Canadian SERP Rules Change in January

On January 13, 2012, Canada Post is making a major change to their Address Accuracy rules that may affect your ability to meet the required 95% accuracy level.

Last year, in January 2011, Canada Post enhanced its specifications for its Software Evaluation and Recognition Program (SERP) used to certify Canadian Address Accuracy software. The enhanced software uses "Point of Call" address data, which has more detail than the previous range-based address data. is a certified developer of the Canadian Address Accuracy software used to provide Address Standardization & Correction services and to generate an official Statement of Accuracy (SOA).

Under the current SERP, missing or invalid unit numbers for residential apartments and most business buildings are not counted as invalid for purposes of the Statement of Accuracy. identifies addresses of this type with the code "Invalid – Excluded (X)". This was to allow mailers a transition period to obtain updated and corrected addresses for these types of addresses.

What's changing?

  • Effective January 13, 2012, Canada Post will end the transition period for excluded residential apartment addresses. Invalid residential apartment addresses will be counted against Statement of Accuracy scores.
  • The transition period for excluded large urban business addresses will continue until January 2013.

How will this affect you?

  • You will likely see a decrease in your address accuracy scores after January 13th. If you maintain a large number of residential apartment addresses, the decrease may be significant.
  • Canada Post may apply a surcharge to your mailings if your Statement of Accuracy fails to report the minimum 95% accuracy score.

How can help?

  • A Canada Post Statement of Accuracy is valid for one year after processing. If your contact list has not been updated recently, we recommend ordering our Address Standardization & Correction product and obtaining a new Statement of Accuracy before January 13th. This effectively gives you another year to fix your apartment addresses.
  • Addresses that may be affected by this change are currently coded in your result file as "Invalid – Excluded (X)". These addresses likely have missing or incorrect apartment number information, which prevents the address from being validated to the point-of-call level. We recommend investigating these addresses further to obtain corrected apartment numbers, or removing them from your main database to prevent them from degrading your accuracy score.