You might notice that the staff at Canada North Environmental Services have a jump in their step these days.
Everyone at CanNorth is still riding high after the business received a perfect score of 100 per cent in a COR (Certificate of Recognition) audit last year conducted by Energy Safety Canada.
“It was pretty awesome and really spoke to the kind of staff we have at CanNorth,” says Lisa Folden, human resources manager at CanNorth’s office in Saskatoon. “We were pretty proud of the accomplishment.”
CanNorth is a private environmental consulting company which is wholly-owned by Kitsaki.
The process, which is totally voluntary for CanNorth, was challenging as it included an exhaustive review of policies, procedures, and documentation. That also included in-depth observation and interviews with a third of CanNorth’s staff, from top to bottom.
“Everything had to be checked and balanced,” Folden says.
Businesses that undergo the rigorous certification need 80 per cent to pass. For CanNorth to score 100 per cent is virtually unheard of, Folden was told.
The first time CanNorth was tested, in 2013, they achieved a 97 per cent score. But that was not good enough, Folden says. Management and staff truly wanted to do better, so they focussed on employee training and consistency in their documentation.
It worked. Evidently.
Folden was worried because the audit examination team was not letting on how well CanNorth was doing. What she didn’t realize was how good they were actually doing. But she’s not surprised.
When the final report was sent, Folden and the CanNorth staff were over the moon with some of the statements issued.
“The health and safety culture created and fostered at CanNorth provides the foundation for such amazing performance,” the report read. “Your bright and competent staff apply the established systems masterfully and allow for continuous improvement.”
Folden couldn’t agree more. “It’s a whole culture buy-in from our staff.”
The report went on to say CanNorth is a model organization and something other businesses should model themselves after.
“One hundred per cent commitment is apparent from the general manager to the newest hire.”
COR audits are highly regarded in the industry as proof of highly trained staff.
CanNorth, which also has another office based in Markham, Ontario., tries to utilize Indigenous culture in the communities it is involved in as well as employment and educational opportunities for Indigenous peoples.