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What Does Naturally Aligned Classification Unit Mean?

Have you ever wondered why not all trucking-related companies are certified for COR through SafetyDriven-TSCBC? Don’t all trucking companies certify via SafetyDriven-TSCBC?

Yes. No. It depends…

For this particular topic I think it will be best to quote selections from an addendum in the Standards & Guidelines, the rulebook for the COR program in BC. As a reminder, there are two “groups” of CU’s at each certifying partner: Contracted and Assigned (Naturally Aligned).

Without further ado, here we go…

Contracted and assigned classification units
Certifying partners serve employers in one or more classification units. There are two reasons why a certifying partner has been chosen to serve a particular classification unit. The first reason is that a certifying partner is generally also a health and safety association and a particular classification unit funds that health and safety association. These are known as “contracted classification units.”

The second reason is that WorkSafeBC has assigned a particular classification unit to a certifying partner based on one or more of the following criteria:

• The assigned classification unit is in a sector or subsector that is dominated by a particular certifying partner;
• Employers in the assigned classification unit predominantly provide an input into, or receive outputs from, a contracted classification unit; and/or
• The assigned classification unit shares similar processes to a contracted classification unit.
These are known as “assigned classification units.” (Naturally Aligned)

So, if you fund us you are contracted and if you don’t fund us you might be naturally aligned. Not too complicated yet, but…

The remaining classification units (i.e. not contracted and not assigned) are not served by a certifying partner. These are known as “un-served classification units.” A complete list of contracted, aligned, and un-served classification units can be obtained from WorkSafeBC. The classification units served (contracted or assigned) by a certifying partner may be amended by WorkSafeBC, as required.

If an employer is in a classification unit that is served by a certifying partner, that employer should apply to that certifying partner. Where a classification unit is served by more than one certifying partner, the employer may select any one of those certifying partners. Where a classification unit is un-served, the employer will contact WorkSafeBC for a determination.

So, if you have a certifying partner then certify through that partner. If there is a choice between two or more certifying partners, choose one. If there is no certifying partner for your CU, call WSBC for them to determine which partner is most appropriate.
Now it’s getting complicated. But wait! There’s more…

Exceptions
There are some situations where an employer is in a classification unit served by a certifying partner but that employer intends to work in an industry served by a different certifying partner. As well, some employers are in an un-served classification unit but intend to work in an industry served by a certifying partner.

An employer may apply directly to a certifying partner that serves that industry if the employer requires certification from a specific certifying partner in order to bid on a contract, including a timber sale.

In addition, an employer may make a request to WorkSafeBC to be aligned to a certifying partner if the employer has any other legitimate business reason. In this situation, WorkSafeBC will make the determination.

To exceptionally complicate things further, your company might need COR from a specific certifying partner to work in an industry or to bid on work, or there might be another “legitimate business reason”.

And finally…

Changing certifying partners
Once an employer has been aligned to a certifying partner, that employer may remain aligned to that certifying partner indefinitely. In particular, if an employer has already received COR-certification from a particular certifying partner, that employer is not required to apply to a different certifying partner in the following circumstances:

• A classification unit becomes contracted to a different certifying partner;
• A classification unit becomes aligned to a different certifying partner; or
• A classification unit ceases to be contracted or aligned.
At any time, an employer may request a new determination from WorkSafeBC.

If you take all of that in aggregate, you can see why I wrote “Yes. No. It depends…”
Part of the complexity stems from the growth of the COR program in BC. The certifying partners all came into existence at different times. There has been some reshuffling of CU’s as time went forward. The last excerpt “Changing certifying partners” allows employers to stay with their original partner vs having to move to a newly created certifying partner that has been contracted or assigned their CU.

The “exceptions” excerpt allows all kinds of combinations to occur.
For example:
“a landscaping company wishing to contract to perform brush clearing for a client in the oil and gas sector, could be required to obtain COR certification through the certifying partner for that sector in order to successfully bid on the work.”

It can get pretty complicated, but the great thing for employers is that WSBC and the certifying partners have to figure out all the details. If you apply to a certifying partner, and it isn’t the right one, they will put you in contact with the right one, or with WSBC.

That being said, it is important to understand your options. Considerable flexibility has been built into the natural alignment process. Proper application of these rules can result in significant competitive advantage.

See here to view the complete addendum that the excerpts in this blog were drawn from. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at cor@safetydriven.ca

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