March 28, 2023
Frequently Asked Questions About COR
GENERAL COR PROGRAM INFORMATION
Is COR mandatory?
COR is a voluntary program. Participation in the COR program enhances your company’s health and safety program with the goal of reducing injuries and claims costs. Your company will also be eligible for financial incentives.
What is a certifying partner?
A certifying partner is an organization that, through agreement with WorkSafeBC, helps guide employers toward a Certificate of Recognition (COR), which certifies that the employer has implemented a safety management system that meets established standards as verified by an audit. Certifying partners are typically safety associations recognized by WorkSafeBC as having in-depth industry knowledge that is used to promote and develop workplace health and safety; there are different certifying partners for different industries. Once an employer registers with a certifying partner, the employer is first helped to implement an effective health and safety management system, then to complete and pass a qualifying audit.
How do I participate in COR?
Becoming a COR certified business is simple. Follow our ten simple steps to earn COR certification and with the right tools and help from go2HR, you and your employees can soon enjoy all of the benefits of this worthwhile program.
Do I require any training to participate in the COR program?
If you would like your company to perform your own internal maintenance audits, a company representative will need to complete go2HR’s Internal Auditor Training program. This course will be offered periodically based on industry needs. Click here for information on upcoming training sessions. If you choose to have an external auditor perform the maintenance audits, you will not require an internal auditor.
What is the quality assurance process?
Quality assurance is a crucial component of the COR program. In essence, an external auditor will audit your Safety Management System; go2HR audits the external auditors to ensure they are auditing in accordance with go2HR standards; and WorkSafeBC audits go2HR to ensure our COR program meets their standards.
Where can I find resources to help my health and safety program meet COR requirements?
The go2HR® website contains material that will assist with the development of your program, including templates, tools, sample policies, etc. To speak to a COR specialist, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who is eligible to apply for COR certification?
COR is open to all employers in BC. Employers can choose which CP they want to certify through but it’s recommended that they go through the CP for their industry (if there is one). go2HR is the certifying partner for the tourism and hospitality industry and we also work with other naturally aligned industries, including commercial cleaning, janitorial, and industrial camp operations. These industries aren’t directly served by any one certifying partner.
What industries typically participate in the COR program?
Other than tourism and hospitality, industries such as forestry, oil and gas, construction, food processing and manufacturing, farming and ranching, and trucking, as well as municipal employers, are all currently involved in the COR program and have certifying partner organizations in each sector.
What if I have more than one type of operation in my company, such as a bar and a restaurant in a hotel?
You can choose to audit all areas of your hotel or perform separate audits on selected departments within your operation. The incentive received for successfully completing the audits will be based on your company’s reported assessable payroll for the departments included in the audit.
What do I need to qualify for the COR program?
In order to qualify for COR, a certification audit is completed by an external auditor for large employers (20 or more employees) or by an internal auditor for small employers (fewer than 20 employees). To pass this audit, a total score of 80% must attained, and a minimum of 50% must be scored on each audit element. This certification is valid for three years provided in the two years following certification, the same audit process is used to complete an internal or maintenance audit The main purpose of the internal/maintenance audit is to identify and correct deficiencies in the management system.
What are the benefits of having my company COR certified?
By participating in the COR Program, you can help keep your employees safe and healthy while saving your company time and money. There is a strong business case for having a well-functioning safety management system, which is well worth the return on investment. COR certified employees can receive an annual rebate or credit of up to 10% of their base WorkSafeBC premiums.
Additionally, your individual insurance rate is influenced by your ‘Experience Rating’ which is a similar concept to receiving a no-claims bonus or a surcharge according to past performance.
By proactively improving health and safety practices and effectively managing claims and return-to-work procedures, you can secure additional discounts that go beyond the industry base rate over time.
On the flip side, a reactive approach to health and safety and poor claims and injury management practices means that some employers will be paying more than the industry base rate.
How much does it cost to become COR certified?
The cost of an external audit depends on the size of the company being audited. Due to sampling requirements, the larger the company, the more employees or sites that must be interviewed and observed. go2HR has established a maximum $550 daily fee for external auditor charges. Any fees associated with travel or expenses must be negotiated between the company and the external auditor. The other cost is a $199 (plus tax) fee for internal auditor training if you opt to have a staff member trained and certified.
How do I calculate my financial incentive?
Assessable Payroll / 100 X CU Base Rate X 10% = financial incentive available for successful completion of the Occupational Health and Safety COR audit.
Sample hotel ($3 million payroll), qualifying for COR financial incentive: $3 million / 100 X $1.67 (2021 Base Rate for CU Overnight and Short-Term Accommodation) X 10% = $5,010
What if I don’t pass my external audit?
If your total score is between 70% and 79%, you have the option of performing a limited-scope audit within 90 days of the original audit date. This limited-scope audit will allow the employer to focus on specific elements that received low scores during the initial audit. If your score is 69% or lower, you must undergo another complete audit at a later date.
If I don’t pass, how long do I have to wait until I can apply again?
You can elect to undergo another audit at any time. However, it is recommended to address any identified deficiencies before scheduling an external audit again to increase your chances of success.
How long is my certification valid after successfully completing an audit?
The COR certification is valid for three years from the date of certification, provided the employer performs internal maintenance audits in the second and third years. An external audit is required in year 4 to complete the re-certification audit.
How long does it take to go from registration to certification?
You may already meet many or all of the COR audit requirements. In other cases, businesses may need some time to implement the various elements of the program before going ahead with the certification audit.
Are there any circumstances in which I would not be eligible for a rebate after successfully completing a COR audit?
WorkSafeBC has listed the following circumstances in which a company may not be eligible for an incentive, or in which the incentive may be placed on hold until the issues are resolved:
- The company has engaged in activity that would cause WorkSafeBC to consider imposing an administrative penalty, or if it has already imposed one.
- The company has suppressed claims for compensation or has suppressed claims costs.
- The company has an outstanding balance related to its WorkSafeBC employer account.
- The company has failed to register with WorkSafeBC.
- The company has engaged in other misconduct considered by WorkSafeBC to be inconsistent with participation in the COR program.
Will I receive a financial incentive each year that I successfully maintain my COR certification?
Yes, as long as your company maintains its COR status, you will receive an annual 10% financial incentive for completing the Occupational Health and Safety COR audit.
When will I receive my COR rebate?
Companies will begin receiving their COR rebate in June of the year following their COR certification or maintenance audits. Whether you successfully complete the COR audit in January or December, you will receive your COR rebate in June of the following year.
How do I select an external auditor?
While trained and certified by go2HR®, external auditors are independent consultants selected and paid for by the companies requesting their services. Review the profiles of go2HR’s certified external auditors, then request quotes and references before making a decision. The Auditor Code of Ethics in our Policy and Procedures manual prohibits a safety consultant who helps develop a company’s safety program from acting as its external auditor.
How do I select an internal auditor?
The individual attending the training should be familiar with all aspects of your safety management system.
What if the person who completed the internal auditing program leaves my company?
The certification belongs to the individual who completed the training. If you wish to continue to perform the maintenance audits internally, you must send another representative to attend the training.
go2HR is BC’s tourism & hospitality, human resources and health & safety association driving strong workforces and safe workplaces that deliver world class tourism and hospitality experiences in BC. Follow us on LinkedIn or reach out to our team.