2016-2018 Business Plan


BCSA business plan
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As BC Safety Authority (BCSA) enters year four of our 10-Year Strategy, we are assessing where we have achieved the milestones we first published three years ago, and where we need to focus our attention across our strategic goals of Safety, Clients, People and Sustainability. We have gained insight into how much our goals build on one another, and this has increasingly convinced us that, just like all value-driven businesses, we must put all of our diverse client groups and their safety needs at the centre of what we do. This conviction is reflected in the theme of our 2016-2018 Business Plan: Growing Participation.

Because BCSA relies on industry (asset owners, licensed contractors, and certified individuals) and the public to actively participate in the safety system, we must continue to strategically invest in technology to make it easier, faster, and more convenient for all clients to connect with us. The result of this effort will be more people participating in the safety system.

technology tools

To further grow participation, we will provide our employees with the right tools to do their jobs and enable our clients to easily connect with us. After all, our employees live and work in every part of British Columbia and are increasingly sharing technical systems safety information through technology tools. By supporting our people with ongoing learning and training opportunities to develop and enhance their skills, we enable an adaptable and innovative workforce that turns data into knowledge through new and useful products and services that enhance safety for our clients. We will use technology tools to put more valuable safety information into the hands of our employees, clients, stakeholders and the public. The availability and exchange of this information will change behaviours in a predictable way, resulting in better safety.

This Business Plan describes how we will deliver on our strategy by enhancing support for the integrity of the safety system, with a focus on increasing participation and creating better connections in 2016. Our six strategic priorities will build on and leverage our technical expertise to benefit clients and society by influencing better safety outcomes across the safety system. Overall, by putting our clients at the centre of what we do to grow participation in the safety system, we are positioning BCSA to achieve our vision of Safe Technical Systems. Everywhere.

Who We Are What We Do

confidence in safety

BC Safety Authority is an independent, self-funded organization mandated to oversee the safe installation and operation of technical systems and equipment. In addition to issuing permits, licences and certificates, we work with industry to reduce safety risks through assessment, education and outreach, enforcement, and research.

We deliver safety products and services across the following technologies in the province:
  • Electrical equipment and systems
  • Boilers, pressure vessels and refrigeration systems
  • Natural gas and propane appliances and systems, including hydrogen
  • Elevating devices, such as elevators and escalators
  • Railways, including commuter rail
  • Passenger ropeways, such as aerial trams and ski lifts
  • Amusement devices
  • Complex and integrated technical systems involving multiple technologies
BC Safety Authority operates within a legislative and regulatory framework that includes:
  • Safety Authority Act
  • Safety Standards Act and Regulations
  • Railway Safety Act and Regulations
  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • Ombudsperson Act

For further information, including our Annual Report and annual State of Safety Report, visit About Us

Assessing technical work and equipment, including collecting information through physical assessment, incident investigation and registering new equipment and designs.
Certifying individuals and licensing contractors and operators to perform regulated work.
Supporting clients in the development of alternative safety approaches, and auditing their safety management plans or equivalent standard approaches.
Educating and sharing technical systems safety information with our clients and the broader public to better control risks.
Enforcing actions that promote an equitable safety system where all participants are compliant with regulations.
Conducting research, including contributing to provincial and national safety code development and updating regulations for the technologies we serve.
BC Safety Authority is governed by a board of 11 directors that monitors performance and sets the organization’s strategic direction in consultation with management. Directors are appointed on the basis of merit; they must meet the qualifications established in the Safety Authority Act and abide by a code of conduct.
The Board is organized with the following committee structure:
  • Finance and Audit
  • Governance and Human Resources
  • Strategic Advisory


At a Glance

The safety system comprises people, equipment, safety standards and work practices, and BCSA relies on industry and the public to actively participate in the system. As we continue to advance our 10-Year Strategy, this business plan focuses on what we will accomplish in 2016-2018. We will continue to develop a knowledge-based organization and grow our ability to collect, analyze, and share safety and risk data. We will use our technical expertise to benefit clients and society by influencing better outcomes across the safety system. This document describes how we will achieve each of our strategic goals by enhancing support for the integrity of the safety pyramid depicted below. In 2016, we will advance six strategic priorities that contribute to all aspects of the safety pyramid, with a focus on increasing the number of participants in the safety system and creating better connections to enable participation, thus moving us towards achieving our vision of Safe Technical Systems. Everywhere.

Safety Pyramid


To advance the understanding of safety risks and to develop the best ways to manage them.

Develop and share safety knowledge
Build safety leadership in system participants
Apply a risk-based approach to achieve better safety – efficiently
Make sound public policy choices

We will further integrate safety risk information into programs that inform decisions in the areas of assessment, certification, compliance and enforcement. We will bolster our management of compliance and systematically collect information on safety hazards found during inspections. We will work with licensees and certified individuals to design programs that augment their participation in, and knowledge of, the safety system.
We will increase the use of data to deliver knowledge-based safety products and services, and to inform our strategies for assessment, certification, and compliance and enforcement. The safety oversight of operating equipment and systems in particular will continue to advance through education, audit, and enforcement.
To contribute to our clients’ success by providing valued products that attach clients to the safety system and drive higher safety performance.
Simplify the way clients do business with us
Understand what our clients want and need to deliver safe technical systems
Create specialized products that fit the safety needs of different client groups, especially large clients with complex technical assets
We will modernize the client portal experience to save our clients time, to capture more accurate and complete data and to provide better real-time client safety information than our current systems allow. We will connect more asset owners to the safety system through products and services such as assessments, targeted education, and client safety history reports.
We will continue to expand online self-service functionality to clients in all technologies, and we will further tailor our products and services as we understand the safety needs of our different client groups such as large and small asset owners and their employees, contractors, and certified individuals.
To have a courageous culture where employees build and deliver the safety services for the future.
Implement technology that enhances internal knowledge and capability
Advance our employees’ connection to our strategy
Increase flexibility and adaptability
We will continue to strengthen our capacity as a knowledge-based organization by supporting our employees with the right tools and systems to collect data and assess risks across technologies. We will continue to build a culture and work environment where highly skilled people find challenging work, advance the understanding of risks through education, and bring clients into the safety system.
We will encourage a culture that supports a flexible and adaptive workplace where employees feel empowered to solve problems and implement new ideas. We will expand our access to talent by connecting to educational institutions in order to engage individuals in the safety system earlier in their career.
To optimize human, financial and relationship capital, and to anticipate and adapt to changes in our marketplace.
Reduce processing time and cost of routine tasks
Create collaborative work environments that promote the transfer of knowledge and are energy and cost effective
Identify and improve the primary cost drivers for the products and services we deliver
We will focus on improving the cost efficiency of the products and services we deliver by improving the core abilities of our transaction processing systems, and by implementing new online features that increase the number of active, contributing participants in the safety system.
We will grow new revenue and supplement existing revenues from our traditional technologies through new, diversified product and service offerings, enabled by improved technology and highly skilled employees.


Expand and Enhance Our Client Portal

Objective: Migrate client transactions to a new portal that clients want to use and would recommend to others.

Description: In 2016, we will develop and host a client transactional portal that will serve a larger community of users and technologies beyond the existing MyConnection portal. This new portal will lay the foundation for the future delivery of products and services like safety data reporting, certification and licensing, as well as access to educational resources.


Expand the online channel to increase client participation and connections to safety products and services.


Deploy a new BCSA-developed and supported client portal that offers new online transaction types and that processes more transactions than our existing portal processed on average in 2015.

Implement a Net Promoter Score (NPS)[1] survey to benchmark client satisfaction with the new BCSA-developed client portal, and drive measurable increases to the NPS throughout the year as updates and new features are introduced.

[1] NPS is an index that measures the willingness of clients to recommend a product or service to others.


Expand the Safety Products and Services We Offer to Asset Owners

Objective: Expand and tailor the safety products and services we offer to asset owners to improve oversight of operating equipment and value for asset owners, while maintaining our oversight of installations prioritized by our Resource Allocation Program (RAP).

Description: In 2016, we will dedicate more BCSA resources to connect with asset owners to educate them on their safety responsibilities, assess the safety of operating equipment, and improve the client experience with operating permits.


Dedicate more collective resources – people, processes – to improve connections with our asset owner clients, better educate them on the safety system, and collect more data on the state of operating equipment safety.

Review our current products and services for asset owners, and create a strategy to deliver improved operating equipment safety and value for asset owners.


Accumulate 25% more data on operating equipment versus 2015 by strategically deploying BCSA assessment resources toward potentially higher hazard asset owner sites.

By December 31, 2016, improve asset owner awareness of their technical system safety responsibilities, as measured by client survey, examination and/or assessment results, through a safety awareness education program with at least two educational offerings tailored for asset owners.

By December 31, 2016, create a holistic strategy for operating equipment oversight that includes:

  • • Client segmentation and outreach to identify specific safety needs for different client groups, and products and services to meet these needs.
  • • Applying the Accident Prevention Model (Assessment, Education and Outreach, Enforcement, Research) to asset owners.
  • • Connecting with those responsible for technical systems safety decisions within asset owner organizations, and contractors who service operating equipment.


Enhance Technology Infrastructure and Processes for Employees

Objective: Improve information technology for BCSA safety officers and client service representatives.

Description: In 2016, we will continue to invest in our systems and processes to support safety officers and client service representatives with tools that allow for more efficient and effective use of BCSA’s enterprise system.


Deliver enhancements to the safety officer iPad application that improve productivity and connection to other BCSA systems.

Develop an interface for our client service representatives (CSRs) that increases productivity with the enterprise system.


In Q4-2016 leaders ensure that an average of 80% of safety officers use the iPad application the majority of the time to record physical assessment data in the following technologies: electrical; gas; boiler, pressure vessel and refrigeration; elevating devices; passenger ropeways; amusement devices.

By December 31, 2016, functionality developed for the new client service representative interface reduces transaction times compared to the existing enterprise system interface functionality.



Expand and Enhance Our Resource Allocation Program (RAP)

Objective: Establish assessment priorities for our safety officers using the best information available.

Description: In 2016, we will expand the use of safety information to prioritize our site inspections and audits of contractors, certified individuals, and asset owners by introducing new algorithms for assessing electrical and gas operating permits, and integrating safety officers’ “as-found hazard” observations into our algorithms.

Two measures will determine the effectiveness of our resource allocation program (RAP): 1) the relative volume of RAP-generated priorities assessed compared to the number of non-RAP priorities assessed, and 2) the accuracy of the RAP algorithms to direct assessments toward higher hazards.

A third measure will establish a milestone for the expansion of the RAP program into two new areas of oversight.


Build new resource allocation algorithms for electrical and gas operating permits, and optimize existing algorithms.


Safety officers’ higher risk (as indicated by RAP algorithms) assessment rates are at least three times higher than their non-RAP prioritized assessment rates.

Measure the efficacy of the RAP algorithms’ ongoing ‘learning’, whereby prioritized assessments lead to higher found hazards than non-prioritized assessments, resulting in a minimum 5% increase in the RAP validation factor.

Implement new RAP algorithms for electrical and gas operating permits.


Standardize and Enhance Our Certification Processes

Objective: Increase our clients’ safety knowledge and awareness of their safety responsibilities through certification and licensing, and then sustain the currency of their safety knowledge.

Description: Although BCSA verifies certificate candidates’ technical knowledge through examination, we do not currently provide and verify their understanding of duties and obligations within the safety system. In 2016, we will develop educational programming and move towards a standardized certification program to advance duty holder safety knowledge and BCSA’s ability to identify and connect with active certificate holders and licensees. The educational programming will cover 3 key areas: 1) Permit Management; 2) Managing Participation and Connection with BCSA; and, 3) Compliance and Enforcement.


Educate and engage with duty holders on their roles and responsibilities.

Identify and define the multi-faceted elements of a robust certification strategy.


By December 31, 2016, advance standardization of certification programs across technologies by developing specific duty holder education content for new certificate holders and licensees. Pilot the developed education with newly certified individuals to assess its effectiveness.

By December 31, 2016, complete stakeholder consultations and regulatory analysis in order to shape and support the implementation of the certification strategy.


Implement Compliance & Enforcement Program Improvements

Objective: Bring more participants into the safety system by increasing the effectiveness and reach of our compliance and enforcement activities.

Description: In 2016, we will expand our dedicated Compliance and Enforcement team and broaden our data analysis to identify more non-participants operating outside of the safety system. This work will seek to validate our view that significant unpermitted work and equipment exists, that this work and equipment is associated with higher hazards, and that safety system participants value our efforts to ensure that everyone is equally attached to the system.


Increase client participation in the safety system through identification of unsafe activities including unpermitted work and equipment.

Enhance safety by increasing our regulatory presence among those who do not meet existing safety thresholds.


Increase by 50% the volume of identified unpermitted work and equipment as compared to 2015.

Quantify the relative unsafe nature of unpermitted versus permitted work and equipment, as measured by hazards found during assessments.

Include in our client satisfaction survey questions about the perceived value of our compliance and enforcement activities.

Develop a repeatable report creation process to segment duty holders by safety performance to allow for targeted oversight and education based on safety performance.


Forward-looking statement

2016’s budget is balanced, including contributing $1.5M to our operating reserve to bring this balance to the target level of 15% of annual operating costs.

The budget takes a conservative view on our product and service revenue. 2016 revenues include previously announced fee increases, while holding the volumes of operating and installation permits equal to our Q3 2015 forecast. We project revenue growth in 2016 totalling $1.585M coming from two primary sources: $1M from our continued efforts to identify unpermitted work and equipment, and $585,000 from business initiatives such as onboarding propane operating equipment into the safety system and improvements to our non-regulatory contracts.

As in prior years, we will continue to make strategic investments in technology and people that markedly improve our delivery of our Accident Prevention Model to clients. We will continue to manage our expenditures to ensure that we maximize our return on capital and operating spending, and adjust them to revenues should actual figures fall below budget.

2017 and 2018 forecasts are based on our best information as of November 2015. We continue to take a conservative view with the assumption that our revenue and expenses will have similar profiles to 2016. All forward-looking statements within this report should be understood to involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual financial or operating results to differ significantly.

2015 - 2018 Projections ($’000s)
Revenue Category

Updated Q3

2016 2017 2018
Services and related fees 50,060.30 50,980.00 52,751.80 54,052.60
New business initiatives 0 585 1,107.50 1,107.50
Investment and other income 327.6 460 460 460
Total Revenue 50,387.9 52,025.0 54,319.3 55,620.1
Salaries and benefits 33,474.50 36,011.60 37,997.90 39,187.00
Amortization of capital assets 3,402.10 3,703.60 3,752.00 3,800.00
Building occupancy 2,824.20 2,830.20 2,867.00 2,904.00
Audit, legal and insurance 926.7 796.4 807 817
Contract services 1,057.60 953.6 966 979
Travel 1,183.50 1,326.90 1,344.30 1,361.60
Office and business 1,607.70 1,685.80 1,708.00 1,730.00
Telecommunications 675 790.3 800.4 811.4
Information systems 1,325.30 1,047.20 1,061.00 1,075.00
Training 351.3 711 720.1 729.3
Vehicles 714.2 790.1 800.6 810.8
Corporate governance 420 419.8 425 431
Postage and courier 231.4 239 242 245
Outreach and awareness 315 429.6 435 441
Materials and supplies 168.1 190 192 195
Bad debts 200 100 201 103
Total Expenses 48,876.7 52,025.0 54,319.3 55,620.1
Excess of revenue over expenses 1,511.2 00.0 00.0 00.0


Accident Prevention Model
BCSAs multi-faceted approach to managing technical systems safety risks through the four pillars of assessment, education and outreach, research, and enforcement.

As-found hazard
A condition found by safety officers during physical assessments, investigations, or audits of regulated work, products, equipment, or safety systems where intrinsic hazards are not suitably controlled.

Asset owner
A person or company that owns or leases regulated products or equipment.

Alternative Safety Approaches (ASA)
A performance-based approach to achieving compliance with the Safety Standards Act, which allows owners or operators of regulated equipment to meet safety objectives in ways other than those prescribed by the regulations.

An evaluation or review of information relating to regulated work or equipment. Key BCSA activities in Assessment are:

  • • gathering of evidence through on-site / physical assessments (of reported hazards and work performed by contractors or homeowners);
  • • gathering of evidence through incident investigations;
  • •gathering of evidence through audits or documentation evaluations (of safety management plans for example);
  • • reviews of requests for permission (such as permit or ASA applications);
  • •reviews of declarations and reports from duty holders (including incident reports);
  • • reviews of qualifications for licensing or certification; and
  • • reviews of product or equipment and designs when approving these for use in BC.

An independent, systematic review supported by objective evidence that is focused on a system or process.

Certificate of qualification
A certificate issued by BCSA to an individual who provides evidence of his/her knowledge and ability to do regulated work in a manner that meets the requirements under the Safety Standards Act and allows an individual to perform regulated work in BC within the scope of the certificate.

Duty holder
A person or company who is responsible for compliance because they either own regulated products or equipment, or perform regulated work.

Field Safety Representative (FSR)
An individual who holds a certificate of qualification verifying that they have satisfied regulatory requirements for demonstrating competency in the interpretation and application of regulations and codes. The certificate is required to carry out the duties described in regulation. These duties include obligations to assess compliance of regulated work and operation of equipment; certification also entitles them, on behalf of a contractor or operating permit holder, to make declarations that regulated work complies with the Safety Standards Act and regulations.

A type of physical assessment where the regulated product, equipment or work has been directly evaluated by BCSA.

Installation permit
A written permission required to install or alter regulated product or equipment. Depending on the work being performed, an installation permit may be issued to a licensed contractor, a person who holds an operating permit, an owner of a regulated product or equipment or a homeowner who performs regulated work as permitted under the regulations.

A permission issued by a BCSA provincial safety manager that entitles a person to engage in regulated work. A licence is subject to terms and conditions specified by a provincial safety manager and to any requirements associated with a contractor’s licence that are contained in the regulations. A licence is normally associated with a specific person and is not specific to a particular site or location.

Operating permit
A permission issued by BCSA that allows the operation and maintenance of a regulated product or equipment. An operating permit may be issued to the owner of a regulated product or building where the product or equipment is to be operated.

Physical assessment
See definition for inspection.

Resource Allocation Program (RAP)
A rating program that uses risk-informed criteria to establish work priorities and the allocation of BCSA resources. RAP uses current and historical data which is based on the scope and stage of work being performed, equipment environment, and safety history.

Unpermitted work
Regulated work that has been done without the required permissions in place.

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