What is the Small Employer Certificate of Recognition (SECOR) program?
The Small Employer Certificate of Recognition (SECOR) program provides an option for employers with 10 or less employees to develop a health and safety management system and achieve a Certificate of Recognition (COR) referred to as SECOR (Small Employer Certificate of Recognition). This program is specifically designed to meet the training needs of smaller employers.
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.
Which Certifying Partner is right for you?
Selecting a certifying partner is your choice. A Certifying Partner is an organization that has committed to working in partnership with Alberta Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour towards improving health and safety for Alberta workers. Employers not currently registered under a Certifying Partner should contact the Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP), a non industry specific Certifying Partner.
Are you eligible for a SECOR?
In the Partnerships program, a small employer has 10 or fewer employees at any given time. Employees include the owner(s), full time, part time and casual employees. Any person covered by the employer's WCB account.
Material suppliers, inspectors, equipment rental deliverers, etc. who supply services to the small employer are not included in the ten or less figure. However, these workers may be subject to some of the small employer's basic workplace health and safety rules that apply to the site (e.g. personal protective equipment requirements).
What happens if your staff increases beyond 10 workers?
When the number of employees exceeds ten, the employer is no longer qualified to hold a SECOR. The employer must move to the regular COR program in the following year when the next maintenance or certification audit is scheduled.
Do you qualify for the Partners in Injury Reduction (PIR) incentive from the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB)?
Employers who achieve a SECOR and are registered in PIR (administered by the WCB) 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 COR is maintained.
What steps do you need to take to apply for my SECOR?
- Complete the registration form and email to AASP. The registration fee may be paid by providing a VISA/MC number either on the form or calling the office. You may also request to be invoiced.
- The next step is to complete the mandatory Module 1 – Health and Safety Program Development course. This course will teach you how to develop and implement your program and also includes the self-assessor training required to ensure you know how to complete and submit your audit. The training is available on-line through e-learning or in the classroom. Please check the main menu tab "CALENDAR/FEES > Course Calendar" to review the classroom schedule. To purchase the eLearning course click here www.safetyvantage.com
- Once the health and safety program is developed and implemented the company may submit a self-assessment following the criteria stated in the Self-assessor training part of Module 1. Examples of documents and completed documentation are required with the audit submission.
- The employer also has the choice of hiring an External Health and Safety Auditor to complete the audit. The External Auditor is required use the electronic audit document available for purchase on the AASP Home page. An external audit for a small employer includes review of documentation, conducting personal interviews and observation tour. There is no documentation submitted with the external audit however the auditor is required to write responses and suggestions for improvement to justify the scoring of each question in the audit tool. To select an AASP certified external auditor please see tab "Auditors" in the main menu.
- Should the employer provide limited documentation, less than one year, a one year SECOR would be considered if the audit passes the 80% threshold. If there are examples of completed documentation representative of a full year a three year SECOR would be issued.
- When the employer submits an audit to AASP it will be dated stamped indicating the day received, and forwarded to a Reviewer for quality assurance review. The Self-assessor must receive 80% on their review sheet for the audit to be accepted. Employers will be afforded the opportunity to provide additional information if the Reviewer determines there is a deficiency that would affect successful outcome of the audit or the Self-assessor review score.
- Upon completion of a successful QA review the AASP Administrator will process the audit. This means the results of the audit are entered into a database, CORRS, to order the SECOR.
- Alberta Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour will review the request and when approved will generate the SECOR, the Director will sign the document and forward to AASP office for the Executive Director to sign. When the document is signed, it will be mailed out to the employer.
How do you maintain your SECOR?
You need to conduct an annual self-assessment of your health and safety management system, complete a self-assessment audit and submit it to AASP for quality review. In addition, the individual who received the initial health and safety management system training is required to take a minimum one-day refresher course every three years, available only on-line.
To Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships Administrator will send a letter to each certified employer two – three months in advance of their SECOR anniversary date as a reminder that an annual audit is required. A renewal audit must be completed prior to the anniversary date allowing sufficient time for conduct the audit, submit for review and ordering of a new COR prior to the expiry date.
Should a company fail to submit a maintenance audit within the calendar year of the anniversary date, they will not be included in as a qualified PIR participant and their COR will no longer be in good standing.
Please phone or email for more information.