Contractor Management

Contractor management is a key element of the Health, Safety and Environment Management System (HSEMS), which is a framework of policy, procedure, and program-level documents in support of safe working and learning activities at the University of Alberta. 

U of A senior administrators, supervisors, staff and visitors to campus (including third-party contractors) have legislated and university-mandated roles and responsibilities related to contractor management. Review the Contractor Management Assignment of Accountability  and Procedure  to learn more.

In Alberta, contractor management is legislated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act  and described within the Regulation  and Code . The U of A has also developed a Contractor Management Plan (CMP) that outlines contractor requirements related to the HSEMS.

Safety Requirements

Contractor occupational health and safety performance is a key factor in the awarding and renewal of U of A contracts, projects or maintenance work. All contractors must understand and comply with the CMP as well as with all applicable legislation within the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulation and Code.


Contractor management involves a variety of groups and individuals. All parties must review and abide by the roles and responsibilities described below.

Procurement Department 

  • Administers the request for proposals (RFP) process.
  • Assists with contractor selection through evaluation of past performance.

Project Management Team (i.e. Capital Projects, AMO) 

  • Takes ownership of projects and ensures that adequate resources are available for the successful implementation and execution of the CSP. 

U of A Contract Manager

  • Responsible for overall contract management.
  • Oversees the overall implementation, execution and completion of the project. 

U of A Site Representative 

Maybe the same person as the U of A Contract Manager

  • Oversees the work being performed by the contractor.
  • Ensures effective communication and coordination of work with other contractors or with other U of A parties on site. 

Prime Contractor

When working with multiple contractors, a Prime Contractor will be assigned during the planning process.

  • Implements the policies, practices, procedures, standards and regulatory requirements to be followed by all contractors.
  • Coordinates, organizes and oversees the performance of all work at the worksite to ensure, as far as it is reasonably practicable to do so, that no person is exposed to hazards arising out of, or in connection with, activities at the worksite.

Subcontractors will operate under the direction of the Prime Contractor with respect to the worksite. The U of A Representative must be notified of any subcontractors prior to the start of a project.


  • Follows their own HSE program, which must meet or exceed the U of A policies, practices, procedures, standards and regulatory requirements (specifically contractors that are high risk or fulfilling the role of Prime Contractor). 
  • Works with the U of A Representative to ensure the scope of work is completed safely.

Contractors completing work that is medium or low risk that do not have a program that meets or exceeds U of A expectations and regulatory requirements must follow U of A policies and procedures. These exceptions must be reviewed and agreed to as part of planning, assessment or orientation stages by the U of A Contract Manager/U of A Representative before work begins.


CQ Network

Contractors are selected based on their HSE management abilities and other key necessities that are in coordination with CQ Network (CQN) requirements.

The U of A has established a health and safety pre-qualification process through the CQN system for contractors performing work that relates to construction, maintenance or demolition, which is considered an elevated safety risk. Contractors must complete a health and safety questionnaire, submit applicable documentation and then be approved through evaluations. The U of A has specific requirements in addition to the standard CQN evaluation. While the CQN system may approve a contractor, a contractor may have different approval status with the U of A.

There are three possible status outcomes of the evaluation process:

  1. Approved: An approved status is the recommended status for contract work at the U of A. To achieve an approved status, a contractor must:
    • complete a CQ Network online evaluation.
    • provide all required documentation on an annual basis.
    • maintain lagging indicators below predetermined safety risk thresholds, as set by the U of A.
  2. Provisional: A provisional status may be recommended if a contractor has elevated lagging indicators when compared to the U of A's predetermined safety risk thresholds. To achieve provisional status, contractors must:
    • complete a CQ Network online evaluation.
    • provide all required documentation on an annual basis.
    • abide by additional risk mitigation measures as determined by the U of A.
  3. Not Approved: Contractors who have received a "not approved" status are not recommended for work at the U of A. Use of a contractor that is not approved for work at the U of A is by exception only and will require additional risk mitigation measures and sign off by senior leadership.


Job Mobilization 

  • Ensures appropriate implementation and communication to relevant parties and that work is conducted according to contract specifications. 

Start-Up Meeting

  • Held with the U of A Contract Manager/U of A Representative and the contractor prior to starting work.
  • Topics may include but are not limited to hazard identification, site safety plans, orientations, emergency response and other operational matters.


All contractors must participate in a general and site orientation prior to starting work with U of A.

  • General contractor orientation: Delivered by the HSE Contractor Safety Advisor. Orientations are valid for a 12-month period. 
  • Site orientation: Delivered by the U of A Contract Manager/U of A Representative.

Pre-Access + Job Tasks

HSE requirements related to pre-access/job tasks will be communicated and understood by all parties prior to starting work. This will be completed formally in writing prior to or during the start-up meeting.

Site-Specific Safety Plan 

  • Prime Contractors must develop and submit a site-specific safety plan for any scope of work that is deemed an elevated safety risk.
  • The plan must identify and address the hazards, equipment, control measures, procedures and processes that will be used on the project.
  • The plan must be submitted to the U of A Representative prior to the start of each project.
  • The plan is a live document and must be updated as conditions or the scope of work changes. All updates must be communicated to the U of A Representative.

Monitoring + Execution

Performance Monitoring

The U of A Contract Manager/U of A Representative or designate is responsible to monitor the HSE aspects of the contractor’s work. Performance will be assessed against the HSE requirements and plan. Deviations, positive or negative, will be annotated for reference in the close-out report and summary. 


Contracts will include a provision requiring contractors to conform to HSE requirements while performing their obligations. Non-compliance will result in corrective actions appropriate to the nature and seriousness of the issue, as determined by the U of A, which may include previous violations by the contractor or subcontractor and extenuating circumstances.

Regulatory Matters + Reportable Incidents

Contractors will notify the U of A Contract Manager/Representative in the event of a regulatory visit resulting in orders or a regulatory reportable incident. The contractor will act expeditiously to correct any regulatory matter and will provide a written report to the U of A Contract Manager/Representative in a timely manner.

Final Evaluation + Close-out Report

Contracts will be closed out with a report of HSE performance and lessons learned, which will provide feedback for future knowledge and improvements. This may also take the form of a close-out meeting where all parties are represented.

The contractor's overall performance and HSE record may be taken into account when being considered for future work. Based on the overall performance, the rating of the capability assessment may be raised or lowered, and if necessary a list of remedial actions provided to the contractor. Any actions should be resolved before being allowed to tender for future work.