Certificate Management Best Practices

Use the Right Technology to Manage Contractors Dated Documents







More Effective     <———————————————–>   Less Effective

Any important document that has an expiry date such as an insurance certificate is best managed with a database. Relational databases are specifically designed to do things that spreadsheets, word processors and manual reminder systems can’t do.

Whether you opt for a fit-for-purpose internal system, a simple third-party application or a comprehensive suite of document management software use the right technology for the job. It’s a vital risk reduction activity all purchasers should use!

Track Expiry Dates

Certificate #1

Certificate #2

Certificate #3

Improve compliance and further limit risk with an automated notification system for expiring certificates. It is vital that purchasers be aware of their contractor’s certificate status on a real-time basis. An automated system that gives contractor’s ample notification for updating of expiring certificates is a not only a critical due diligence function but also reduces administrative time and errors.

Automate Notifications

It is vital that purchasers be aware of their contractor’s certificate status on a real-time basis. System and email notifications managed by a database eliminate errors and reduce administrative time.

Verification Process

Verify documents against predetermined corporate criteria. Quality control of contractor documents is a highly recommended risk reduction activity. For example, one-in-five certificates do not meet basic compliance requirements on first upload.* Typical errors include: document uploaded is not what was requests, certificate has expired, requested insurance amounts are not met, certificate / policy / account number input do not match the document.

Mandatory Certificates

Establish minimum requirements for contractor certifications. Must have certificates include proof of Commercial General Liability and Workers Compensation policies (appropriate to contractor’s risk profile). Service and competency-related certifications (i.e. powered industrial equipment and work processes such as welding) are important records to obtain and store in addition to quality, environmental, health and safety competencies whether corporate or for individuals.

Information Security

Electronic storage of documents, including critical certificates, is a consideration for all purchasing organizations. Whether an internal mass storage device / system, or a web-based option, look for effective back-up reliability and disaster recovery options that suit your budget and needs.


Leading organizations are turning to web storage solutions in increasing numbers. Web storage apps continue to improve feature sets and drop in price with many options that provide secure 24/7 document availability with ever expanding feature sets. Look for the right combination of security and encryption, recoverability and permissions management that suits your organization.

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