Certificate of Recognition

What is a Certificate of Recognition?

A Certificate of Recognition (COR) is awarded to employers who develop health and safety management systems that meet established standards. Certificates are issued by Alberta Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour and are co-signed by Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP).

Achieving and maintaining a valid COR is required for earning a financial incentive through the WCB Partnerships in Injury Reduction program. Also, it is not unusual for Alberta corporations to expect contractors bidding on projects to hold a valid COR.

What are the benefits of having a COR?

A COR recognizes that the employer's health and safety management system has been evaluated by a certified auditor and found to meet Partnerships standards.

Effective health and safety management systems have been shown to have an impact on reducing injuries. Eliminating the social and financial effects of injuries can strengthen the business success of participating employers.

Achieving and maintaining a valid COR is required for earning a financial incentive through the WCB Partnerships in Injury Reduction (PIR) program. Also, it is not unusual for Alberta corporations to expect contractors bidding on contracts to hold a valid COR.

What do I have to do to get a COR? How long will it take?

To acquire a COR, an employer must take the following steps:

  • contact your Certifying Partner, Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP)
  • develop and implement a Health and Safety Management System that meets Partnerships and AASP standards
  • use the appropriate audit instrument, recognized by the Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP)
  • select an auditor, external to the organization being audited and acceptable to the Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP)
  • have the audit completed and achieve a pass mark (usually 80 per cent overall with no less than 50 per cent in any one element)
  • the auditor will submit the audit to the Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP) for Quality Assurance review
  • the Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP) will request a COR if the audit meets the standards required

If an employer has a comprehensive health and safety management system in place, the time required to arrange for and complete an audit, then have it reviewed by a Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP) for issuance of a COR, could be very short. However, if the employer is starting from the first steps involved in developing their health and safety system, the amount of time required to complete the process will be significantly longer.

What is a Health and Safety Management System?

A health and safety management system is a process put in place by an employer to minimize the incidence of injury and illness to workers involved in the operations carried out by the employer. This is accomplished through identifying, assessing and controlling risks and potential risks to workers in all workplace operations. The scope and complexity of a health and safety management system will vary according to the type of workplace and the nature of operations carried out.

To be effective, the following components are considered to be essential and form the basis of the Partnerships health and safety management system:

  • Management commitment and leadership
  • Hazard identification and assessment
  • Hazard controls
  • On-going inspection program
  • Worker competency and training
  • Emergency response planning
  • Incident/accident investigation
  • Program administration

What is an audit?

An audit is a comprehensive review of the employer's health and safety management system. To qualify for a COR, the audit must be carried out by a qualified auditor, using an audit instrument that is approved for Partnerships use and is accepted by a Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP). The audit will typically cover the basic elements of a health and safety management system and will include interviews, documentation review and observation techniques.

How do I get an audit done? How much will it cost?

To arrange for an audit an employer should:

  • ensure they have a health and safety management system in place
  • contact a Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP) to request a list of qualified auditors
  • select an auditor with appropriate experience and qualifications for their industry and operations
  • arrange with the auditor for the audit to be completed

Note: Where the employer has operations that are covered by more than one WCB account number or industry code, it is important to clearly identify which operations are to be included in the audit and which WCB account number and industry code(s) will be linked to the COR.

When arranging for an audit, an employer should ask about the auditor's qualifications and experience, and establish a cost estimate for the entire process, including a written report and recommendations. An employer may also request references from the auditor and check with their previous clients as to the level of satisfaction both with cost and product outcome.

The cost of an audit will vary according to the size and complexity of the employer's operations. Auditors will usually quote a daily rate, based on the number of employees to be interviewed, the number of documents to be reviewed and the scope of operations to be included in the overall audit process.

Who reviews the audit and actually issues the COR?

The auditor will submit the completed audit document to the Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP), along with a request for them to review and issue a COR.

The Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP) will review the audit for quality assurance and will issue the COR if the audit meets the required standard. The COR will be co-signed by Alberta Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour.



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