Alberta Labour and Immigration, Certifying Partners (CPs) including AMHSA, and the WCB continue to ensure Alberta’s COR program remains responsive in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The following measures will be implemented for 2021 to help Alberta employers maintain their CORs and auditors to maintain their auditor certification status.
Effective January 1 – December 31, 2021:
COR Certification/recertification audits conducted based on documentation-only by external auditors will be eligible for one-year CORs. 80% minimum overall score required (no element minimum). Minimum three months of documentation to be reviewed.
COR Certification/recertification audits conducted based on documentation and interviews (conducted remotely) by external auditors will be eligible for three-year CORs. 80% minimum overall score required (no element minimum). Minimum six months of documentation to be reviewed.
Both the peer auditing process and AMHSA-certified consultant auditors are available for COR Certification audits. To participate in the peer process, contact Shannon by June 1, 2021.
COR Maintenance audits conducted based on documentation-only, conducted either by the employer’s internal auditor or an external auditor, will be eligible to maintain COR. Minimum three months of documentation to be reviewed. 60% minimum overall score required (no element minimum). Note that if the maintenance audit is being conducted by a qualifying auditor, it must also include interviews and six months of documentation.
Action Plans in lieu of COR Maintenance audits – application deadline extended to June 30, 2021. Deadline to submit deliverables extended to December 31, 2021.
Action Plan application form (template) is available from Shannon.
Auditor Qualification / Certification Maintenance
Auditor candidates must attend Health and Safety Management Systems, Health and Safety Auditing, and conduct a qualification audit. Auditor qualification audits must include documentation and interviews (conducted remotely) and include six months of documentation. Please note that although the use of observations are not required for qualifying audits in 2021, all auditors that successfully complete a qualifying audit will be certified and permitted to conduct three validation method audits moving forward.
To maintain auditor certification, the requirement will continue to be the successful completion of one AMHSA audit over the three-year auditor certification period. The reduction (from two to one audit) was implemented when the pandemic began. Auditors must also attend an Audit Refresher (one-day virtual training) over the three-year certification period.
Refresher training is being offered January 14 and March 24 – email Carla to register.
- Remote auditing is encouraged wherever possible.
- Interviews can be conducted remotely, using web-based platforms (Teams, Skype, WebEx, etc.), or by telephone.
- Questionnaires (as allowed by the COR Standards, AMHSA pre-approval required) can be conducted remotely.
- The use of on-site interviews and observations will not be required during the pandemic. However, on an individual basis, if the auditor and employer agree that on-site interviews and/or observations can be conducted safely, then these may proceed. All applicable public health directives and guidelines must be strictly followed. Safe auditing guidelines are currently being developed and will be shared as soon as they are available.
The WCB has confirmed PIR refund eligibility for the 2021 COR auditing plan outlined above.
Off-Site Audit Review
The OSAR process has been redesigned in response to the pandemic and will be conducted remotely. Employer interview and close-out meeting will be scheduled over the telephone, Webex, Facetime, Teams, Skype, etc. Safe transfer of documentation from employer to OSA reviewer will be arranged – electronic transfer or safe pick-up procedure to be followed.
We will ensure audit tools that address these audit options are made available on AMHSA’s website. We are working with eCompliance and AuditSoft to have the appropriate tools available as well.