Large Employer COR

 

Important Auditor Update

Important changes are coming to AMHSA’s audit program. Click here for full details.

 

An Overview of the Large Employer PIR Process

For the purpose of PIR/COR, a large employer is any organization with greater than 10 employees.

  • Step 1: The employer registers in the PIR program with the WCB.
  • Step 2: Implement a health and safety management system. AMHSA offers a 2-day Health and Safety Management Systems course. The employer must also send an employee to attend the WCB’s Return to Work Seminar.
  • Step 3: Once a municipality has a year’s worth of documentation of the system in action, external audits can be conducted through the peer system or by hiring an AMHSA certified consultant.
  • Step 4: The audit is submitted to AMHSA (by the auditor) for quality assurance (QA) review.
  • Step 5: AMHSA reviews the audit and notifies Alberta Labour of the results. AL generates and co-signs a COR for the successful organization and sends the certificate to AMHSA to be co-signed.
  • Step 6: Alberta Labour informs WCB – Alberta of the audit results. The employer who received the COR is then eligible for financial incentives from the WCB.

For more information on PIR/COR, contact Shannon Thomas (Shannon@amhsa.net). 

COR Training

AMHSA requires COR holders to have, at a minimum, one AMHSA certified auditor, although more is recommended – for moral support and to share the workload. A general guideline is:

Number of Employees Number of Auditors Recommended
Less than 50 2
50 – 149 3
150 – 249 4
250 – 349 5
350 + 6+


AUDITOR QUALIFICATION/CERTIFICATION

To become certified as an AMHSA auditor, participants must successfully complete AMHSA’s Health and Safety Management Systems (HSMS) course (2 days) and AMHSA’s Health and Safety Auditing course (2 days). Both courses require an 80% exam grade to pass.

We also strongly recommend attending the following courses:

After successful completion of the HSMS and Auditing courses, the participant must complete and submit a qualification audit to AMHSA. The purpose of this audit is to assess how well the participant is able to apply the audit tool in a practical setting. AMHSA uses a quality assurance tool approved by PIR to review the participant’s work. If the QA review meets the minimum standard of 80% and all critical issues are corrected within the provided timeline, the participant becomes a certified AMHSA peer auditor and is issued a certificate valid for three years.

To maintain auditor certification, the auditor must perform and pass QA review on 2 audits (departmental, baseline, or certification/external) every three years, as well as attend the 1 day Audit Refresher course prior to their certification expiry date.

For more information on PIR/COR, contact Shannon Thomas (Shannon@amhsa.net).

THE AUDIT CYCLE

The Certificate of Recognition (COR) is awarded to an employer that has demonstrated it has a good health and safety management system in place. The employer demonstrates this by passing a COR Certification (external) audit. The COR is valid for 3 years, provided:

  • Internal maintenance audits (or equivalent) are performed in each of the next 2 calendar years. Internal audits do not have to attain a passing score; however the auditor must pass quality assurance review.
  • At least one person on staff has taken the WCB’s Return to Work Seminar (formerly Disability Management).
  • Employer fulfils its obligation to provide peer auditors as needed.

Note: If a serious incident or fatality occurs (traumatic incident), Alberta Labour will conduct a review of the organization’s health and safety management system with the employer and Certifying Partner to determine if the COR is still valid. Alberta Labour has the authority to revoke a COR. If revoked, the municipality will be required to conduct and pass another certification (external) audit.

The COR has an expiry date. The employer must pass another certification (external) audit in the expiry year in order to remain eligible for financial incentives. To prevent a lapse in COR status, the certification (external) audit must be performed before the expiry date.

FREQUENCY

Municipalities involved in PIR must have their system audited at least once every calendar year. To obtain a Certificate of Recognition (COR), the municipality must pass a certification (external) audit (80% minimum required). The COR is valid for 3 years, assuming all program requirements are met. One of the program requirements is that for the next 2 years, internal audits must be conducted. All audits must be conducted by the 1 year anniversary date of their last audit (this provides for a full 12 months’ review of the management system). In the fourth year another certification (external) audit is required to renew the COR.  

Example:

If a municipality achieves a COR in 2010, the cycle would be as follows:

  • 2010 (year 1): certification (external) audit to achieve COR (must pass audit and QA)
  • 2011 (year 2): internal audit to maintain COR (not required to pass the audit but must pass QA)
  • 2012 (year 3): internal audit to maintain COR (not required to pass the audit but must pass QA)
  • 2013 (year 4): certification (external) audit to attain new COR (must pass the audit and QA)
  • 2014 (year 5): internal audit to maintain COR (not required to pass the audit but must pass QA)

All audits must be shared with the municipality audited and submitted to AMHSA.  

There may be reasons to conduct health and safety management system audits more frequently. For example, a serious injury or an increase in incidents may signal a weakness in the program that needs to be investigated. Significant changes in operations or personnel may also prompt a review of the effectiveness of your system. Another example is if an audit revealed several weaknesses and an action plan was developed to address the weaknesses, another audit may be warranted once the actions are implemented.

For more information on PIR/COR, contact Shannon Thomas (Shannon@amhsa.net).

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