One of the first things to talk about is what exactly is ISNetworld®? ISNetworld® or ISN® for short is a 3rd party service that verifies a contractors safety, procurement, regulatory, and quality data for hiring clients. What this means is you as a contractor may have clients that utilize ISNetworld®'s service to verify all your safety information, insurance, and any other procurement type documentation they may want. They may have in the past just have you supply this type of information to them directly, but they decided at some point it was more cost-effective and consistent using a service like ISN®.
What is involved with ISNetworld® Compliance?
Sometimes identifying everything involved with ISNetworld® compliance isn't made clear or provided at all. That is more than likely how you found yourself here trying to learn what this is all about. We have clients just thinking they need to pay for some membership and then they will be compliant. There is a lot more to ISNetworld® compliance than that. Below I have outlined the areas that almost every contractor will need to provide to gain compliance.
Full Safety Program
You will be required to submit a full safety program of written procedures. The specific programs that you will need to provide will be identified in your account and are based on two main criteria. The work types that you select within your ISN®, these identify the type of services your company provides, and the other factor will be the client that you are connected with. Each hiring client has different written procedures they would like to see and verified based on your work types. Part of the service we provide is we assist with the written programs. We understand that some companies may have outdated programs and/or do not have any at all. Then your programs may not be written in the way ISNetworld® is looking for. All our programs are made to be compliant with your clients and ISN®.
Insurance / iRAVS®
Almost every client will require you to upload a certificate of insurance that list them as a certificate holder and any other specific language that they require. This is probably the most important and troublesome area in accounts. Getting all the right verbiage and components your client is required listed on your certificate of insurance can be somewhat of a challenge. This is especially true if you are dealing with multiple clients in your account. A part of our service is we will work directly with your insurance provider to make sure all the required information is listed on your certificates and work on any outdated or expired certificates to get new ones.
If you are a new company looking to get set up on ISNetworld® you will want to make sure you have proper insurance limits and policies in place. One of the biggest issues we deal with are clients not having the right limits on their policies or not having policies at all. To get a basic idea of what policies you will need almost every hiring client will require the following for your insurance:
- General Liability
- Auto Liability
- Excess Liability
- Workers Compensation
- Professional Liability (if applicable)
Now come the limits you will need with Insurance. For the most part, your General Liability will be sufficient around $1 million in coverage. If your client requires more this is where the excess Liability is important as that will cover the gap. A healthy excess liability policy we will typically see at about $5 million in limits. There are clients that do require less and some that want more in this area. You will need to see if your client will provide you with their insurance requirements to make sure it makes sense moving forward. You will also need Auto Liability with a combined single limit of $1 million. Finally, if you have employees you will need to provide workers compensation and most clients require $1 million in limits for this.
Please note that the above limits are just what we have seen over the years working with contractors and you should absolutely verify with your client the requirements they have for their insurance before purchasing coverages.
Questionnaires / Documentation
The final portion that every account will need to address is your questionnaires and requested documentation. Your questionnaire or MSQ® as ISNetworld® calls it may consist of anywhere from 800-2000+ questions depending on how many clients you have. This questionnaire will go over topics of your industry, safety history, and internal procedures. Our service will also go through this questionnaire and make sure all the programs submitted match up to what your clients are looking for in this section.
You will also need to submit documentation such as OSHA logs (United states contractors only), EMR letters, and any specific documents requested by your client. Some of these documents can be specific site plans, acknowledgement forms, and other safety related documentation.
How ISNetworld® Grades
So once you have all this documentation submitted or you used our service to do all the work for you there is a review time for ISNetworld® to go over everything. Typically you can expect about 2 weeks for them to do this. The longest portion being the safety programs. Most other documentation is reviewed in 2-3 business days.
Another misconception that happens with your ISNetworld® grade is clients may think there is just one grade for your account as a whole. This is not true. Your grade is specific to each hiring client that is connected to your account. Each client may grade differently as well using different indicators and scales to measure your company's information and performance. A good example is you may have an "A" grade with one client but another you are at an "F". This may because you have missing insurance or other criteria specific to that customer.
ISN® has a term for a component of a scorecard that if this one portion is not complete the whole score will be dropped. This is what they call the "showstopper". Most scorecards incorporate the insurance as a showstopper. So if your insurance is rejected or missing you can have all the other portions of your account complete but you will remain an "F" until this is fixed. There are hiring clients that will do the same thing in other areas but you won't see that as often.
As mentioned above usually the whole process for ISN® to review your account can take about 2-3 weeks. I wanted to identify though that when you submit information into your account portions of it may be reviewed while others are still in review. Here is a breakdown of most common areas:
Safety Programs / RAVS®
This section is the one that will take the most time for review. ISNetworld® says it can take 2-3 weeks for them to do this. Working in many accounts we do see this review get down a lot quicker sometimes even within days but its better to prepare for waiting 2-3 weeks. Also, if you are in a time crunch you can ask your client to request ISN® expedite the review.
Most insurance takes about 2-3 business days for ISN® to review. If you have insurance that has been submitted for longer than that it is a good idea to reach out to their customer service and see what any holds are.
The questionnaire will review pretty much instantly as this is system based and will adjust depending on the selections made within your account. It may take about 30 minutes to reflect in your scorecard and about 1-2 hours to reflect in the actual grade of the scorecard.
Getting Started with ISNetworld®
Now that you have a good idea hopefully about what ISNetworld is and what it entails you will need to decide if it makes sense for your company to get involved and how you want to go about getting compliant. We provide services that will assist contractors to get all of this work done and help monitor your account after the fact. We will take you through the whole process and get you the highest grade possible.