Red Deer RCMP are investigating a large-scale operation involving the creation and selling of counterfeit safety certificates. The investigation has uncovered information that counterfeit certificates have been distributed across Alberta and possibly Western Canada.
The Red Deer RCMP recognized that aside from being a large-scale criminal investigation, there are also recognizable safety concerns. The Red Deer RCMP felt it was important to release this information as the investigation suggests there could be thousands of counterfeit certificates issued over a lengthy period. The investigation is continuing to uncover the scope of this operation. This is a complex investigation, with several agencies involved and the RCMP want to ensure accuracy without jeopardizing the investigation.
Individuals involved are being investigated for the creation and dissemination of the counterfeit certificates including but not limited to H2S Alive®, and First Aid/CPR. Although the majority of the fraudulent activity took place in Alberta, information has led investigators to believe it also extends to other provinces. Two of the major certification organizations affected by this operation are Energy Safety Canada and the Canadian Red Cross.
"We commend the Red Deer RCMP for their dedication and effort around investigating counterfeit certificates," says Murray Elliott, President and CEO of Energy Safety Canada. "As the national safety association for Canada's oil and gas industry, we are committed to the health and safety of workers. Safety training is one of many critical layers of controls in the industry. Ensuring workers are properly trained and certificates are valid is a priority. Falsifying safety certificates is a significant concern, one that impacts safety in the field," says Elliott.
To prevent fraudulent activity and to protect workers, each Energy Safety Canada certificate is unique and has several security features. An online validation tool at energysafetycanada.com allows workers and employers to check the authenticity of certificates issued by Energy Safety Canada. If a certificate does not validate using the website tool, call 1-800-667-5557 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to get properly certified.
"The Canadian Red Cross is deeply concerned to learn of this fraudulent activity and is working closely with the RCMP on this issue," says Jenn McManus, vice-president for Alberta and Northwest Territories, Canadian Red Cross. "The Red Cross offers first aid and CPR training to help workplaces comply with both federal and provincial/territorial occupational health and safety legislation. Fraudulent certificates mean that training was not completed, which puts the safety and wellbeing of people in workplaces at risk."
The Canadian Red Cross asks employers who may be impacted to verify any first aid and CPR training certificates received from employees. This can be done easily online at myrc.redcross.ca and clicking on 'validate certificate' at the top of the webpage. Employers will then need to fill in the certificate ID found on their employee's certificate, along with their employee's last name. The search result will either validate the certificate or indicate if there is an issue. Canadian Red Cross training, certified trainers, or training partners are not a part of this investigation. People who actually participated in training to receive a certificate will not be impacted.
As both H2S Alive® and First Aid/CPR certificates must be renewed every three years, employers are encouraged to follow the steps detailed above to review all certificates dated 2018 and newer.
In order to protect the integrity of this ongoing investigation, no further details can be shared at this time. The Red Deer RCMP will provide additional information on the investigation when it becomes available.