Welcome to CoreInsights, CoreAdvantage’s Monthly VPP Bulletin.

CoreInsights provides helpful tips and advice to VPPPA members, Safety and Health professionals, their management and colleagues to assist our readers in creating continuous safety and health improvement.

Volume 6 Number 6 - July 2006

New Product: SafePath VPP Readiness

 We are excited to announce a new addition to the SafePath product family, SafePath VPP Readiness — a benchmarking tool to help you determine your Star Certification status.  Over 180 benchmarks provide expert guidance.  With it, you evaluate the critical success factors for Star certification, your progress toward audit-readiness along with the quality and, capability of your safety management practices.  

These safety management benchmarks are grouped by elements and sub-elements of  the VPP reference model.  Whether you are seeking certification or facing recertification, it expedites annual program reviews as it simplifies your preparations.  Originally developed as an internal consulting tool, I'm making it available to the public - it contains the breadth of my knowledge on how to benchmark a site for VPP certification.


STAR in 3! 
A SafePath Software Bundle

Fast track your certification with clarity, precision and certainty.

Step 1: Model - Understand the VPP Reference Model with SafePath VPP Foundation  — Start by understanding and getting your arms around what VPP is all about…then educate and develop buy-in from the rest of your  site …help others “get it.”  Avoid Pitfall # 1:  Wasting time and resources by spinning your wheels due to a lack of clarity of the exact VPP requirements.

Step 2: Measure - Benchmark your Certification Readiness with SafePath VPP Readiness — Benchmarking is one of the most valuable parts of the VPP process.  Identify and close readiness gaps and drive continuous improvement in a systematic and efficient manner.  Become a VPP-caliber Star site in a fraction of the time.  Avoid Pitfall # 2:  Believing that getting your documentation in order is the key to certification.

Step 3: Manage – Manage using Leading Performance Metrics with SafePath Dashboards — Give Managers “Monday Morning Metrics” using leading indicators of performance so they can manage safety like quality & productivity.  Avoid Pitfall # 3:  Treating certification like a project with application submission as its end date.    



Question: “We continue to struggle with obtaining buy-in for VPP from our union.  The union leadership team keeps saying that they are supportive but refuse to officially get involved or endorse our efforts.   To date the majority of their involvement has been limited to telling us what is wrong but they refuse to get involved in helping us fix the problems.  Do you have any advice?”

ADVICE:  It sounds like “The train has left the station and when you looked back you saw that the union was still standing at the station”.  You need to back up and offer them a ride again.   They obviously aren’t ready to step forward with you so build smaller steps.

It is not uncommon to get out ahead of the comfort level of the bargaining unit.  What you need to figure out is: what is their sticking point?    Frequently it is being stuck due to a belief of “past betrayals” and that this is a “flavor of the month” that won’t last.   If the union leadership is being honest and they see the value in VPP then the sticking point may be their membership does not trust what is being done.  If that is the case, the union leadership probably doesn’t feel comfortable getting in front of the membership and pushing VPP. 

You need to give the union leadership something that they can use to sell VPP to their members.  One thing that I have seen that works well is a full time union appointed VPP coordinator.  You get an extra position to help and the union gets an additional job.  The position will create a communication channel with the union, and you get to involve the union in the creation of solutions which you stated you are struggling with.

One of the first activities that I would involve the union in is benchmarking.  Getting their perspective on where you are would be invaluable.  From there you can involve them in the prioritization and solutions in plugging any gaps identified.  

Another thing to consider is making all of your VPP activities very visible.  Publishing your results will demonstrate to all that you are serious and are “walking the talk”.    The SafePath VPP Benchmarking tool and Dashboards are the perfect tools for this.   Best of Luck!              


  • Got a sticky question?  Bring it on.
  • Would you like some free advice/consulting?  Now's your chance.  

Continue sending me your "head scratchers" that you just can't seem to resolve.  You'll read my advice in upcoming CoreInsights newsletters.   

Email me your Hot Issue or Questions --click here.

Send this Bulletin to your coworkers with our forward to a friend feature. Your friends privacy is assured. CoreAdvantage does not collect or use e-mail addresses used in Forward to a Friend.


Web-enabled VPP Software
VPP Benchmarking, Program Development and Application Assistance
VPP Annual Program Evaluations
Leadership Coaching/Development
Leading Metrics
Behavioral Observation & Management Systems
Safety Culture Change and Perception Surveys
Root Cause Incident Investigation Systems and Training
Team Training and Meeting Management Skills
Custom Onsite Training

CoreAdvantage provides cutting edge solutions for the workplace. We build and integrate systems for OSHA Star VPP Certification,Safety Management, Culture Change, Behavior Based Approaches, or just basic OSHA compliance.  

Contact Jerry Ryan, Ph.D., CIH at:

1989 Hardscrabble PL.
Boulder, CO 80305

Or Visit our website: www.core-advantage.com