Hey, do you know if your certifications are up to date? You know, your certifications, your credentials, your licenses, your hall-pass! What about all the field guys? Which credentials? Well, for most of you, it may be tower training and rescue certification. It may be OSHA or RF Safety certifications. It may be your CCNT qualifications. Maybe you have router, MPLS, OEM, or any other certification that you may need to do your job. Maybe, some of us want to get certified so that we learn new skills. New skills open up new doors in our career, right? It would be nice to have proof that you completed the class. Your company is required to keep proof of that training available at all times for customers and compliance agencies, such as OSHA.
So credentialing becomes necessary for your job. Customers and/or your company may require proof of certain levels of training and experience, or your next employer may require proof of all those things listed on your resume. All of these are reasons to get credentialed. Let’s look at your driver’s license. This is something that most of you have and keep up to date, why? So you can travel freely. It is most likely the most basic credential you have. You will need to show this to companies so that you can drive the truck, get to work, or just for identification. To climb, you need a cert that says you can climb safely. To work on routers you may need to be certified so that the customer believes that you won’t take the network down or wreck the code in the router. You need certifications to do your job in many areas.
“Credentialing – refers to the granting of a diploma or other certification in recognition that an individual has completed a defined body of work that is required for employment in certain occupations or professions.”
“Certification – is used as a synonym for credentialing or to refer to a program that identifies individuals who have gained advanced skills within a profession”
Do you think that you just need to take the class and then it’s done? No, you need to keep the documented credentials so that you have proof. You need to keep them up to date because they often expire; even when the document doesn’t expire your Customer will enforce re-certification every 2-3 years. If you need to keep it up to date, you need to get recertified and you need to keep proof of your most current re-credentialing.
How many of you keep that old binder in the truck only to pull it out when the customer asks? How many of you know how many copies are expired? Most of you don’t care until someone calls you and says update this ASAP.
I was talking to a close friend of mine, Matt, he is managing the safety program for the climbers in his company and a customer stopped by the office and asked for all of the safety certifications. He had them all in one place, not the paper copies but the scanned copies in a shared directory at the office. He spent a few minutes calling them up and the customer’s safety person was so happy. She was so impressed that he had all the certs, all the dates, and could show them to her with no questions asked. He didn’t make excuses, he showed her the certs and the customer left happy and knowing that this is a trustworthy company. Luckily he was at the office on the network able to access the shared directory.
This isn’t the case at the site. You may rely on the binder, if you can find it and it’s up to date. You may have to access the company network to get the files. You may have to call the office and ask them to email it to the Customer. Even if you keep track of all of your company’s credentials at the office it is hard to present them at the site. It could be a showstopper. What if someone didn’t update the binder and they are expired. What if one is missing and the climber is not ‘compliant’ to climb, then what? Someone in the office needs to support you by emailing them out to the customer. Keep your credentials up to date and readily available. Do you see the problem? Updating at the office is easy, getting them quickly retrievable in the field is hard. Most of this should be done up front. Even customers don’t keep up with it until they do an audit at the contractor’s site. Then certifications matter because if you don’t have the right credentials, then the job is delayed or you’re kicked off the site until you show proof! That’s a day of lost wages, delay in the project, possibly one more night out-of-town.
Do you see the pain point? Credentials need to be up to date and available all the time, everywhere, especially where Safety issues are concerned.
Believe it or not I found a way around this, a way that someone can use an app on a smartphone to see all of your credentials in one shot, and it’s pretty cool! I found a website that you can load up your credentials where they can be available to anyone with a QR code reader on their smartphone. It’s really easy to use. First off, a QR reader reads those codes you see.
What is a QR? Well, it is explained here, but it’s a generic box that you see around for people to scan with their smartphones to get more information on a product or service. QR stands for Quick Response code. It was originally used in the auto industry in Japan to track parts and pieces. Then people realized that with smart phones anyone could get any information quickly and easily by just scanning a code. How cool is that?
the app, then scan the box and you will see my old certifications. So, if you own a tower service company, work for a business demanding proof of credentials, or if you manage a safety program anywhere, then this is going to make your life easier.
What is this place where you can upload your certifications for customers to see? The company is QREDENTIALS! The site is https://www.qredentials.com/home-page.html. Create an account and then upload your information so that anyone with a QR reader can quickly review all of your credentials. No, it’s not free, but it is currently in BETA, (BETA is only $45), but it’s pretty cool and there are more pricing options. I just did the beta for unlimited access. It is expected to be in full, release mode by January 2016. It’s simple to use and really simple for the customer to use. Here are my certifications on the web. Better yet, scan THIS QR-Code on your smartphone and you will see my certs! I think that it’s really cool. Even though I am no longer required to maintain current credentials, it’s fun to have them available to add to my socialization and it was a blast digging out all my years of credentials for uploading!
So why not have someone in the office track the certifications and have the field guy keep this code on his phone as a picture? Problem solved, simple! We all know that the field people always have their phones, right? This should streamline the work. All the field guy needs is to have the QR-Code either on a sticker, business card, paper or on the smartphone. They may not have their binders up to date. They may change trucks. They may have destroyed their binders, “accidentally”, of course.
Here is a way to clean all of that up. Have the field guys do the field work and have the safety person manage the certifications and everyone is happy! No more nagging the field guys to update their binders, am I right? It looks so much easier. Hey, you tell me, does this make sense?
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Give to the Hubble Foundation because if you don’t help these families, who will? Who supports Hubble? The wireless workers and the tower climbers, that’s who! With no support from the carriers or NATE, so it’s up to you! What if it were you? Would you want help? Who would help you if you were hurt? Who would help your family, your spouse, your children if something happened to you? Do you see the people who are hurt?