Small Employer COR (SECOR)

The Small Employer Certificate of Recognition (SECOR) is for organizations with 10 or fewer employees only. If your organization has greater than 10 employees, click here for more information on the large employer COR.

A SECOR is issued to an employer whose health and safety management system meets the Partnerships standard. An effective system can support due diligence by the employer and result in reducing the social and financial costs of workplace injury and illness. Employers who achieve a SECOR and are registered in PIR are eligible for an automatic 5% industry rate discount on their annual WCB premiums, which could increase to a maximum of 20% based on claims cost performance as long as a valid SECOR is maintained.

Any municipality in Alberta with 10 or fewer employees can participate in the SECOR program. The term "employees" includes anyone who directly affects the outcome of the organization’s work (e.g., municipal manager, administration, and seasonal employees). It also includes part-time and temporary employees, as well as subcontractors. The total number of employees cannot exceed 10 at any time during the year; if it does, the municipality is considered a regular employer and the standard COR requirements apply.

Successful small employer municipalities will be issued a Small Employer Certificate of Recognition, which is valid for 3 years, assuming it is maintained by continuing to conduct SECOR audits in each of the next 2 calendar years and ensureing that at least 1 employee has attended the WCB’s Return to Work Seminar.

The AMHSA SECOR training program was redeveloped in 2014 as the Health and Safety Management Systems and Auditing - Small Employer course. Our new training makes use of the PIR SECOR Audit Tool, a revised participant’s manual, and helpful templates that can be used to complete the audit. An online SECOR Audit Tool is coming soon!

For questions or comments regarding SECOR, please contact Shannon Thomas (shannon@amhsa.net).

THE AUDIT CYCLE

The Small Employer Certificate of Recognition (SECOR) 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 SECOR Certification audit. The SECOR is valid for 3 years, provided:

  • Internal maintenance audits 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.
  • Develop an action plan.
  • Implement the action plan.

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 SECOR is still valid. Alberta Labour has the authority to revoke a SECOR. If revoked, the municipality will be required to conduct and pass another certification (external) audit.

The SECOR has an expiry date. The employer must pass another certification audit in the expiry year in order to remain eligible for financial incentives. To prevent a lapse in SECOR status, the certification 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 Small Employer Certificate of Recognition (SECOR), the municipality must pass a certification audit (80% minimum required). The SECOR 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 audit is required to renew the SECOR.  

Example:

If a municipality achieves a SECOR in 2015, the cycle would be as follows:

  • 2015 (year 1): certification audit to achieve SECOR (must pass audit and QA)
  • 2016 (year 2): internal audit to maintain SECOR (not required to pass the audit but must pass QA)
  • 2017 (year 3): internal audit to maintain SECOR (not required to pass the audit but must pass QA)
  • 2018 (year 4): certification audit to attain new SECOR (must pass the audit and QA)
  • 2019 (year 5): internal audit to maintain SECOR (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/SECOR, contact Shannon Thomas (shannon@amhsa.net). 

SECOR TRAINING

The Small Employer Certificate of Recognition (SECOR) is for organizations with 10 or fewer employees only. If your organization has greater than 10 employees, click here for more information on the large employer COR.

If a municipality wishes to participate in the SECOR program, the manager or person most familiar with overall municipal operations can take AMHSA’s 1-day Health and Safety Management Systems and Audit – Small Employer course. There is no prerequisite, although it is beneficial to have some experience in health and safety activities (e.g., inspections, hazard assessments). Successful participants will be issued a certificate, and can then implement their health and safety management system and perform a SECOR audit. The municipality must also send a participant to attend the WCB’s Return to Work Seminar (formerly Disability Management).

AMHSA Auditor Certification is valid for 3 years from the date of issue - in order to maintain certification, auditors must complete 2 audits that pass QA review, and attend refresher training prior to expiry.

For questions or comments regarding SECOR, please contact Shannon Thomas (shannon@amhsa.net).

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