Maintain or renew a COR

How to maintain your Certificate of Recognition (COR), and deal with factors that may affect your COR status.

Maintaining a COR

A COR is valid for 3 years from the date of issue, if all maintenance requirements are met.

To maintain a COR, you must do a maintenance audit in each of the 2 calendar years after your certification audit.

  • Maintenance audits must be done by a qualified auditor, recognized by your Certifying Partner. The auditor can be internal to the organization, or external.
  • Maintenance audits must achieve at least 60% overall for the audit to be accepted for COR maintenance purposes.

For more information read Responsibilities of a COR holder.

1-year COR

If an employer has a new health and safety management system, with minimal documentation and history, they’ll be issued a 1-year COR, instead of a 3-year COR. Renewal requirements are the same for both.

Once an employer has renewed their 1-year COR, they’ll be issued a regular 3-year COR.

Renew a COR

To renew a COR, an employer must:

  1. arrange for an external audit
  2. have the audit completed
  3. have the audit reviewed by their Certifying Partner

The criteria for renewing a COR are the same as for issuing a COR. You must get an audit score of at least 80% overall, and a minimum score of 50% in all the audit elements.

Mergers and sales

If your company merges with another company, or is bought out, this could affect your COR. Contact your Certifying Partner if your business is in this situation, and they’ll give you direction.

Fatalities and serious injuries

Checks exist for COR-holding employers that experience a workplace fatality or serious incident, or have compliance issues with OHS Officers.

Employer review

COR holders may have deficiencies in their health and safety management systems. In these cases, Partnerships in Injury Reduction will conduct an Employer Review.

These deficiencies include:

  • fatality or serious injury
  • multiple Stop Work Orders
  • ongoing OHS Officer activity due to non-compliance
  • injury history significantly worse than their industry
  • received an administrative penalty
  • knowingly misrepresent reporting worker injuries
  • reportable incidents under s40, not including PSIs

Partnerships in Injury Reduction staff will work with the employer to help identify specific areas that need improvement. They will then develop an action plan to address those areas.

If the requirements of the Employer Review aren’t met, the employer’s COR will be cancelled.

Open orders

Your Certifying Partner may submit a request to Partnerships in Injury Reduction to approve a certification or maintenance audit. If that happens, Partnerships staff will check your business for open compliance orders and demands. Requests cannot be approved until orders and demands are complied. If these aren’t complied with on time, the request will be refused and a new audit will be required.

On-Site Audit Review (OSAR)

OSAR is an on-site review of the work completed by an external auditor, to validate their work. Audits are chosen by Partnerships in Injury Reduction for review. If your audit is chosen, Partnerships in Injury Reduction will send you a letter to inform you.

OSARs are conducted by Partnerships staff. An OSAR may take place within 4 months of an external audit, and will provide your Certifying Partner with feedback about an auditor’s performance. If the findings identify weaknesses with your health and safety management system, your Certifying Partner will work with you to help you improve your system.

You will not lose your COR as a result of an OSAR.

Contact

To contact the Certificate of Recognition program:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-415-8690 (in Alberta)
Toll free: 1-866-415-8690
Email: whs@gov.ab.ca

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