Audit FAQ

Safety Audits and Certifications Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can an employer with no worksites in one province use a similar worksite in another province to audit?

There is a process in place to apply for this type of scenario. The Extend Audit Scope Out-of-Province procedure can be found on the COR Materials and Resources page under COR Forms:

What happens to a company’s COR if there are no active worksites to audit?

In the event that a company is required to perform an audit for re-certification purposes but does not have active worksites available to audit, an administrative audit may be performed, and a six-month COR may be issued. Documentation and interviews are still conducted, but observations are limited to the available administrative site.

What happens if a company fails a COR Certification Audit?

Where an external auditor conducting a Certification or Re-certification Audit of an employer’s health and safety management system identifies deficiencies that will cause the employer to not achieve 80% overall or at least 50% in each element, the employer may be eligible to apply for a Limited Scope Audit.

A Limited Scope Audit is an audit that is conducted only on deficient areas of an employer’s health and safety management system. Limited scope audits have two objectives:

  1. To produce focused and measurable improvements in an employer’s health and safety management system.

  2. To offer an employer with minor system deficiencies the opportunity to achieve certification without repeating the entire audit process.

What if my company has not had an incident investigation in the past 12 months?

Did any near misses occur? Near misses should be investigated too. The Auditor may still ask interview questions to gauge the employee’s knowledge of the investigation program. Companies who work in low-risk office/admin-type environments may apply N/A to Topic G3 in the Alcumus Audit Tool.

Do Violence & Harassment policies/procedures need to be separate documents?

There has been some confusion around this, while violence and harassment are very distinct parts of your safety program, they should not be combined into a general statement treating both violence and harassment as the same thing.  They should be identified as individual hazards in your safety management system. However, you may have a single document such as a policy that identifies the differences between violence and harassment and a single procedure for how to deal with each situation. 

Does ESC accept Assessor training from other Certifying Partners?

The employer can send over their course certificate and course outline for assessment.

How can an Assessor prepare for annual SECOR online audit?

It is recommended that the Assessor creates a folder on their computer titled “Energy Safety Canada Yearly SECOR Audit”. Within this primary folder, subfolders for each audit Element may be created. The Assessor can upload the SECOR H&S Management System Templates, found under COR Materials & Resources, sorted by Element. All the policies that are required as per the audit questions should be stored within each Element folder. Throughout the year, add all supporting documentation and operational records into each Element folder. Prior to the submission of each yearly SECOR audit, the Assessor should prepare an organization chart, a company profile, and complete the Employee Breakdown and Worksite Sampling Table. These documents are required to register an online SECOR audit.

What are the registration procedures for an Online SECOR audit?

Sign into our website and click on My Account. Then click on Auditor Portal, left side of page. Select New SECOR Audit Request located above Auditor Portal button. Complete the registration form and submit.

How do I retrieve Online SECOR Audit Report?

Sign into your Energy Safety Canada account. Click on My Account, then Auditor Portal (on the left side of the webpage). Click on Audit Listing, which will take you to the “Auditor Audits” page. Find the Closed TAB, then click on the 9-digit audit number to download your audit report.

Which audit questions are Not Applicable to a small employer owner/operator?

When using the SECOR audit protocol the question instructions will indicate if the question can be marked not applicable (N/A), make sure to read the question instructions to see if the N/A applies to your situation.

Please note: An owner/operator is a company with a single employee covered by the WCB account. If there is more than one person covered by the WCB premiums this would not be considered an owner/operator. The owner/operator must have the 2-day mandatory Safety Program Development assessor training to perform the SECOR audit. If the person who has completed this training is not on the WCB account, they will be counted as an employee making the company not an owner/operator (even if they aren’t covered by the WCB premiums).

ISN and ComplyWorks has flagged our company for having an expired COR certification. Our Audit is in the process of being reviewed by Energy Safety Canada. Can we get a letter of interim/ intent?

Once the Auditor has submitted the SECOR Audit to ESC, an automatic email is sent to the company contact. This is often used as a letter of interim/ intent.

What is the correct way to fill out the employee breakdown table if the owner is also a worker?

If a company employee has multiple roles (i.e., a manager that also performs supervisor or worker tasks), that employee would only be entered in once on the employee breakdown form under the highest level of responsibilities that they hold.

My company has not had much work this year – Is it required to provide sampling for each quarter?

The company is required to submit only a sample of documents. To find the number of documents to submit per question, please refer to our Sampling Guidance table in the audit tool. If your company does not have enough records to support the sampling requirements, please contact us to discuss other options.

What courses are Assessors required to take and when are they due?

To become an Assessor for a SECOR company, an employee (who is covered by the companies’ WCB) must complete Energy Safety Canada’s Safety Program Development course. This qualifies the employee to become the Assessor for the company and to submit annual audits for the company. This course must be completed prior to the registration and submission of an audit. To maintain Assessor status, a refresher course must be completed every three years, prior to the registration or submission of an audit.   

What is the status of my SECOR audit?

With our online portal system, you can login and view the status of your audit as is flows through the different stages. Checking Audit or Certificate Status.

When do I submit my Maintenance SECOR audit?

Your Maintenance SECOR audit should be submitted around your anniversary date. This date can be found on your SECOR Certificate by looking at the expiry date. For example, if your expiry date is May 31, 2022, you should be conducting your maintenance audit in May.

Why is ESC transitioning to only online audit submissions?

Compared to the binder submission process, this method allows for faster turnaround times; the ability for the audit reviewer to easily make amendments and edits; and eliminates both the cost and environmental impact of shipping and supplies.

Over 90% of employers are already using our online portal to submit their audits and, as of January 1, 2022, Energy Safety Canada (ESC) will require all audits to be submitted electronically.

How do I check the status of my audit?

Check the status of your audit.   

How do I convert the ECA file into a PDF? 

How to convert the ECA file into a PDF.  

What was my Auditor course Exam Score? 

Certified Health & Safety Auditor Course is scored on a pass/fail basis. The status of your exam score will only be communicated to you if you do not pass the course. A minimum score of 80% on the exam is needed to achieve certification.

How long will it take for my audit to be reviewed? 

Audit QA review periods vary depending on the influx of requests. Timeframes can be anywhere within 2-6 weeks after the audit has been submitted to Energy Safety Canada.

I have completed all my Documentation (or Observations) in Alcumus eCompliance for every visited site, why am I still seeing a red “x” for onsite activity?

The tool is designed to calculate average scores. If you said that you were going to visit 3 sites, and you have only entered scoring and notes into the head office, the tool will see this as you only went to 1/3 required sites. To fix this just start a new documentation review and click “Done”, repeat until a blue message appears: “You have completed a Documentation Review for every site visited”.

What courses are needed to perform an external audit? 

Only Certified External Auditors can perform an external audit. Although, no additional courses are required beyond the Certified Health and Safety Auditor Program the difference lies in the application process.
External auditor candidates have a more rigorous application process, found here. Once the application has been reviewed and approved, the candidate would need to take the following courses:

Which courses are required to perform an internal COR audit?

Energy Safety Canada offers two certification tracks for safety auditors. The first track is for Internal Auditors who are intending to perform a maintenance audit for the company they work for. An Internal Auditor cannot conduct an audit on behalf of any other company.
The second track is for External Auditors who may be hired by companies to conduct Maintenance, Certification or Re-Certification audits. The External Auditor track has additional educational and experience-level requirements.
There is an application process in place to for both internal auditors and external auditors.  Once approved, the following courses are required: 

When is my auditor refresher training required?

Auditor refresher training is required every three years. You can register here for the Auditor Renewal Course. Keep in mind, that there is an application to complete beforehand.

If unsure when you last completed the course, please log into “My Account” and navigate to the “Account Details” Tab and click “overview” to find your course history.

How do I maintain my auditor status?

Maintaining your status is explained in the Procedure Auditor Recertification.
You complete the Auditor Renewal Course, within six months of your auditor expiry date. This will keep your auditor status current but you will not be able to register any audits until the refresher course has been completed. Also, you must also complete 2 audits in the 3 years from your new expiry date.
To confirm completion of your 2 required audits, please go to the “Audit Listing” tab within the Auditor Portal to find the list of audits you have conducted.

If these audits are not performed, or if you have not completed the course as required, you will lose certification and must re-take the five-day Certified Health and Safety Auditor course to become re certified.

Why is it important that Auditors inform Energy Safety Canada of any changes in the audit registration?

The Outline of Roles and Responsibility states that the auditor is required to report to Energy Safety Canada any changes, (e.g., start date, audit type, etc.) to the original audit registration as soon as those changes are known. Changes must be reported by completing the Change Request that is found when you log into My Account on the ESC website, then under Auditor Portal. 

When should I use the Multi-Role function in my COR Audit?

When Companies do not have designated Supervisors, the Auditor should be assigning those who direct the work of others to the multi-role position in the site summary table. The persons might be the Senior Manager, a Dispatcher, and Lead hand, etc. If you do not designate a person to the Multi-Role function, the Supervisory questions will score 0% in the audit tool. NOTE: Do not make all employees Multi-Roles as there needs to be workers selected in order to answer the worker specific questions.

I am conducting a Baseline or Qualification Audit. Why can’t I see the Audit Questions in the Alcumus eCompliance Audit Tool?

Go to “Select Audit Content”, Select “Yes” to Include Certificate of Recognition (COR). Even though you are not conducting an audit to achieve or maintain a COR, the audit questions are linked to this option. This is so those conducting an Injury Management/RTW audit have the option of turning off the COR questions.

How long do I have to submit my student audit? 

Student Auditors must submit their Qualification Audit within six months of the last day of their auditing course. All other auditing timeframes apply once the audit has been registered.

Who can be included as a mentor in my audit? 

Any certified external auditor can be included in your student audit, you must identify them as part of a team audit. This means your audit must be registered as a team audit and include an appropriate sampling plan. Each auditor must participate in document review, observations and interviews.  For more information review the SAC-PRO-027 Team Audit.

Who can I use on a Team audit? 

Generally, any external auditor can be included in a Team audit. They must be included in the Registration process.  A team audit can be composed of internal, student and external auditors, although if the audit to be conducted is a certification or recertification, the lead auditor must be external.

Note: It is very important that all members of the team audit use the same version of auditing software.

Can a student audit be a Team audit? 

 Yes, it can. A team audit can consist of one student auditor per team. The student auditor must register the audit, indicate the other auditor on the form and the assisting auditor(s) will have to be fully certified. For more information review the SAC-PRO-027 Team Audit.

Can I perform a student audit for a company I do not currently work for?

Yes, however if you are an internal candidate, it cannot be used as a COR maintenance audit. An approved external auditor/candidate can also conduct such an audit and it could be used for COR maintenance if the company already has a COR with Energy Safety Canada.

Do I have to pay for my Student-Only audit review? 

There are no fees associated with a student-only audit review.

Can a student audit also be used as a Maintenance audit for a company?

Yes, if the student is a full-time employee with the company and the company chooses to do so, they can use the student audit performed as their maintenance audit. When registering the audit, the student would identify it as dual purposes. COR Fees are applied when the student audit is also used to maintain a COR.

How do I know If my company is a Member or a Non-Member?

WCB allocates a certain number of industry codes to ESC, based on type of work your company performs. If you see your code on the list, you are a member. If your code is not on the list, you are considered a non-member. ESC cannot change your industry Code. Please contact your WCB Representative to ensure you are classified in the correct industry code. WCB codes can be viewed on the COR Fees page by clicking on Determine Member Status:

I am an owner of several companies. Can one audit be conducted to achieve or maintain a COR on all companies?

Yes, if each company has their own WCB account, an auditor or assessor may conduct one representative audit of the group for the purpose of obtaining or maintaining a COR. The employers must be related through common ownership and controlled together, use a common health and safety program, and the audit must be representative of the overall operations of the entire group of employers.

SECOR companies are required to submit the Group Audit of Related Employers Form to prior to the start of the audit. For COR companies, the auditor will complete the form at the time of audit registration.

I need a Certificate of Recognition to bid on work. How can I get that certificate right away?

You need to perform an audit prior to getting a certificate, once the audit has been submitted for quality assurance review, we will issue a letter of interim that you can use as a temporary measure. Once the Audit has passed the quality assurance review and is approved by the provincial WCB the certificate will be issued. For large employers using an auditor this is something you may wish to discuss with the auditor to determine how long they will need in order to conduct the audit and submit to Energy Safety Canada for review.

What are ESC fees for an audit review?

List of fees can be found on our website under fee structure.

What are Formal Hazard Assessments?

The Formal Hazard Assessments follow a step-by-step (formal) process that looks closely at the overall operations of a company to prevent work related injuries. These assessments are used to identify hazards, measure risk (to help prioritize hazards) and implement and monitor effective controls. Once complete the company will have records of detailed assessments that identify hazards, risks, and controls for all tasks within the company. These records will require regular scheduled reviews and maintenance.

What is a site-specific hazard assessment?

A site-specific hazard assessment is performed before works starts at a site, and at sites where conditions change, or non-routine work is added. Site Specific Hazard Assessments identify and control unexpected hazards that cannot be anticipated in the formal hazard assessment system. These hazards are specific to a work location and are often changing. Examples of hazards identified on the site-specific hazard assessment: access and egress hazards, overhead hazards, powerlines, lighting levels, other workers in the area, noise: Site-specific information and template.

When do we need to review the formal hazard assessment?

Review of the formal hazard assessments should occur: On a regular basis, designed to keep the results up to date. The company should have a predetermined frequency outlined in their program; when a new work process is introduced; when changes are made to operations or a work-related process; when site-specific hazard assessments, inspections, and/or investigations identify a previously unrecognized hazard. The industry recommended review times is annual review for changing operations with higher risk, and every three years for low risk administrative companies.

When is my audit due?

The best way to understand when your audit is due is to use the expiry date identified on your Certificate of Recognition. The expiration month on the Certificate is the month you should be submitting your completed audit to us. If you can not make that date, you have until the end of the quarter that your expiry date falls in.

Do you know that a Certificate of Recognition (COR) must be maintained?

The regular COR audit cycle includes a certification audit which requires a maintenance audit in the two subsequent years of the expiry date.
Maintenance audits must be completed by the employer’s anniversary date of their COR certificate or by the end of the quarter that the anniversary date falls in (Q1, Q2, Q3 or Q4). For example, if the COR expiry date is May 31, 2023, a maintenance audit is required in May 2021 and 2022.

What is an out of province COR?

A COR may be issued based on an audit of the employer’s out of province operations, provided the employer has met all applicable Energy Safety Canada requirements, including the expectations of the province in which they are seeking a COR. Employers that do not maintain a continuous presence within their own province and continuously operate mobile equipment or temporary worksites in another province may also qualify for a COR.

When will I receive my COR Certificate(s)?

WorkSafeBC certificates will be emailed to the employer once the audit is approved.  This takes approximately 2-3 weeks.
Equivalency certificates (e.g., Saskatchewan, Manitoba) will be emailed to the employer immediately after the audit is approved.
Alberta certificates can be downloaded/printed through the employers myWCB account with WCB-Alberta. Simply login to your myWCB account and click on Reports and Invoices. Not sure how to access your myWCB account? Get more information here. Energy Safety Canada does not email Alberta certificates.

How to download or print your own AB COR?

Employers can print their own certificate through their myWCB account with WCB-Alberta. Simply login to your myWCB account and click on Reports and Invoices. Not sure how to access your myWCB account? Get more information here. Please note that Energy Safety Canada do not email Alberta certificates.