As of April 1 companies looking to work with Infrastructure Ontario (IO) on larger direct delivery construction projects will only be able to participate in the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process if they have applied for the Certificate of Recognition (COR) certification program.
IO states it wants to make sure firms are aware of the new requirement.
"For a number of months now we've been advertising COR requirements as part of our RFQ process on direct delivery projects," explained Bob Neally, IO's vice-president of project services. "A lot of companies have already been made aware that they have to register (for COR) to participate in the process. Effective April 1, that safety net will no longer be there — firms won't be able to participate in our RFQ process unless they have already applied for COR. Further to that, a year from now on April 1, 2018, companies will need to be COR certified to participate on the direct delivery projects."
COR is a health and safety audit tool that's part of a comprehensive program. In Ontario, certification is granted by the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association, which prescribes high standards of health and safety management systems through a structured audit process.
In September 2016, COR became mandatory for general contractors and constructors on IO's major projects using the Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) model. Once the new requirements are implemented for direct delivery projects, the majority of IO's larger projects will require COR certification.
"We've taken a position as an organization that we want to demonstrate leadership around health and safety," Neally stated. "COR certification is already required on our larger and more complex AFP projects so we thought we would move in the same direction for our direct delivery projects and program. It's the next logical step."
IO states projects in the range of $10 million to $100 million in value are typically procured under a traditional design-bid-build procurement model, issued under a direct delivery open-market request for tender.