The Certificate of Recognition (COR ) Calgary / Alberta
The government approved Certificate of Recognition (COR) Program is a safety program aimed at employers to encourage them to develop a health and safety policy that is in line with current established standards.
COR certification in Calgary and Alberta is awarded to companies that have demonstrated compliance with these standards following a formal Health and Safety audit. It is awarded by the Alberta Government Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour and co-signed by a Certifying Partner.
A Certificate of Recognition (COR) provides companies with a wide range of benefits including the reduction of incidents in the workplace, business efficiency improvements, and a reduction of Workers Compensation Board (WCB) rates. Initially they receive a 10% rebate on their WCB premiums followed by an ongoing rebate of between 5% and 25% depending on their ongoing performance.
Additionally, a Certificate of Recognition (COR) has proven to be an effective means by which employers can achieve a culture change in attitudes to health and safety (H&S) in the workplace.
Although COR is entirely voluntary, many Alberta corporations insist that only COR holders may bid for contracts.
The COR Audit Process
Qualifying for a Certificate of Recognition (COR) involves an audit of the employer’s Occupational H&S Management System with the audit being satisfactorily reviewed by a Certifying Partner. COR auditing is only considered satisfactory if it achieves at least 80% overall with a minimum score on each element of 50%.
To retain a valid COR, it must be maintained annually and renewed every three years.
- For companies with ten employees or fewer it is possible to carry out a self-assessment which can be arranged through your Certifying Partner
- Companies with more than 10 employees require an external audit which must be undertaken by an approved Consultant Auditor or through the Peer Auditor system. Edelweiss Safety Solutions is an approved COR Auditor in Calgary and Alberta, through the Alberta Safety Council.
Steps in Obtaining a COR Certification
The steps your business needs to take in order to complete the COR process and obtain a COR are:
- Select a Certifying Partner
- Take the “program building” course.
- Put in place a H&S Management System that complies with current standards. Edelweiss Safety Solutions has extensive experience in the development and implementation of such systems.
- Select an external auditor approved by the Certifying Partner
- Undertake the audit process and achieve the required pass marks.
- Your auditor will submit the report to Certifying Partner for a QA review
- Comply with any recommendations
- The government will upon recommendation from the certifying partner award a Certificate of Recognition (COR) when the audit standards are met
These are fleshed out below.
Selecting a Certifying Partner
Certifying Partners offer training and other services related to H&S Management. They are also able to advise you on the benefits and requirements of a Certificate of Recognition (COR). It is your Certifying Partner that will request COR certification once your H&S Management system meets the required standard.
Currently Alberta has 13 Certifying Partners approved to administer the program and you should choose one that has the right fit to your company. Aspects to consider when making your choice include:
- The fit with your company and industry
- The location where they provide training
- Does their current availability fit with your timeline?
- The full range of their services
- Training and other costs.
Implementing a H&S Management SystemIf your company already has a satisfactory H&S management system, obtaining a Certificate of Recognition (COR) can be carried out fairly quickly, but for companies that don’t have one in place implementing it is likely to take some time.With Edeleweiss Safety Solutions extensive health and safety management experience we will be able to help you implement an appropriate system and advise you on actions you might need to take to upgrade your existing system in order to meet their required standards.
The objective of any H&S Management is to minimize workplace related risk to your workers of injury and illness. The process involves identification and assessment of these risks and implementing measures to control them. Naturally the specifics of each H&S management system will depend on the specific workplace and the jobs that are carried out there.
The individual components of any H&S management system should include:
- The commitment of management to H&S
- Identification and assessment of hazards and potential hazards
- Controlling hazards
- Establishing a scheduled inspection program
- Implementing worker training and competency
- Emergency response planning
- Accident and incident investigation processes
- Program administration
For more guidance on H&S Management System please contact us.
Selecting a Certified COR Auditor in Calgary
You can obtain a list of qualified auditors from your Certifying Partner. You are advised to select one that has qualifications and experience appropriate to your business and industrial sector.
We at Edelweiss Safety Solutions have over 15 years of Certificate of Recognition (COR) Auditing experience in Calgary and Alberta and we audit for all types of employers from small businesses to large multinational companies. We have built our reputation on providing Certificate of Recognition (COR) auditing and consultancy services which are professionally delivered, timely and cost effective.
The COR Audit Process
The Certificate of Recognition audit consists of a detailed review of your H&S management system. Following a pre-audit meeting specific data is collected and reviewed. The data includes:
- H&S documentation
- The results of employee interviews held at all levels
- The results of work place observations aimed at identifying any potential deficiencies.
The auditor will review and award scores to the various elements along with comments and justifications in the form of a written report.
Report submission to a Qualifying Partner for a QA review
It is the responsibility of your auditor to submit the report to the Certifying Partner for a QA review. This must be carried out within 45 days. Depending on the results of this review the Certifying Partner might request that you be awarded a Certificate of Recognition (COR), alternatively it might request revisions. Should it do the latter, then these should be implemented within 14 days.
The Certifying Partner’s request to award you a Certificate of Recognition (COR) is made to the Government of Alberta which will provide you with a certificate signed by both the government and your Certifying Partner.
The benefits of the Certificate of Recognition (COR) program are clear. In addition to the direct financial benefits, implementing an effective H&S Management System keeps your workers safe and demonstrates that, as an employer, you are committed to their welfare. Such tangible and intangible benefits are likely to far outweigh the associated costs and efforts of obtaining a Certificate of Recognition.
COR Certification FAQ’s