A Matter of Timing

What’s that I hear? Can it be? It sounds like… Nooooooooooo…

Christmas music.

Yup. Halloween has been packed up and it’s ho, ho, ho all the way to the end of the year.

Now, the end of the year is a special time for COR too. No doubt COR runs on a three-year cycle and every COR certified company is cycling on their own timeline, but the end of the year is important too.

Here’s why:

1. Employer’s must submit an audit each year to retain COR certification
2. Re-certification audits must be completed before the expiry date on the COR certificate
3. Maintenance audits must be completed and submitted before Dec 30

Starting with the first point, COR certified employers must submit an audit each year to remain in the COR program. Depending on the circumstances, late submission or failure to submit an audit can cause a lapse or loss of COR certification.

Expanding a bit more on the second point, the last day of on-site auditor activities must be completed before the expiry date showing on the COR certificate. Notice this wording is slightly different than point two above. Here’s the reasoning:

Re-certification audits must be done by an external auditor. The auditor will visit an employer’s worksite(s) during the actual on-site audit activities (Documentation review, Observations, and Interviews). Once all of the on-site activities are completed, the external auditor will move off-site and continue with their daily business activities. In the meantime, they will compile the audit results, score them, and write-up the audit report for a few days to a few weeks after the on-site activities conclude. There can be a considerable lag between the last day of on-site activities and the completion and submission of the audit report. Because of that lag time, the audit date entered for purposes of the COR certificate is the last day of on-site audit activity.

Additionally, the on-site activities are a representative snapshot in time of the conditions at the company. That period of time is the audit. As such, the last day of on-site activities is the last day of the audit. Compiling and report writing are only additional functions needed to convert the raw on-site data into a useable and useful format.

Conveniently for employers, our external auditors are knowledgeable about audit timing and last day on-site. The most important thing is that you contact the external auditor and set the audit up with enough lead time to actually do the on-site audit activities before your current COR certificate expires.

Moving along to point number three; maintenance audits must be completed and submitted by Dec 30.

Notice the language is “completed and submitted”. Maintenance audits also require time to compile, score, and write-up. Imagine if a two week long audit was scheduled to complete on Dec 29. The auditor would likely require two to five days to compile, score, and write-up the audit report. That puts the submission into January of the next calendar year. There are a few types of knock-on effects that occur if an audit creeps into the next calendar year, none of which are particularly good or beneficial.

To recap, ensure you plan and submit the appropriate type of audit every year. If you have a re-certification audit coming up, ensure you contact your external auditor with enough lead time to ensure the on-site audit activities will be completed before the expiry date on your COR certificate. If you need to submit a maintenance audit, ensure you leave enough time to complete and submit the entire audit before Dec 30 of that same year.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact us at or visit our website at

COR Decal

Reprinted from November, 2016

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