Human Resources
 min read

How to Track Employee Certifications

Tracking employee credentials and training history is an essential part of every business and organization. A system that can automate this process will increase your time focusing on different tasks.

Tracking employee credentials and history of trainings is an essential part of every business and organization. In today’s environment, companies need to have a hold on the requirements that each position in the organization chart has regarding certifications to comply with government regulations and industry standards. Being out of compliance can lead to fines and the inability of the business to operate.

Tips for managing employee licenses

Having a centralized place of all employee trainings and certifications with their status allows answering questions like who can perform a specific job, who can start working on a big project that’s starting in the next six months, or as simple as answering auditors’ questions when something goes really wrong.

With a central database of employee licenses, you can quickly do a search and validate the credentials are up to date and that every effort was made to keep them up to date with employees.

Have a central storage

Finding out if an employee is compliant quickly and efficiently can only be achieved by having a centralized database with all the certifications and expiration dates. Looking by the staff name and verifying that they are compliant can be done in multiple ways like in a spreadsheet of a specific certificate management software.

The advantages of having a spreadsheet like one in Excel is that you can probably already get a list of employees in a sheet format, and with this, you only have to enter the expiration dates for the licenses and trainings. Spreadsheets also have a search mechanism that allows you to look for and filter the information so you can quickly check if an employee is up to date or not.

With a software made to track employee licenses, you also get the ability to track certifications by employee, but you now also have the advantage of doing advanced searches by expiration dates like month and years. Search for employees by department or location, and then look up the copy of the certification that has been stored in a PDF or image format like PNG or JPG. You basically have a 360-degree view of the employee and their trainings.

Real-time status tracking

One of the main downsides to tracking credentials in a spreadsheet is that their status isn’t updated in real time. To actually know if a certification is expired or due for renewal soon, you have to open the spreadsheet and run conditional formatting on the cells to find out what’s happening on an organizational basis.

In this case, we recommend opening up the spreadsheet at least daily and running the conditional formatting to make sure you aren’t missing anything. Also, to have a manual tracker by employee and certification to make sure that the ones you’ve already checked out have not expired and update any new ones.

One of the primary advantages of having a software is that this is done automatically for you. The status of the certifications is updated in real time, so at any point in time, you can check the compliance percentage companywide or by specific department. It will also allow you to provide reports or send automated notifications to the proper parties.

Send automatic notifications

Neither Excel or Google Sheet spreadsheets do automatic notifications. When a certification is about to expire, it is up to you to contact the employee and remind them to take the training again or go through the renewal process of their credential.

With spreadsheets, you also need to track when was the last time an employee was contacted about expiring training to make sure they aren’t flooded with notifications or simply that they are reminded in a timely manner, so they have time to renew the credential.

With a software like Expiration Reminder, you have these notifications go out automatically to employees via email or mobile text messages. You no longer have to be on top of it, and this task can be delegated to the software. With the ability to indicate by type of training how far in advance the first notification will be sent out and how often to keep sending them until it is renewed allows having everyone in the loop on what needs to be done. You no longer have to send these emails.

Track training hours

Some certifications will also require the employee to complete specific training hours or continuing education credits (CEU) to be fully compliant. With a spreadsheet, this is hard to accomplish as there’s no way to link training hours to an employee and a certification at the same time. Very soon a spreadsheet will turn complicated.

One way to avoid this is to have a separate sheet with a record of training hours and indicate what credential this is about in the other spreadsheet so you can make a tally later of the total hours. Make sure to track on what date the training was taken, how many hours, the employee, and to what credential it counts. Also, track how many they need to complete in a given time frame.

Tracking this in a certificate management tool allows for linking this properly to the employee and having the system automatically send out notifications on due training or having them fill out their training by themselves in the system. You are just running reports to check who is compliant or not.

Confidentiality and security

Employee certifications and licenses are, in some cases, confidential and personal information of the employee. For example, vaccination records for health care workers are personal to the employee and need to be protected according to regulations in that state.

If you’re tracking this in a spreadsheet, make sure to at least password protect it in case it falls into the wrong hands. Having said that, this doesn’t mean that the data is fully protected. There are ways to remove that password protection, and also, the data isn’t encrypted so other people can read it.

Having a tool that will protect this information and keep it safe should be one of your main goals. A software application will encrypt the data and provide a mechanism so other users can only see the data they need and keep everything else private using advanced permissions.

Have employee role compliance reports

Different positions are roles in the organization that have specific certification requirements. A person that drives a forklift has different requirements than a person that works at heights. Also, a nurse has a different set of credentials than an ER doctor, for example.

Once you have your data stored and updated, the next step is to actually have reports by position indicating who is compliant and non-compliant. Having a software that allows you to create these roadmaps and training paths will show you very quickly who is qualified for the job and keep your company compliant.

Providing these reports to managers and directors on time allows them to make decisions that will allow the business to continue operating and increase their revenue, ensuring they are compliant with the regulations and restrictions imposed by governing bodies.

Track employee certifications and send automatic notifications with Expiration Reminder, and experience the benefit of consolidated data for easily accessible reporting.

Jose Leon
Verified writer

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