Certificate of Recognition (COR)

Discover a New Standard of Workplace Health & Safety with COR

Elevate your commitment to health and safety with the Certificate of Recognition (COR) program.

By becoming COR-certified, you not only prioritize the well-being of your employees but also unlock significant financial benefits. Enjoy annual incentives of up to 10% off of your WorkSafeBC base premiums while enhancing your company’s safety practices.

The best part? Registration is completely free, making it easier than ever to take the first step towards a safer workplace.

Ready to elevate your safety standards? Learn the steps to COR Preparedness.

Start Your COR Journey

8 Steps to COR Certification

We have created this step by step guide to illustrate what’s involved in becoming Certificate of Recognition (COR) certified. Our team of health and safety professionals will support your organization every step of the way!

Take the first step towards certification by registering for the Certificate of Recognition (COR) program on the go2HR website! This exciting step not only signals your commitment to building a safer, healthier workplace, but it also allows us to offered tailored resources and support as you prepare.

COR Registration

Set up a one on one chat with a COR Specialist to discuss your organization’s specifics, answer any questions you might have and receive personalized guidance to your next steps.

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Using our COR preparedness tools, assess your current Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Management System to determine where you are on your COR journey. Remember, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

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Our COR Audit Toolkit is designed to guide employers through each element of the COR audit, offering insight into each question’s intent, tips for implementation, and additional resources.

Go to the Toolkit

OHS Program Fundamentals

Our OHS Program Fundamentals course provides a solid foundation of knowledge for those starting out in health & safety. Additionally, our comprehensive offerings of health & safety trainings will help bring your team to the next level.

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COR Internal Auditor Training

You will also need to identify a Health & Safety champion to lead the COR process for your organization and complete the COR Internal Auditor Training. Training a COR Internal Auditor allows your company to conduct maintenance audits free of charge in years 2 and 3.

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Once you are feeling confident your organization meets the COR standard, you may choose to book a complimentary gap analysis. During the gap analysis our specialists will help to identify any further corrective actions to ensure your best chance at a successful certification audit.

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One of the final steps is to secure an external auditor to complete the initial certification audit, which verifies the organization’s systems meet the COR standard.

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After a successful certification audit, your organization will be proudly COR certified through go2HR and you will become eligible to receive your rebate, enjoy the benefits of a safer healthier workplace, and an enhanced safety culture. Over time, many employers will also realize further benefits through lower claims costs, improved experience ratings, increased employee morale and more.

The journey starts with COR!  

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COR Benefits

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 organizations can receive an annual financial rebate of up to 10% of their base WorkSafeBC premiums. For example, a company with an annual base premium of $65,600 could save up to $6,560 if they become COR certified.

See your potential savings.

Calculcate you potential savings with our ROI calculator!

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COR certification helps employers meet and stay up to date with legislative health and safety requirements, positioning your company as a workplace leader dedicated to continual improvement in safety standards.

Demonstrating a commitment to safe operations and employee well-being sends a positive message to the community, enhancing your corporate reputation and strengthening relationships with suppliers and customers.

Attract and retain employees who prioritize safety, fostering a team culture that actively promotes and maintains a safe work environment.

An organization’s insurance rates are influenced by their ‘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.

COR Fees

The costs involved in COR certification are minimal. The main cost comes during the initial COR certification audit and subsequent recertification audits, when an approved external auditor must be used. During maintenance year audits, the company may conduct internal audits by using a trained internal auditor.

Auditing fees are paid directly by the organization seeking COR certification to the external auditor performing the certification (Year 1) and recertification (Year 4) audits. 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 and companies seeking certification may select from the list of go2HR’s approved external auditors to ensure the best fit. Any fees associated with travel or expenses must be negotiated between the company and the external auditor.

Find an 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. This allows your company to complete maintenance audits (Years 2 and 3) free of charge using your internal safety champion.

One of the first steps to becoming COR-certified is to identify an internal Certificate of Recognition (COR) program champion who will lead the process for your organization and become a knowledgeable resource about the COR process.

Not sure if this is the right training for you? Contact go2HR before registering.

What you’ll learn:

  • An overview of the COR program
  • An in-depth look at the individual COR audit elements
  • How to prepare for a student audit
  • How to conduct an audit using the go2HR COR audit tool: documentation, observation, and interview techniques
  • How to prepare a COR audit submission: scoring audit questions and writing notes
  • Post-audit activities and follow-up: what happens next
  • How to maintain your status as a COR internal auditor
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Audit Overview

The COR audit evaluates various aspects of your safety management system through review of your safety documentation, observations of the safety practices in your workplace, and interviews with your employees. Similar to an open book exam, the go2HR audit tool is available for review prior to the audit, providing insight into the specific areas the auditor will assess.

The key elements included in the COR audit are:

  • Management & Leadership Commitment
  • Hazard Identification & Control
  • Safe Work Procedures
  • Inspections
  • Investigation of Incidents
  • Training
  • Program Administration
  • Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee

Looking for an external Auditor? Click the link below.

Find an External Auditor

Audit Types & Life Cycle

COR audit certification runs on a 3-year cycle, and there are two types of audits required: certification/recertification audits and maintenance audits.

  • Certification audits are required in Year 1 and Year 4 and are performed by external auditors.
  • Maintenance audits are required in Years 2 and 3 and can be performed by an internal or external auditor.

Certification and recertification audits must be performed by an external auditor certified by go2HR’s industry-specific audit tool.

To meet the minimum COR standards, each certification and recertification audit must:

  • Attain an 80% overall score;
  • Attain a minimum of 50% in each element; and
  • Meet the established quality assurance standards of both go2HR and WorkSafeBC.

Once a company achieves COR certification, successfully completed maintenance audits are required in years 2 and 3 for the company to maintain its certification status until year 4 when they will recertify.

The purpose of the maintenance audits is twofold. First, it shows that the company is maintaining the system originally audited by the external auditor during the certification audit. Secondly, it provides an ongoing status check on the progress of recommendations made during the last certification audit. Maintenance audits do not need to achieve a minimum score in order to pass. Maintenance audits must be completed within six to twelve months following the previous audit (certification or maintenance). Maintenance audits can be conducted by a go2HR-certified external auditor, internal auditor, or student internal auditor. Choosing to use an internal auditor to conduct the maintenance audits will save your company money.

Wanting to become an Internal Auditor? Click the link below.

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Types of Auditors

External Auditors are independent consultants trained and certified by go2HR to complete certification (Year 1), maintenance (Year 2 & 3) and recertification (Year 4) audits.

Find an External Auditor

Internal Auditors are employees of your company, trained and certified by go2HR to complete maintenance (Year 2 & 3) audits. In many cases internal auditors also take on the role of safety champion and help to develop and maintain a company’s safety management system.

Become an Internal Auditor

Audit Scope & Sampling

The scope of the audit for your organization may vary, depending on the number of employees, operating locations and the diversity and seasonality of your operations. Work with your COR external auditor or go2HR to determine the required scope for the audit.

Audits utilize three methods of collecting data – documentation, interviews, and observation (DIO). Each site visit must consist of at least observations and site-specific record review (if the records were not already reviewed at the main office). Depending on the complexity of the company, it may not be necessary to perform interviews at all sites that are visited.

An organization’s audits must encompass a representative sample of all operations, activities and facilities within its control where permanent, casual or temporary staff may work, where relevant activities are running at a minimum of 70% operating capacity. As part of the background information gathering process, all operations, locations and sites should be outlined and assessed to determine which to include in the audit, during which season.

Your organization may have different types of operation. For example, if you are a ski area, you may also have accommodation and food and beverage services. Depending on how your organization is registered with WorkSafeBC (i.e. which Classification Units (CUs) your WorkSafeBC Account is registered in), you may have the option to audit all or just some of your operations.

Your organization may have different operating locations. For example, if you are a restaurant chain, you may have multiple locations across BC. During the audit planning stage, you must communicate with go2HR to help ensure all locations are correctly identified.

For the purposes of COR audits, a “work site” will be defined as “any location where a worker is, or is likely to be, engaged in any occupation for their employer.” For example, a hotel may be listed as a company’s official location. Meanwhile, the restaurant across the street, at an entirely different address, is also thought to be part of the overall location. In this case, the auditor would need to cover both the hotel and restaurant, since the activities undertaken at each site are very different.

Some outdoor hospitality operations are seasonal in nature, such as those that relate to snow sports or golf. In these cases, seasonality must be taken into consideration, with the audit performed when the relevant activities are running at a minimum of 70% operating capacity. This helps ensure that the audit is representative of how the company operates during their “normal business” times. While it is recognized that this is often the least convenient time for an audit, it is an unavoidable requirement.

COR Specific Training

The following training is recommended for COR registered or certified employers to help build a solid foundational understanding of COR and allow you to confidently conduct COR audits during maintenance years!

Click the drop downs to learn more!

Occupational Health & Safety Program Fundamentals is a flexible, interactive online course designed for employers, managers, and supervisors in BC’s tourism, hospitality and food service industry.

What you’ll learn:

  • Management and leadership commitment
  • Hazard identification and control
  • Safe work procedures and written instruction
  • Inspection of premises, equipment, workplaces and work practices
  • Investigation of incidents/accidents
  • Training and instruction of employees
  • Program administration
  • Joint health & safety committees
  • Injury management/return to work programs
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One of the first steps to becoming COR-certified is to identify an internal Certificate of Recognition (COR) program champion who will lead the process for your organization and become a knowledgeable resource about the COR process.

Our COR internal auditor course prepares students to conduct internal audits for their organizations who are registered or certified in the go2HR COR program.

Not sure if this is the right training for you? Contact go2HR before registering.

What you’ll learn:

  • An overview of the COR program
  • An in-depth look at the individual COR audit elements
  • How to prepare for a student audit
  • How to conduct an audit using the go2HR COR audit tool: documentation, observation, and interview techniques
  • How to prepare a COR audit submission: scoring audit questions and writing notes
  • Post-audit activities and follow-up: what happens next
  • How to maintain your status as a COR internal auditor
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In this 8 hour online, self-paced training course, students learn how to effectively carry out their duties as joint health & safety committee members. This course is designed for both worker and employer representatives, including new and existing committee members.

Successful completion of this course meets the minimum 8 hour training requirement for new committee members and worker health and safety representatives, as per the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (section 3.27).

What you’ll learn:

  • The duties and functions of a joint health & safety committee
  • How to conduct regular workplace inspections
  • How to participate in incident investigations
  • Your role in addressing refusals of unsafe work
  • Steps in evaluating the effectiveness of your joint health and safety committee
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General COR Program Information

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.

Wondering what your potential financial incentive could be?

Calculate Your Incentive

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.

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.

Download the Guide

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.  If you choose to have an external auditor perform the maintenance audits, you will not require an internal auditor.

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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.

The go2HR® website contains material that will assist with the development of your program, including templates, tools, sample policies, etc.

Use the below options to find these tools.

1) Use the Resources tab to get direct access to some of these free tools.

Take Me There

2) Use the tools on the COR Preparedness page to get yourself started.

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3) Not sure where to start? Contact a COR Specialist!

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Eligibility

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.

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.

You can choose to include one or multiple Classification Units (CUs) in your COR audit. The incentive received for successfully completing the audit will be based on your company’s reported assessable payroll for the CUs included in the audit.

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.

Benefits & Costs

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.

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.

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

Check out our ROI Calculator!

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Audits

If your total score is between 70% and 79% you may be eligible to conduct a Limited Scope Audit (LSA) 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.

After a period of no less than 90 days, the company may hire an external auditor for a complete audit. It is recommended to address any identified deficiencies before scheduling an external audit again to increase your chances of success.

The COR certification is valid for three years less one day 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The individual attending the training should be familiar with all aspects of your safety management system.

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.