One of the most tedious and time-consuming responsibilities faced by staffing agencies is keeping track of all your staffers’ credentials and making sure they’re up to date.
Yes, it can be painful. But it’s also crucially important. Sending an unqualified staffer out on assignment – whether they’ve never earned the requisite credentials or those credentials have expired – can be dangerous and expose your staffing agency to legal liability in the event of an accident or error at work.
Letting credentials lapse can also mean your staffer pool is unexpectedly depleted when a client comes calling. And if your staffers can’t meet your client’s certification requirements, they might take their business elsewhere.
So, like it or not, keeping detailed records of which of your workers possess specific credentials, and when those credentials will expire and need to be renewed, is an absolute must.
What are Credentials?
Credentials are occupational qualifications, professional licenses, or any type of documentation that details a qualification, competence, or authority issued to an individual by a recognized and accepted third party.
In the construction industry, credentials might a Department of Labor (DOL) training card, proof of completion of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety training. In the medical industry, a Family Nurse Practitioner Certification can be granted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center after an assessment of entry-level clinical knowledge and skills of nurse practitioners.
Keeping Staffer Credentials and Certifications Current is Crucial
For starters, if your staffer’s credentials expire, they may not be able to legally go back out on assignment until they’re renewed. And when good workers are forced to sit on the bench, it means they’re not making money, either for themselves or your agency.
More importantly, non-compliant workers with expired credentials can be a danger at their worksite. In the medical field, techniques change and improve. And even the best medical professionals need refreshers on critical skills that can make the difference between life and death.
The same is true for construction, where an improperly erected or inspected building can result in catastrophic failure, or a lack of safety knowledge can result in an accident at a building site. The same is true for commercial trucking, electrical work… the list goes on and on.
And legally, non-compliance can be a serious liability. Using the nurse you sent out on assignment as an example, if their expired certification is discovered during a hospital audit, it could result in a hefty fine. And if your nurse makes an error that has medical repercussions, the nurse, hospital and your agency could face a lawsuit. Beyond the financial impact, the discovery of a non-compliant worker can damage the reputation of your agency and destroy the trust of your clients.
Methods for Managing Staffer Credentials
So, how to manage the credentials of all of your staffers?
Some agencies continue to track credentials and certifications using an enormous spreadsheet. And it’s just as painful and error prone as it sounds. Oof.
Another option is to use a third-party organization that specializes in credentialing. This places the entire verification process in the hands of a third party, lightening the load on your agency. But using third-party credentialing often takes substantially longer than it would with an in-house system, and they can also be expensive.
Instead of either of the above, our recommendation is to use a tool that’s incorporated into your back-office management system. The right software can quickly and easily manage all your team’s documentation, verify forms of identity, make sure credentials are current, and confirm legal certifications. Easy. Fast. And all in-house.
Managing Worker Credentials Doesn’t Have to Be Painful
Staying on top of your team’s credentials and managing compliance can be a hefty and intimidating job. But to protect your agency and provide the best workers to your clients, it’s absolutely imperative.
It doesn’t have to involve a nightmare of spreadsheets, or a pricey contract with a third-party specialist.
Learn more about Crelate’s integrated compliance tools. And if you’re interested, schedule a conversation with a product specialist to see if our end-to-end solution for the modern staffing agency is right for you.