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Certificate of Recognition (COR) audit program

In brief

  • Occupational health and safety interventions, including regulatory approaches, programs, and management systems, are key strategies for reducing worker injury and illness.
  • Certificate of Recognition (COR) audit programs use voluntary audit-based certification as a way of recognizing or encouraging effective OHS practices. COR programs provide premium rebates to employers who meet certain occupational health and safety management benchmarks or who have implemented a return to work program for injured workers.
  • We conducted independent impact evaluations of the COR programs in BC and Alberta, to assess how participation has affected firms’ claim rates and health and safety experience.
  • Both the BC and Alberta evaluations found that certification is associated with lower injury rates. Detailed results are available in the research briefs at right.

Next steps

  • Our team developed an analytic database of BC Construction Safety Association (BCCSA) COR audits, in order to investigate the effect of the COR program on firm injury claim rates in the BC construction sector specifically.
  • We are currently assessing the predictive validity of the BCCSA COR audit tool, to find out if better audit scores are associated lower firm injury rates, and whether individual element and sub-element scores on the audit tool are associated with lower injury rates.

Watch an interview with Chris McLeod, filmed by the Journal of Commerce at the BC Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association Fall Conference 2015, on the results of the COR evaluation.

Watch a plain language video produced by the Institute for Work & Health explaining the main findings of the BC COR evaluation.

Related publications

An audit-based occupational health and safety recognition program: Does certification lead to lower firm work-injury rates?

Research brief
Based on research presented in McLeod C, Quirke W, McLeod K, Aderounmu A. Evaluating the effect of an audit-based occupational health and safety recognition program on firm work-injury rates in British Columbia, Canada, 2003-2016: a matched difference-in-difference approach. Final Report to WorkSafeBC. Vancouver: Partnership for Work, Health and Safety; 2018. [Full report available by request only.]

Certificate of Recognition in BC: How has COR impacted injury rates in the construction sector?

Conference presentation [578KB]
McLeod C. Ontario Infrastructure Health and Safety Association OCGA Leadership Day. Mississauga, ON: Feb. 19, 2016.

An audit-based occupational health and safety recognition program: Is certification associated with lower firm work-injury rates?

Research brief [299 KB]
Based on research presented in McLeod C, Quirke W, Koehoorn M. Evaluation of the effect of an audit-based occupational health and safety recognition program on firm work-injury rates in British Columbia, Canada. Final Report to WorkSafeBC. Vancouver: Partnership for Work, Health and Safety; 2015. [Full report available by request only.]

Evaluation of an audit‐based occupational health and safety certification program on firm work‐injury rates in British Columbia, Canada

Conference presentation
McLeod C, Quirke W. Canadian Association for Research on Work and Health (CARWH) conference. Saskatoon, SK: Oct. 19-22, 2014.

Evaluating OHS prevention programs: An example of a voluntary audit-based prevention program in British Columbia

Conference presentation
McLeod C.
Occupational and Environmental Health Rounds, University of Toronto. Toronto, ON: Oct 2, 2014.

Evaluation of an audit-based OH&S recognition program on firm work-injury rates

Conference presentation
McLeod C, Quirke W. Epidemiology in Occupational Health (EPICOH) Conference. Chicago, IL: June 24-27, 2014.

Changing the Present: Implementing and evaluating workplace interventions to improve occupational health and safety

Conference presentation [590KB]
Amick B, McLeod C. Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada Learning Symposium. Saint John, NB; Sept. 17, 2013.

Contact: Chris McLeod

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

School of Population and Public Health
2206 East Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada
Tel: 604-822-2772
Partnership for Work, Health and Safety
2206 East Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada
Tel: 604-822-8544

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