Designing an Effective Process to Track Employee Policy Attestations and Certifications
Matt Kunkel | March 21, 2018
Most organizations today have multiple compliance requirements and contractual obligations that require all employees to attest that policies and procedures have been read and acknowledged. However, it is generally just good business practice to validate that employees have truly read and understand the requirements of an organization.
Policies (and policy management, more generally) are only as strong as the procedures in place to enforce them. Any mismanagement of policies or procedure attestation is an immediate and likely expensive risk for the company – since it would make them non-compliant. It’s important to build an effective process that tracks employee attestations and certifications to ensure that policies are being met and procedures are being followed.
What is the difference between Attestation and Certification?
Certification is an ongoing process where managers and approvers confirm and validate that all employees have read and acknowledged the organization’s policies and procedures. This often occurs on an annual basis for policies, but can also occur throughout the year as policies change. An attestation is a way to confirm, witness, validate or authenticate that an employee has received up to date and accurate information or training concerning company policies that he or she will be required to perform. The process of certification often involves many employee attestations. Attestations can take many forms – many organizations today still rely on email replies from employees as confirmation that they have acknowledged a particular policy. Many high performing organizations have customized attestation forms where employees can confirm they have read and acknowledged the policy.
"Help! I can’t Manage This Process Anymore!”
We often hear our customers coming to us when their process is starting to get unmanageable with the volume of employees that are going through the certification. This is typically because they are tracking the policy certification process on spreadsheets and gathering attestations by email. Some of the issues managing the process this way include:
It’s very time consuming to sort through all of the email responses that come back.
It’s easy to accidentally request duplicate information from employees who already sent their attestations.
Sending reminder emails to all of the non-compliant employees takes a tremendous amount of time.
No single source of truth, which makes it difficult to report on or respond to questions from senior leadership.
Have a Single Source of Truth to Manage Policies and Attestations
Implementing a single source of truth across the enterprise is a safe and reliable way to track employee policy attestations and certifications. Your level of risk dramatically decreases when you can confidently track every employee’s policy attestations and their training. A quick glance at a single interface will give you all the pertinent information needed and allow you to take immediate action where it is needed. There will no longer be concerns of someone “slipping through the cracks” with training of important policy and procedures.
Integrate Attestations and Certifications with Policy Management
It is futile for an enterprise to invest manpower, money, and other resources on creating policies and procedures if there is no system in place to ensure those policies are learned and adapted by the employees. It would be as if you built a solid home on sand, the entire house would crumble quickly. Utilizing a robust and intuitive interface to track every employee’s attestations and certifications would mean you have built your solid home on secure ground. A centralized process that reflects the integration of attestations and certifications with policy management serves to support the procedures and helps eliminate risk to the enterprise.
Leverage Technology to Enable Better Communication and Decision Making
With a centralized process in place that tracks employee attestations and certifications, departments across the enterprise will be able to communicate concerns about employee or departmental compliance quickly and efficiently. This enables the organization to gain a 360 view of their enterprise risk and management system and allows senior executives to make intelligent decisions concerning policy and procedure. Furthermore, technology can help facilitate automated reminder emails that are send to employees that have not yet completed their attestations.
How LogicGate Can Help
LogicGate’s Policy Management Software enables you to build and update effective policies and procedures as well as communicate and distribute them across your entire organization. In order to ensure that each policy and procedure has been read and understood, LogicGate’s Policy Management Software will also provide assurance that each impacted employee has read and comprehended the changes that were that made. LogicGate’s configurable employee attestation forms allow you to build simple web forms that may differ than LogicGate’s best practice templates. Our visual workflow designer allows you to create custom workflows – particularly useful when your policy approval process is unique.
Employing a centralized system that functions within your organization's need for both policy management and a clear process for tracking policy attestations and certifications will greatly reduce risk and create efficient communication throughout the enterprise.