Vaughan to require contractors to register for COR certification by March

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City of Vaughn

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Vaughan says it will require construction contractors working with the city to register for a Certificate of Recognition (COR) from the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) for the procurement process beginning in March.

The contractors won’t need to be COR certified – just registered – but full certification will be required in a phased program, depending on project size for the community north of Toronto.

“In December 2019, council endorsed the COR program as a component of the city’s biding process for construction contracts,” the city says in a statement. “The IHSA is designated to certify contractors in Ontario’s construction industry who demonstrate their health and safety management system through this structured audit process.”

“Candidates looking to work with the city will be required to provide a copy of a valid certificate or an equivalent Ontario Health and Safety certification in order to win the bid. Implementing this step in the process will help reduce health and safety risks in the work place.”

By September, 2021, “prequalification documents will include scoring for COR registered and COR certified” for projects greater than $25 million,” city documents say.

By September, 2022 for projects greater than $10 million, “COR registration/certification will be a requirement for general contractors, construction consultants and external project managers,” the city says.

“In addition, the COR requirement will also be expanded to add the major sub-trades to be COR registered or certified. This requirement will be included in the prequalification document and will be scored for COR registered and COR certified.”

By September, 2023, the threshold drops to $500,000 and “COR certification will be a requirement for general contractors, major sub-trades, construction consultants and external project managers.”

“The city will initiate a multi-staged implementation strategy of COR, based upon contract value,” the municipal report says. “This approach is based on consultations with other organizations including the Ontario Buyers of Construction/Ontario Construction Users Council, the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) and other construction related associations.

“These consultations discussed the implementation with consideration of the broad range of contractors who would be impacted by the rollout, and the need to ensure competitive bids on the city’s tenders. The phased-in approach also give bidders the opportunity to obtain their certification. The process from registration to certification takes approximately one year to complete. Based on the feedback heard through the consultations, the construction industry and members of the associations consulted have already made progress in adopting COR.

“Further, requiring COR as a part of procurement processes has already begun within the public sector. Other municipalities and agencies that have adopted COR include Metrolinx, City of Toronto, City of Brampton, Region of York, TTC and Infrastructure Ontario.

“The proposed roll-out strategy will extend over multiple years. The first phase will demonstrate commitment and support to the concept, and ensure the construction/contracting industry is informed and aware of the city’s commitment to COR. Moving forward the multi-phased roll-out will provide sufficient time for all contractors to incorporate the needs of the program into their business plans and health and safety program.”

For more information, see the  City of Vaughan’s Procurement Services page.

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