Annual Audit Submission
SAFE Certification is valid for 3 years from the date of certification, providing all annual maintenance audit requirements are met. A small company needs to conduct a maintenance audit and submit an updated SEBASE audit each calendar year after the original certification submission, and a recertification submission before the SAFE certification expiry date1.
The maintenance audit requirements are the same as the initial certification audit, but using records covering the time period since the previous audit. For example, submission requirements for a small company with a SAFE certification date of 15 June 2009:
Late audits submitted after December 31 containing information from the previous calendar year will be counted as an audit submission for the previous calendar year. The company will be required to submit an audit for the current calendar year to maintain SAFE Certification.
For example, 1st maintenance audit is due before 15 June 2010 but submitted after 31 December 2010 and containing company safety information of 2010:
To avoid a lapse in certification, recertification audits must be submitted before the SAFE certification expiry date.
SAFE certification will become inactive for companies that fail to submit a maintenance audit by December 31st of that calendar year. These companies with late audits will not be eligible for a WorkSafeBC COR rebate for that year and their name will be removed from the SAFE certified list. SAFE certification will be reactivated when a maintenance audit submission is received. However, the company will not retroactively receive a COR rebate for a late audit.
Inactive SAFE certification will be terminated when a company fails to submit a maintenance audit for 2 consecutive calendar years. A company with a terminated certification will have to get recertified.
A key part of performing the maintenance audit is to generate a corrective action plan to address deficiencies. The corrective action plan should address:
Submission Requirements and Timing
Since maintenance audits provide an opportunity for companies to verify that all aspects of their health and safety management system are being maintained, there is no requirement that a pass mark be obtained in order to stay certified. Significant infractions may result in a requirement for further audits of an employer's health and safety management system to maintain the validity of the employer's SAFE certification.
Maintenance audit activities and audit submissions are to be completed to the same standard as certification audits and are subject to the same quality assurance review process.
It is recommended that you conduct your maintenance audits before the anniversary date of your company’s initial certification and to avoid conducting the 2nd maintenance audit very close to your recertification audit.
Change in Company Size
A company’s size may change during the 3-year certification period and it may be required to change the company’s registration category.
To change your company category, you must complete a SAFE Companies Status Change Form. Requests for status change pertaining to company size and audit requirements must be submitted prior to the date of upcoming audit submission and will require approval from the Council. Company registration information will be updated when the status change is approved. If there is a change in the certification level such as from SEBASE to BASE, a new certification will only be issued after a new BASE audit is submitted meeting Council requirements.
A company can always choose to be certified to a higher audit standard.
If you have any questions, please contact the Council for guidance.
To download a pdf of this information that includes a template Corrective Action Plan please click here.