It is important that you understand the requirements needed for your company to become certified and to familiarize yourself with the process we have in place to help you prepare.
Before you get started, first ensure your company is eligible. Any company with more than 1 employee can apply for COR, if your company has 10 and under employees, you may want to consider the SECOR Program. We recommend the employer choose the program that suits their operational and business requirements.
The Certificate of Recognition is a voluntary program, run by the Government of Alberta. It is available to all members and associate members of the ACSA from owner/operators to large corporations.
To qualify for a Certificate of Recognition (COR), your Occupational Health & Safety Management System must first undergo an external audit. This audit will be reviewed by the ACSA (your Certifying Partner) and will need to meet quality assurance standards before it can be approved. To be eligible for COR, your audit will need to achieve a minimum score of 80 per cent overall, with a minimum of 50 per cent on each audit element.
A COR is typically valid for three years, provided that annual maintenance audit requirements are met. To maintain your COR certification and eligibility for Partnerships in Injury Reduction (PIR) refunds, an annual COR maintenance audit or Action Plan, will be required. An internal audit may be completed by the certified peer auditor(s) on staff, or contract the services of an ACSA-certified consultant auditor.
Steps to take
To obtain a COR with the ACSA, the following steps must be taken:
- Your company will require an active Alberta WCB account.
- Ensure your company has an ACSA Membership.
- Have at least one full-time employee complete all of the following COR courses (Note: it does not have to be one person completing all four courses – each course can be divided among separate, individual employees):
- Principles of Health & Safety Management (PHSM)
- Leadership for Safety Excellence (LSE)
- Alberta OHS Legislation Awareness (LEG)
- Auditor Training Program (ATP)
- Required: Self-qualification audit to become a certified auditor. This allows the company to participate in the Peer Audit Program and enables the auditor to do the company’s internal audits. For more information, see the Peer Audit Process.
- Company will develop and implement their health and safety program. Once the program is in place and they have gathered a minimum of three months worth of health and safety documentation, they will arrange and complete their first certification audit.
To achieve / renew a COR, you will need to have your program audited by an external certified auditor. The external audit can be conducted in two different ways: using the Peer Auditor system or by hiring an ACSA-certified Consultant Auditor.
Once a COR has been achieved it is typically valid for three years. In the interim two years, COR maintenance audits or an Action Plan will need to be conducted, in order for your company to maintain its COR certification and be eligible for the PIR refunds.
After three years your COR status will require renewal, which can be achieved through once again conducting an external audit.
Frequently Asked Questions About COR
Still have some questions? Hopefully our Frequently Asked Questions document can help answer some of them for you. This document provides helpful answers and guidelines for the COR process, including information on PIR rebates; fixing the date of your COR expiry; amending an existing COR and more.
If you still feel like you need some help, you can always email or call our COR Department at:
firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: 780.453.3311 | Toll Free: 1.800.661.ACSA
Another great COR resource is the Alberta Labour website.