The end of the calendar year is a good time to reflect on your program: successful program launches, solid service performances, and enhanced capabilities. Auditing supply chain partner engagement requirements, though, is usually not high on the priority list — but it should be. Certain requirements are fundamental to a program’s capability to operate securely.

Most are so important that many of these requirements are coded in the “Master Terms & Conditions” agreement that all partners sign. But in the hectic volume and pace of running a CW program, it’s easy to lose sight of the compliance status of these key partner engagement requirements.

These requirements can range from required insurance levels to compliance with federal and state employer payroll statutes. Potential “partner program engagement requirements” include:

  • Employment law compliance
    • Discrimination
    • FLSA
    • ACA
    • I-9 verification
  • Insurance plan levels engaged
    • Contracted amounts
    • Updated “Certificates as Named Insured”
    • Notice of cancellations
  • Escalation procedures identified (Mutual)
    • Updated names and contacts
    • Updated roles and authority levels
    • Incident management plan, roles and actions
  • Industry vertical certifications & licenses (Up to date)
  • Background checks/drug screening
  • Data privacy practices adhered to
  • Work product protection practices adhered to
    • Confidential management protocol enforced
  • Data security & backup practices implemented
    • Business continuity plans established
      • MSP program
      • Strategic enabling technologies (VMS)
  • Contingent worker engagement requirements training program
  • On- & offboarding process adhered to and up-to-date

Similar to reviewing performance SLAs and related KPIs, it is important to identify and audit partner program engagement items related to risk in the supply chain and staffing partner contracts. The compliance status of these items will change from time to time. Finding out that a partner’s insurance plan coverage has lapsed or that a key executive in the partner’s escalation path has retired while addressing a worker injury event is not a workable circumstance. Hence, an auditing plan of the engagement requirements needs to be established.

The audit plan should involve your MSP (if applicable), which can track the bulk of your staffing partners’ requirements. The frequency of your audits should aligned with your organization’s risk mitigation culture. Some items may need to be audited annually, while others, such as “Notice of Cancellation,” can be automated directly with the engaged insurance company. You might institute a spot-check audit if poor vendor service performance issues arise, because engagement compliance issues might be slipping along with the service delivery.

Some compliance data may be gathered through a vendor management system, but other data may have to be obtained through online services like E-verify or physical audits at the staffing partner’s office or physical location. Specific SLAs/KPIs can be established reinforce the importance of these compliance requirements to all the parties involved.

Program/partner engagement requirements are established to ensure both have the resources and capability to address issues that might arise when executing the program. A mature program not only needs to be compliant with its program engagement requirements but its CW manager also needs to ensure these key program resources and capabilities are up-to-date.