How to Obtain COR

What is COR?

A Certificate of Recognition (COR) is awarded to employers who develop occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) for their workplace of 10 or more employees. The OHSMS must be in place for at least 12 months prior to going through a Certification Audit.  COR is issued by the Alberta Government and co-signed by Certifying Partners like the CCSA. 

What is Certifying Partner?

A Certifying Partner is an association that works in partnership with the Alberta Government and provides training, reviews audits, certifies auditors, and co-signs Certificates of Recognition (CORs).

The CCSA is a Certifying Partner for Long Term Care and Senior Supportive Living facilities as well as other related industries in Alberta. We are funded through a levy on employers’ – with industry codes of 82808 and 82800 – WCB premiums. Other Certifying Partners may operate on a fee–for–service basis. 

As a Certifying Partner, the CCSA is an organization

How to obtain COR

Here’s how you can get there and how the CCSA can help:

Contact the CCSA as your Certifying Partner.

Implement or enhance your Occupational Health & Safety Management System

Register with Partnerships in injury reduction

Get an external certifying audit (the CCSA has a bank of certified External Auditors).

  • Although not required by Partnerships, the CCSA highly recommends getting a baseline audit before the external audit is done when first obtaining COR. This baseline audit can help your organization save resources (time, money) on an external audit that you may not be fully prepared for. In most cases, the CCSA can perform a baseline audit at no direct cost to you.

Register to complete your audit with CCSA

Once the External Auditor has completed the COR Certification Audit, the written report is submitted to CCSA COR Team for a Quality Assurance (QA) Process.  Once the audit has passed the QA process and the audit has achieved a minimum score of 80% overall and no less than 50% on each element, you will receive your COR!

After that organizations must maintain their COR by ensuring they follow the COR 3-year cycle

Timelines and Dates

Auditors have up to 45 days for on-site auditing. Once they’re done on-site, they’ll write and submit the report to your Certifying Partner within another 45 days. When audit reports require correction, auditors are allowed 30 days to make them before they can be released to the employer.

All audit activities must be completed by December 31 of the calendar year.

WCB rebate cheques are processed in April; cheques are issued to COR holders in June.

When going through the audit process, please keep in mind:

  • if you don’t have a health and safety management system, it may take 12 months or more to complete the whole process; the CCSA can help with this
  • October to December is the busiest time for auditors, so an audit may take longer during this time
  • if corrections are needed by the auditor, this will add more time to the process
  • if the auditor does not meet the deadlines for completing or submitting the audit report, or if the auditor’s report doesn’t pass quality assurance standards your COR status may be impacted. In these scenarios, the audit won’t be accepted which means you will have to have a new audit performed and your COR could expire while you are waiting for the new audit to be completed


Frequently Asked Questions

No, this is a voluntary incentive program that promotes health and safety in the workplace.

Audits must be completed annually once the employer is certified.

In the Certification or Recertification, the employer is required to hire an external auditor. For the Maintenance years, the employer can certify employees as internal auditors or choose to hire an external auditor.

Annual cost to the members to participate would include:

  • Should the employer  choose to train an employee to be a certified internal auditor, the cost for training.
  • Cost of paid hours for internal auditors to ensure the health and safety (H&S) program is in place and to audit the system in maintenance years.
  • Cost of external auditor for the certification and re-certification years (every 3 years). If the organization does not have a certified internal auditor, a certified external auditor would need to be hired for the maintenance years as well.

If your employer WCB industry code is 82800 or 82808, you are automatically a member of the CCSA.

The COR program is more than just documents that are reviewed once a year. As per Part 5 of the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Legislation, any employer who employs 20 or more workers must establish a H&S program. Employers who have less than 20 workers must also abide by the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Legislation. The standards put forth by the COR Program meet or exceed the provincial legislation. Therefore, this program is something that should be followed and reviewed frequently.

CCSA can support employers by educating and providing resources. CCSA staff auditors can also complete a Baseline Audit to help identify gaps prior to employers certifying.

  • Employers who participate in the COR program are more likely to see a reduction in WCB premiums in addition to receiving the annual WCB rebate.
  • On average, employers will see improved productivity, less sick time, higher staff morale and of course most importantly; a safer work environment.
  • Involvement in the COR program enables workers to know and participate in health and safety thus fulfilling two of the worker’s rights.

NewsLetter Sign-up

Yes. Sign Me Up!

The CCSA is devoted to Alberta health and safety. Sign up for the CCSA communications to stay up-to-date on:
  • Member news
  • Health and safety news
  • WCB Alberta highlights
  • News and views from CCSA

Yes. Sign Me Up!

The CCSA is devoted to Alberta health and safety. Sign up for the CCSA communications to stay up-to-date on:
  • Member news
  • Health and safety news
  • WCB Alberta highlights
  • News and views from CCSA