5 Expert Tips to Ace Your Next Compliance Audit

Most organisations recognise that an effective contractor management system is critical for ensuring workforce safety and compliance across their sites.

However, when it comes to implementing an efficient solution, many struggle to develop a solution that actually solves the problems it was intended to, let alone a system that saves their team time and money.

There are 6 key ways organisations can streamline their contractor engagement processes, unify safety management across their operations, and massively reduce time wasted on admin.

1. Select from a pool of prequalified workers and companies

One key hurdle many organisations face is the initial onboarding and prequalification of contractors. The process of gathering information, from company licences and insurances to worker records, qualifications and required training, is incredibly cumbersome and inefficient when procurement or site managers rely on paper-based systems or poor file management tools (e.g. spreadsheets).

Selecting contractors and workers who have been prequalified by a third party gives immediate assurance that key safety and regulatory requirements have been verified, and significantly streamlines the process of contractor engagement and onboarding. Fortunately, many affordable software solutions already exist which allow companies to access a portal of prequalified contractors and their workers (and invite their own) in order to manage everything in one place.

In Comply Flow, contractor companies and their workers are onboarded once to complete a compliance profile including all required documentation and training for their work role.

Once each worker has completed their compliance profile it can then be shared to unlimited organisations or sites, typically at no extra cost. Contractors can see their compliance status for each client organisation, site and project they are assigned to and easily take steps to be fully compliant in minutes from their contractor dashboard.
For example, a contractor worker who provides services for an organisation with multiple sites can see ahead of time all of their role requirements such as licences, training, qualifications, competencies or inductions for each site they are assigned to. Before arriving at site, workers complete the requirements on their dashboard. Their compliance status for each client or site updates in real-time, and can be monitored by area supervisors or site managers who ensure that all contractors on site are compliant, competent and ready to work.

2. Trial a digital solution for instant access to real-time information

Another challenge for safety, operational and procurement teams when managing an external workforce is working with incomplete information.

Instead of a unified, company-wide approach, many companies report that information is siloed across multiple sites and departments. This leads to inconsistency and gaps in processes, exposing organisations to greater risk.

A digital solution is an obvious answer to this problem. Migrating records and workflows to the cloud means everyone at your organisation can access real-time information, be notified when contractor data expires, and get the answers they need in a matter of clicks.

Comply Flow not only gives clients access to a central repository of verified, accurate contractor records and training, we also take out the guesswork. The platform automatically assigns contractors and workers a status of either ‘compliant’ or ‘not-compliant’ based on the requirements configured by each organisation.

This can include:

  • Contractor Company Status (e.g. Insurances, Worker’s Compensation)
  • Contractor Worker Status (Role-Based Statuses, e.g. white cards, or certifications
  • Contractor Plant Item Status (Plant Category Status, e.g. registration and maintenance records)
  • Site / Location Status (Workers can be compliant for one site and Not Compliant for another, e.g. if a worker is missing a specific site induction they will be flagged when trying to login to the site using Comply Live Access)
  • Comply Flow Contractor Management Software also offers solutions for managing Internal Company Staff, from training and qualifications to HR document management.

3. Find an all-in-one contractor compliance & WHS management software

One key issue many organisations encounter when building a contractor management system is reliance on multiple tools or software.

For example, companies can often be found using one app or separate learning management system (LMS) for managing contractor training, another for managing incidents or work permits, a mix of paper and spreadsheet solutions for handling multiple site access.

This piecemeal, fragmented approach is cumbersome, costs time and money, and can lead to gaps in processes which jeopardise safety and expose companies to legal risk.

Finding a simple, all-in-one safety management system allows you to centralise key processes in one place, and implement changes to multiple risk areas quickly. This makes it easier for safety teams and site managers to respond to changing business requirements, or quickly roll out improvements.

Comply Flow’s simple navigation also allows users to move from contractor registers and records, to other safety management tools such Incident, Audit and Work Permits, keeping everything in one place.

4. Automate training and inductions

The visibility of internal and external workers’ skills and competencies is a must-have these days for organisations managing safety risk.

However, many organisations are often totally in the dark about who on their sites is qualified and inducted. A combination of inconsistent processes, unclear communication and poor tools for managing contractor inductions and training is generally responsible for poor competency management.

Automating workforce training and inductions saves significant time by automatically assigning training to workers based on their role, type of work or site-specific risks.

Instead of chasing down records to find out who is actually compliant, or simply not knowing, digital training and inductions solutions will ensure a standardised approach across the business, giving teams instant access to contractor training records and the status of inductions… from any device.

5. Streamline site access & compliance spot-checks

A contractor worker arrives on site. Are they insured? Are they compliant? Have they completed all necessary work permits? Have they submitted all their required documents? Have these documents been approved? Have they completed the inductions?

Answering these questions can seem almost impossible for organisations with an inadequate contractor management system. Often site-entry points rely on visitor sign-in books, with little visibility over contractor records.

Alternatively, enabling site managers or area supervisors with a source of truth on all contractors and workers engaged by your company can massively improve site safety outcomes and reduce risk or legal liability. With a digital contractor portal, managers can quickly review contractors on-site and complete spot-checks via a mobile app or using a tablet or via desktop at certain entry points.

With access to a central database of workers, including their compliance status, records and training, area supervisors and site managers can get the information they need instantly.

Furthermore, solutions which offer contactless sign-in (from mobile apps) allow organisations to push inductions or site-specific information directly to the contractor on their mobile phone.

Comply Flow’s Live Access app offer this functionality, as well as a view for area supervisors to see all contractors signed in, their location, their site compliance, inductions completed, sign-in location, work permits and more.

6. Ensure your system is flexible and able to adapt

Developing a great digital contractor management system is one thing. Ensuring that this system doesn’t lock you into a specific way of doing things is of equal, if not greater, importance.

Many providers of contractor management systems are capable of delivering a functional system. However, when it comes to customising further, organisations often find themselves stuck with a rigid, out-of-the-box solution that is difficult to customise or improve.

This is problematic for business leaders and safety managers, who have to respond to changing environments, business requirements and regulations frequently.

Comply Flow puts the control in our clients’ hands.

While we work together with clients during implementation to share best practices and collaboratively define requirements, we ensure that clients also have the ability to configure their own settings and requirements within their account.

Make sure the solution you choose to manage your contractors is designed for your business requirements, and is adaptable to future changes.

Want to learn more about how Comply Flow can help your business build an effective contractor management system?

Get in touch!