able to send the questionnaire to the respondent(s).
It is possible to send the questionnaire to respondents who do not have an email address. This requires a number of steps:

The Respondent:

  • The respondents must have (get) access to the internet (via a computer or mobile device (tablet/smartphone)).

The company administrator:

  • Step 1 - Create the respondent(s) in the usual way.
  • Step 2 - Enter a 'fake' email address in the format first name+last
  • Step 3 - Sending the invitation(s) and the reminder(s) is not possible due to the 'fake' email address. Use the copy button of the relevant respondent to copy the personal link.
  • Step 4 - Share the personal link and paste it into a browser.
  • Step 5 - The respondent can complete the questionnaire in the usual way.

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Invitations end up in our spam box - what can I do?

Unfortunately, we cannot prevent the invitations from ending up in your spam box. The invitations are sent from a '' email and will most likely be rejected by your spam filter. Your IT department/organization can ensure that this email address is accepted.

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How does NEN handle our data in the web tool?

NEN works with IT suppliers to develop web tools. The development party that co-developed the Webtool SCL has a currently valid ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification whose scope extends to the development and management of websites and web applications such as the Webtool Safety Culture Ladder.

Pursuant to a processor agreement pursuant to Article 28(3) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Article 32 AVG, the development party is obliged to take appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a risk-appropriate security level.

Should you require accurate details, please contact

How does the language setting work?

The Webtool is available in three languages: Dutch, English and German. The SAQs are also available in French and Norwegian. You can switch languages ​​at any time via the flag at the top right of the page.

When creating a questionnaire, you can set a default language. The respondents will then see the questionnaire in the chosen language as standard. But they can also change the language via the flag.

How do I convert my trial subscription to a paid subscription?

When you are logged in, you can go to the My account page via My environment. With the details of your subscription there is a link Convert subscription. You can then choose a paid plan.

When your trial subscription has expired, you will receive a notification with login. You can also convert your subscription via this notification. If this does not work, please contact us via

My (trial)subscription has expired. Have my created questionnaires and results been deleted?

No. When you convert your subscription to a paid subscription, you can view all information again.

What is the difference between the SAQ Compact and SAQ Extended?

SAQ Compact is a short, simple questionnaire that is suitable for all employees in an organization. This questionnaire is especially suitable for a self-evaluation to get a general picture of the safety culture in an organization or to prepare an audit. You can see it as a kind of quick scan of the organization. This SAQ does not indicate a step, but only shows where the organization stands per theme.

SAQ Extended is an extensive questionnaire that provides a detailed picture of the safety culture in an organization. This SAQ has a score calculation with a step indication. You start a SAQ Extended on a desired step. You only answer the relevant questions for those (and underlying) steps.

For which companies is the Webtool suitable?

The webtool is suitable for any type of company within any sector. Whether you are a client or contractor, contractor, engineer or supplier, anyone can carry out the internal safety culture assessment.

Can I restore a deleted questionnaire?

No that is impossible.

Where can I view the scoring per answer?

For the SAQ Compact, the scoring is as follows:

  • Points are not used here, but percentages of the most chosen answer. This way you can quickly see which part of the total number of respondents has chosen a certain statement.
  • The answer “Not applicable” is not counted in the score.

The scoring for the SAQ Extended can be found in the certification scheme of the Safety Culture Ladder. The scoring differs per answer given.

  • With the answer "I don't know" you score 0 points
Can't import respondents - how do I fix this?

To import the file this has to be validated conform the import structure. 

  • The file format is Excel (.xlsx or .xls) or .CSV (.csv or .txt). 
  • The file contains the following colums:
    • Surname
    • Emailadres (without spaces!)
    • Functionlevel contains operations or management (without capital).
    • Location I.e. when there is only one location, you can define "main office". 
    • Department

The most common mistakes are made on the following datafields. 

  • Emailadres: check if there are spaces left in the emailadres. These occurs errors. 
  • Functionlevel: only operations or management are mandatory (without capitals).
Do the added respondents automatically receive an invitation to complete the questionnaire?

No, you have to do this manually. Go to the questionnaire and click on the respondents you want to invite. Click on the Send invitation button at the bottom. You can then edit and send the email.

How do I create and send a new questionnaire?

First log in to the Webtool. Then click on your name at the top right to go to My environment.

  1. Via My respondents you can add your colleagues to whom you want to send a questionnaire
  2. You can then create a new questionnaire via My questionnaires
  3. When you save this you can select the added respondents and send an invitation
As a company administrator, I also want to complete the questionnaire. How do I do that?

Go to the questionnaire that you want to complete yourself. KIick + Respondent. You will then be taken to the list of all respondents from your organization. This also includes your own e-mail address. Select your email address and click Add selection at the bottom. In the overview of the respondents who are linked to the questionnaire you can now copy your personal link via the "switch icon".

Is the calculation tool for the number of respondents mandatory or can I deviate from it?

The calculation tool is not mandatory for the SAQ Extended. This gives an indication of the number of respondents required for a realistic picture. When you become certified, the auditor determines the number of people to be interviewed.

The calculation tool is mandatory for the SAQ Compact because this questionnaire is mandatory for the Approved Self Assessment audit form. In this way, the auditors can test whether the SAQ has been used and deployed correctly.

Do the different job levels (executive/management) also get different questions?

In the SAQ Compact, the questions are split by type of employee. There are 12 questions for operational employees. There are 28 questions for management/direction.

Some employees in my company have difficulty filling out the questionnaire. How can I provide the questions with an explanation?

If employees have difficulty with the questions, you can briefly explain what is meant. To do this, go to the questionnaire and click on View the questionnaire on the right. Via the button Explanation you can fill in something per question.

Give some examples that they recognize. You can of course also answer the questions individually first and then discuss them with each other. For example, by organizing a workshop together or by discussing it with multiple disciplines from within the company. By holding such sessions, employees come back with richer images. And this reinforces safety awareness.

When do I choose the SAQ Compact or the SAQ Extended?

Completing a self-evaluation (Self Assessment) is an essential step that is required for (certification on) the SCL. Two types of self-evaluation are available:

  • SAQ Compact (short, simple version)
  • SAQ Extended (extended version)
Audit format SAQ Compact
Contains 12 questions for operational staff, 28 questions for management/direction.
SAQ Extended
Comprehensive version. Selection of questions based on the selected step. Contains 233 questions on the highest step.
Approved Self Assessment You must use this version with the Approved Self-Assessment. You may not use this version with the Approved Self-Assessment.
SCL Light You are allowed to use this version with the SCL Light. You are allowed to use this version with the SCL Light.
SCL You are allowed to use this version with the SCL. You are allowed to use this version with the SCL.
SCL Original You are allowed to use this version with the SCL Original. You are allowed to use this version with the SCL Original.
Respondents are notified that the deadline has passed. How do I open the questionnaire again?

Go to the relevant questionnaire. Then click on Edit  next to the title of the questionnaire. Enter a date in the future in the Last response date. When you save this, the questionnaire will be opened up to respondents again.

How do I determine for which step I am going to fill in the questionnaire?

In the SAQ Compact questions are asked about the different steps. This means that you do not have to determine in advance for which step you are going to fill in the questionnaire. The outcome of the list provides insight into which themes you need to work on in order to take a step further with regard to behavior and culture.

For the SAQ Extended it is required that you choose in advance for which step you are going to fill in the questionnaire. The result of the list gives an indication of that specific step.

How can my colleague also send questionnaires or view the results?

Go to your My environment and click on My organization. On the left is a menu with Manage Users. Here you can add a colleague and assign the role of company administrator. Your colleague then has the same rights as you and can edit, view and send questionnaires.

Can I group or filter the results?

Yes, you can analyze the results by job level (management or executive), site and department. The answers given are anonymous.

Where can I find the completed explanations of the respondents?

The explanations given are included in the Excel file. You can download this XLS file via your questionnaire.

Where can I download/export the results?

On the page of your questionnaire you can download 2 types of files;

  • a PDF: this contains the results table that can be used for the Online dossier
  • an Excel file: an overview of all answers given (anonymised) for viewing the explanations given by respondents
The auditor can no longer log into the web tool, how is that possible?

For data protection reasons, auditors have access to an online file for a maximum of one year. An audit (cycle) only lasts 1 year. Does an auditor no longer have access as a reader of the online file? Then the auditor's permission must be renewed. This is done by the administrator of the account (the company to be certified). As an additional reminder, NEN sets up a warning to the reader and the administrator that access will expire soon and, if desired, will need to be extended.

I have completed the self-assessment and would like to have my organization certified. How do I arrange that?

Contact a certifying institution that is affiliated with the SCL. Don't wait too long with this because certifying institutions have full agendas!

SAQ Compact
SAQ Compact: the scores, GAP analysis and Action plan

How to complete the SAQ compact questionnaire

Start by determining the number of employees. This is based on the total number of employed persons, which means your own personnel and hired and/or hired personnel (such as self-employed persons). The calculation tool gives an indication of the number of respondents required for a representative picture. The calculation tool is mandatory for the SAQ compact.

This is how the scores are calculated and displayed

The results indicate which answers (statements) the employee recognizes the most. The percentages indicate the "most selected answer". For a question where multiple answers are possible, the answer that fits the highest step is counted. The gray colored boxes in the results indicate for each theme which step is most recognizable. Click on a theme to see the percentages per question and optional comments. The answers that do not apply will not be counted.

How should I interpret the scores

There are two overviews of results to view: those for operational employees, those for management/directors. Both are equally important. Because the same questions are not asked 1-on-1 for both target groups, the results are presented separately. In the filter settings in the results you select the target group of which you want to see the results. The questionnaire contains five descriptions for each theme that match the culture, attitude and behavior of step 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. For example, if employees agree most with the description that goes with the theme 'Workplace safety', step 4, the highest percentage is shown here. The highest percentages give an idea of the step level per theme within your organization. The outcomes in the SAQ compact are intended to provide insight into how employees experience certain safety aspects and not to provide a specific step indication as an overall overview. The aim is to discuss the results with each other and to identify points for improvement: what is going well, what do we want to improve together? Why is it that different employees gave different answers? Are we doing what we agreed?

Preparing the GAP analysis and the Action plan

With the GAP analysis you make a comparison between the existing and desired situation. You do this on the basis of the results of the questionnaire in which you discuss the various themes with each other. The desired situation may be that you want to work towards a higher step, but it may also mean that there is still room for improvement within a certain step. The results are mainly intended to discover how safe and healthy the organization is and which themes you can still work on to improve safety.

You draw up an action plan based on the GAP analysis. In this you describe which actions will be taken in concrete terms to get started with the points for improvement.

In order to comply with ViA, do I only have to look at the scores achieved on step 2 when drawing up the GAP analysis?

No, the idea is that you look at the results of all themes and decide together what you will work on. A certifying body checks whether the self-assessment has been carried out correctly and whether the GAP analysis and the action plan have been drawn up properly. If this is the case, a statement will be issued without a step indication. ViA values this statement as a step 2 indication because the organization shows that it takes good actions to get started with safety.

No fixed format for the GAP analysis or the Action plan

In the SCL handbook are includes a number of general requirements that the GAP analysis and the action plan must meet. There are no fixed formats available for the GAP analysis and action plan because the form (how this is done) is less important. The emphasis should be on open and honest conversations to get a common understanding of what one wants to achieve in terms of attitudes and behaviour.

Need support?

On our site ( you will find a list of SCL knowledge partners who can offer help, but these are also available elsewhere organizations.

How is the score for SAQ Compact calculated?

SAQ Compact translates the completed questions into a score in the maturity model of the Safety Culture Ladder: the results are presented per theme and per step. The percentages show which answers (statements) the employee recognizes the most and therefore indicate the "most selected answer". For a question where multiple answers are possible, the answer that matches the highest step is counted. The gray colored boxes in the results indicate per theme which step is most recognisable. The answers that do not apply are not counted.

Interpretation of the score:
The percentages show the most selected answer and corresponding step. The questions are formulated in such a way that only 1 statement can be recognized. If, for example, employees are most comfortable with the description associated with step 4 with regard to the theme 'Workplace safety', then that is the step indication. Scores are not cumulative here, so you don't have to get 100% on step 2 and step 3 before you can get to step 4. This is only the most recognized statement. Remember, it's not just about the step. The results are mainly intended to discover how safe and healthy the organization is and which themes can still be worked on within the organization to improve safety. For example, the results of SAQ Compact can be used to draw up a GAP analysis. The results can also be used as a topic for discussion. If desired, a concluding group interpretation can also be made. By using the SAQ Compact periodically you can keep track of the progress and which actions have been taken.

How many questions does SAQ Compact have?

In the SAQ Compact, the questions are split by type of employee. There are 12 questions for operational employees. There are 28 questions for management/direction.

What questions does SAQ Compact consist of?

SAQ Compact consists of 18 themes that correspond to the business characteristics of the SCL. Descriptions have been formulated for each theme that match the steps of the SCL. Respondents indicate in which description they most recognize themselves or the company. For certain themes, a matching question can be asked for both operational personnel and management/directors. However, some themes can only be approached by one of the target groups. For example, the 'Statistics' section is not requested from operational personnel, because they cannot know the answer.

When choosing 'Not applicable', the respondent must explain the reason in an input field.

What does H&S mean in SAQ Compact?

SAQ Compact uses the abbreviation H&S. In the construction industry, for example, H&S stands for health and safety on the construction site in the framework of the Working Conditions Decree. When completing this questionnaire, this term should be interpreted more broadly. It doesn't only concern the safety and health of the employees of operating companies, but also of (future) users and third parties.

What are the changes between SAQ compact version 1 and 2?
  • Splitting questions by type of employee (target respondent)  : 

    • a set of questions for the operational employee. This only contains questions about things that they might notice, experience in the workplace. 

    • a set of questions for management/board. This only contains questions about things they need to know about the workplace, about internal management procedures and cooperation with the industry. 

  • Shorter and more concrete answer options. Previously, several requirements/criteria were summarized in 1 statement (answer option). That made it harder to answer. Various requirements/criteria have now been placed in separate questions. 

  • An extra answer option: “no”, so a fictitious step 1 answer. 

  • 2 question types: both “multiple answers possible” and “one answer possible”. In some cases the respondent can recognize multiple aspects. To make it easier for the respondent, multiple answers can be ticked. 

  • Clearer results: the most frequently chosen answer is now easier to recognize. Previously, weighted averages were used, because a statement could also be recognized “partly”. The percentages were more complicated for the business administrator to understand. Now it is a 100% distribution over the different steps. 

  • Results display based on target group. Because there is a difference between the content and the number of questions for operational employees versus management/direction, the results cannot be shown as a net sum in one table. One can choose to show the results from either “operational” or “management/direction”. Exports can be made from each view. 

Answer options for a question (SAQ Compact)

The SAQ Compact allows for questions with multiple answers (square check box) as well as questions with only one answer (circular check box). These are next to each other. With “multiple answers possible” the highest ticked step is counted. This was done because people can recognize themselves in several answers and that a lower step does not detract from the answer at the higher step. This way, the respondent is not forced to choose and answering becomes easier.

SAQ Extended
How many questions are there in the questionnaire?

The questionnaire consists of 233 questions, broken down into four steps. When creating a questionnaire, you can indicate the step for which you would like to obtain certification for your organisation. Respondents will then only be given the questions for the step in question and the steps below it. The number of questions per step follow below:

  • Step 2: 38 questions
  • Step 3: 105 questions
  • Step 4: 185 questions
  • Step 5: 233 questions
What questions does the SAQ Extended consist of?

An overview of all questions can be found in the certification scheme of the Safety Ladder. The questionnaire consists of multiple choice questions: yes/no or completely/mostly/partly/not.

How is the score calculated for SAQ Extended?

The SAQ Extended translates the responses to the questionnaire into a 'score' on a step of the Safety Culture Ladder that you entered prior to the questionnaire.

You must achieve at least 70, 75 or 80% of the maximum score per step. The step then turns green. Your organization meets the requirements of a certain step if:

  • the minimum requirements per business aspect of the relevant step and those of underlying steps have been met. Example: If you choose step 3, you must also achieve the minimum score for step 2;
  • the sum of the weighted scores for all business aspects of the step meets the minimum requirement for that step. The percentage differs per step (70, 75 or 80%)

You can read more about step assessments in the Safety Culture Ladder Handbook.