As part of its construction contract management and construction tendering process, as well as its ongoing commitment to health and safety, the City is endorsing and adopting the Certificate of Recognition (CORTM) program to reaffirm and demonstrate the commitment to safety and the provision of safe working environments for contractors, employees and residents.

Certificate of Recognition (CORTM) is a comprehensive health and safety audit tool with an accredited certification program in Ontario that is granted by the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA). IHSA is the designated body for certifying contractors in Ontario’s construction industry who demonstrate their standards of health and safety management systems through a structured audit process. CORTM provides validation that a contractor has demonstrated an understanding of health and safety and has made a commitment to continuous monitoring and application of its program when delivering construction activities.

The key value of CORTM is that not only are health and safety programs reviewed to ensure that they are comprehensive, but that it will drive the need for integrating safety into the overall business process and planning of each contractor around how they conduct business on behalf of the City of Toronto.

The City will initiate a multi-staged implementation strategy of CORTM, based upon construction contract value. This approach is based on consultations with other organizations and jurisdictions around implementation, consideration of the broad range of contractors who would be impacted by a City-wide rollout, and the need to ensure competitive bids on City tenders. The roll out strategy will be as follows:

Phases Contract Award Value ($) Timeline
Phase 1 Official communication by the City of Toronto January 2016
Phase 2  > $25M January 2017
Phase 3  $10M to $25M January 2018
Phase 4  < $10M and Consultants (architectural, engineering)* January 2019


*It is intended that this will be selectively applied to consultants, based upon complexity and risk factors as determined by the City.

The first phase will demonstrate commitment and support to the concept, and ensure the entire construction / contracting industry is informed and aware of the City’s commitment to CORTM.  Moving forward a multi-phased roll-out will provide sufficient time for all contractors to incorporate the needs of the program into their business plans and integrate the necessary elements into their existing health and safety programs. In the near term, while working on City of Toronto construction projects, sub-contractors (trades) to contractors will not be expected to hold CORTM certification but they will be expected to:

  • Meet or exceed the elements of CORTM or
  • Adhere to the certified general contractor’s Health and Safety Program.

The City will retain the authority to accept or reject a contractor’s submission of an alternate, equivalent certified Health and Safety Program to CORTM provided that it meets the tenets of CORTM certification.

The proposed roll-out strategy will extend over several years; during that period, the City of Toronto will continue to develop and initiate tools and strategies to monitor contractor performance related to their health and safety programs.

The City firmly believes that introducing CORTM as a new component in the City’s construction procurement process and contractor management program will have a positive and significant impact on the delivery of construction activities for the City, the contractors and the well-being of City of Toronto residents.

For more information on COR, please visit IHSA – Certificate of Recognition (COR™).