Questions & Answers

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.