3 Tips for Getting COR Certified

Getting COR certified can be intimidating. If you’re new to the territory, all of the terms and activities can seem a little overwhelming. Hang in there. There has never been a better time to get your COR.

These 3 tips are part of our standardized approach to developing COR-certified safety management systems (Safety manuals) for our Clients. We use them every day, and they are a reliable place to start. Keep in mind that developing a COR-compliant safety management system is a big job, and we’re just addressing the tip of the iceberg. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s “Easy” your first time around, but it’s attainable.

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Bastion Safety Solutions specializes in national COR Certification.
Bastion Safety Solutions utilizes an award winning software (2019)
Bastion Safety Solutions uses an award winning software. (2019 Award)
Bastion Safety Solutions uses and award winning software (2020 award)
Bastion Safety Solutions specializes in Alberta COR Certifications

1. Pick the Right Certifying Body.

It’s best to begin at the beginning, and many teams miss this first step.  Currently, there are 11 certifying partners in Alberta.  A certifying partner is an organization that can award you a COR.  They support specific industries (i.e., Food Processing, logging) or a broad range of industries (ACSA, AASP, ASC), and some of them overlap.  It’s important to do your research and pick the right one. A couple of key points to consider when making this decision are:

  • Do they properly align with your scope of work?
  • Would your Clients expect to see a COR from this provider in their field?

Warning…Getting COR Certified from a partner your clients don’t commonly see can result in unnecessary headaches.  A lot of documentation changes and research or translating equivalencies.  Be sure to investigate before making a final selection.

2. List Company Roles & Their Associated Tasks.

How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  This is very specific to your organization and can be a very large undertaking.  Start by identifying the roles within an organization…all of them.  Your list might look something like this:

  • Administrative
  • Journeyman Welder
    • Apprentice Welder
  • Journeyman Electrician
    • Apprentice Electrician

Once developed, list all the tasks each role would complete.  One example could be:

  • For “Electrician” you might consider something using broader terms like:
    • “Installing Electrical Devices” rather than “Install Switch”.
      • This will save you many hours of development, and writing the same 5 steps repeatedly.

Each task list will be the basis of the hazard assessments you’ll be required to develop going forward.  We’ve written a great article on how to know your hazard assessments out of the park…read it here…3 Easy Tips for Better Hazard Assessment

Pro Tip: You wouldn’t copy and paste a legal defense from a random site on the internet, and you wouldn’t pilfer, or borrow a defense from a competitor, or company with a different scope of work.  The same goes for safety management.  Take the time to develop your own policies and procedures.  No one will understand your specific process as you do.

3. Write for Your Intended Audience

Clients will rarely use or reference your manual – except for pre-qualification or incident investigation.  The safety management system (safety manual) is for your people.  Remember to keep it simple.  For some reason, when people get behind a keyboard, they grow an alter ego.  Don’t start writing safety procedures like you have a doctorate, making them complex and difficult to interpret.  A few good rules of thumb are:

  • Write simple, easy-to-follow instructions – aim for a grade 8 comprehension level. Safety shouldn’t be complicated.
  • Name sections, policies, and procedures EXACTLY as they are named in your COR requirements (from your chosen certifying partner).
  • Remember the 5 W’s – Who, what, when, where, and why…and sometimes how.


Using these 3 tips will make your development journey much easier, and your annual audits will be a breeze.

Bonus tip:  There’s never been a better time to get COR certified.  Consider the current market; many competitors face challenges due to “High Overhead.”  It’s time to step up and claim your spot at the bidding table, and getting COR certified can be just what you need to achieve it.

Contact Bastion for a free COR consultation.  Ask us about our TURBO-COR – which gets you up to speed in record time, with support.

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Partnering with BASTION for your Safety Program brings strategic advantages not found elsewhere in the industry. We’ll make the process of getting your COR and maintaining it almost seamless, using our software to drive your COR processes, and build it out into much, much more.

Contact Bastion to find out we can help you achieve:

1. WCB Discounts – Discounts on their WCB rates of up to 40%

2. Competitive Advantages: Reduced premiums result in larger profits.

3. Increased Client Base: Access to bigger jobs & more exclusive Clients.

4. Reduced Risk: In bids, insurance for both employers and the employee.

5. Efficiency Improvements: Establish workflows that support all facets of the business – not just safety.