Organization Management for Regulatory Authorities

Managing the licenses of their registrants may comprise the bulk of regulatory authorities’ work, but it isn’t the be all and end all of their duties. Many colleges and professional associations also work extensively with a variety or organizations. Whether those organizations employ registrants, are also regulated as part of the health professions act they fall under, provide credentials to potential new members, or plenty other reasons, organizations are an integral part to many workflows.

Using Your Association Management Software to Handle Organization Contacts

There are many different ways to manage your organizational contacts. Some Colleges and Professional Associations still rely on good old spreadsheet tracking to keep track of organizations. Unfortunately, this method is enormously inefficient; not only does it require constant exporting in order to do anything with the contact, but it can easily lead to having to replicate data in disjointed, unintegrated programs. This in turn means that changes to the organization’s information, personnel rosters, or any other details usually have to be replicated again and again in different programs to keep information up-to-date.

Another option is to use a CRM or Customer Relationship Management Software. While this option does have advantages over simple spreadsheet records, it too is not an ideal solution. The most obvious reason is the sheer purpose of their existence; CRMs are meant to manage customers and work through sales flows or resolve client complaints. And although some may have useful special features that may work for the simple fact of the matter is that the vast majority of these programs are meant for businesses or advocacy non-profit groups. They lack the regulatory functions and focus that professional colleges and associations require to adequately handle their needs.

Finally, you can opt to take advantage of the organizational management functions of your association management software, provided it has one. For many regulatory authorities, this is by far the most efficient means of managing your organizational contact. Good association management software should have a variety of features to help you manage your organizations as well as your registrants, including:

  • Organizational Status
  • Parent/Child Organizational Relationships
  • Supervisor/Employee Relationships
  • Tagging and Advanced Search Functions

Organization Status

Although organizations rarely oscillate between being active and inactive, it always a good idea to maintain a complete history of when and where organizations have been active. Trying to keep track of this information can be difficult in a simple spreadsheet though, and while many CRMs offer the ability to track the status of an organization, most do so from the point-of-view of a business lead, moving the contacts through a sales funnel in a clearly inappropriate context for records maintained by a regulatory authority.
Instead, make sure whatever software you ultimately settle on has the ability to ascribe simple active and inactive statuses, while also letting you set regions or jurisdictions the organization operates in. The software also needs to be able to mark organizations with a variety of other attributes that are outside spreadsheets or would require expensive customization of a CRM. Some, if not most organizations in your contact list, may need to be marked as Employers, for example, while post-secondary education institutions are often marked as Credentialing Authorities.

Keep Your Organizations Organized

Many organizations have wildly different structures. Some exist as individual entities, while others are part of larger, broader organizations. If you don’t stay on top of your organizational awareness, it can be difficult to keep track of how they relate to each other. Make sure to take advantage of the organizational structure dynamics that should be available inside your association management software. Alinity, for example, allows you to define parent/child organizational relationships, which is required information for many provincial service provider directories and other governing bodies that regulatory authorities may perform data extracts for. What’s more, you can create multiple layers of relationships if required, creating parent-child-grandchild relationships that can be extended indefinitely as required.

Supervisors and Employees

Similar to the parent/child relationships that can exist between organizations, you should also be able to mark individual organizations as employers, and users within your system as supervisors or employees of that organization. Combined with parent/child organization relationships, having registrants and other users associate with employers will provide a complete overview of the organization. Supervisors, meanwhile, can see lists of employees (and their status with your College) depending on which level of organization they’re associated with. Parent organization supervisors should have access to registrant information for all employees of all child organizations beneath them. Child organization supervisors, on the other hand, should be limited to information relevant only to their branch of the organization family-tree.

Use Tags to Make Organizations More Searchable

It’s always a good idea to tag organizations in your database if possible. Tagging them makes them more searchable, so that they return as a response to a text search even if the text doesn’t appear in the organization name. This is a great way of getting organizations to show up even if you don’t have special queries set up, such as when an organization offers a specific credential. That kind of information is often far too specific to warrant having a special query written, but also won’t show up in a standard search.

Of course, there are many other considerations that should factor into your decision about how to handle your organization contacts. Do the organizations you register require verification, and if so, how does the solution allow you to handle the validation process? Is a complete history of changes made to the organization record, and an audit trail of who made them and when, maintained? Are your contacts at the organization easy to find and update? But asking yourself these important questions will help you better understand your organization management needs, and if the solution you’re contemplating will meet them.

If you’d like to learn more about how the Alinity solution specifically can help with organization management for your regulatory authority, please feel free to contact us. We’ve also put together a handy software procurement guide. This guide will help you ask all the important questions you need answered, not just about organization contact management, but about your overall licensing solution as well. Download it below!