Lights, Camera, Action Plans

A great alternative for maintaining Certificates of Recognition

by Martin Muyomba, MBA, HSA Senior COR Audit Review Analyst,


Earlier this year, your Alberta Construction Safety Association introduced COR Action Plans as a valuable and effective alternative method for companies to maintain their Certificates of Recognition (COR) while continuing to enhance their safety program. Action Plans map out a measurable process to addressing gaps identified in previous audits of a company’s safety program, while not losing focus on the greater corporate and safety objectives.

This self-scoring, holistic approach improves a company’s health and safety management system by strengthening its alignment to, and understanding of, the company’s critical corporate objectives. Some employers may also find it more valuable to focus their internal resources on addressing action items raised by previous COR audits or to develop and complete specific health and safety initiatives.

In our inaugural year of implementing COR Action Plans, we received a total of 128 applications from our member companies. Throughout the year, we have been developing and providing new resources and materials to assist these companies in the implementation of their Action Plan objectives. If your company didn’t apply this year but is considering doing an Action Plan in the future, keep an eye open for announcements regarding the 2017 application process.

Application process
For an employer to be considered for approval to perform an Action Plan in lieu of a maintenance audit, they must:

  • Hold a valid Certificate of Recognition (COR);
  • Have completed a full three-year COR audit cycle;
  • Have achieved an 85 per cent or higher overall audit score in their last certification audit; and
  • Submit their action plan application using the action plan form to ACSA by March 31 of the calendar year in which the maintenance audit is required.

The Action Plan should consist of five to 10 objectives. These objectives:

  • Must be based on audit recommendations from previous COR audits;
  • May also include corporate health and safety initiatives that may be outside the scope of the COR audit;
  • Must be completed by November 30 of the calendar year;
  • Must be assigned milestones or significant activities, persons responsible, and deliverables that will sufficiently demonstrate completion of the objective and individual milestones or activities; and
  • Are each assigned a percentage value for final scoring.

The ACSA will only approve an employer and its Action Plan following a review of its application based on the requirements shown above. Once approved, the employer can start to implement the Action Plan, using the template to track their success.

The ACSA will only approve an employer and its Action Plan following a review of its application based on the requirements shown above. Once approved, the employer can start to implement the Action Plan, using the template to track their success.

Upon completion of the Plan, the employer will be required to submit the self-scored Action Plan report by simply emailing the Action Plan form and all promised objective deliverables (evidence included) to the ACSA by November 30 of the maintenance year. Following this, if the ACSA requires the employer to address any deficiencies or for additional information to be identified, the employer will have until December 31 to complete these tasks.

Completing an Action Plan in lieu of a maintenance audit may be used by an ACSA certified auditor towards the maintenance of auditor certification, provided the auditors were involved in all steps of the Action Plan process, signed off on the final report, and the final action plan submission meets ACSA’s quality assurance standards.

We’re here to help
Your ACSA is here to help you through the process and ensure your Action Plan will benefit you and your workers. A reviewer from our COR Department team will review the supplied deliverables to ensure that you have provided sufficient evidence of the completion of the milestones. During the review process, we might get in touch with you and ask you to make some tweaks or additions.

We will provide you with follow-up correspondence prior to each deadline to help you stay on track. The follow-up is intended to help you by ensuring timely and accurate submissions.
Our Quality Assurance Review of your Action Plan report will include feedback on your success in completing the plan and its deliverables.

The review may include an opportunity to address any deficiencies or provide additional information if the final score falls below 80 per cent.

Once the review is completed and you have addressed any deficiencies or requests, we will notify you (the employer) and any applicable governing bodies of your successful maintenance of COR. We then archive the completed audit report for at least one year.

In closing
The intention of the ACSA’s COR Action Plans is to provide you with an alternative, objective-based method for maintaining your COR. The Action Plan program provides you with the opportunity to set your own objectives on a meaningful platform that will provide you and your employees with greater safety benefits.

For further information, visit our COR Action Plans page on our website at Should you have any further questions, please contact our COR Reviewer Department by email at or by phone at 1-800-661-ACSA (2272).

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