Blog Post

Contractor Risk Management Strategies: Self Certification vs. Direct Verification

Risk Management | August 30, 2021
Contractor risk

For an organization to achieve the strongest level of contractor risk mitigation, they need to be wary of just trusting information that is provided to them, and instead, they must verify it.

This single difference, between self-certification and direct verification, is often the differentiator between a compliance program that can be used to demonstrate due diligence and one that is used simply to check a box and show only a surface-level attempt at diligence. If you are an organization using a contracted network of providers to deliver and support your products and services, you must understand the difference.

Direct Verification is Essential to Contractor Risk Management

When a servicing company certifies, or self-certifies as is the case, to your organization, they are essentially claiming that they are meeting the requirements set out for them as a condition of your contract. They rarely provide actual proof or define how, when, or through whom, they met these requirements. Direct verification of the requirement, by contrast, is generally done by a third party – meaning not the servicing company or the organization – and involves the direct review, or conducting of an investigation, to ensure requirements are indeed being met.

In practice, this is the difference between “sure, we have insurance”, and a Certificate of Insurance that has been obtained and reviewed to confirm appropriate coverage, policy limits, endorsements, and language, such as additional insured or completed operations, is in place and that the policy is active and belongs to the servicing company in question. Of the difference between “I’m not a criminal” and a comprehensive 7-year background check in the areas where the individual has resided, including driving and sex offender records. These are big differences and ones that could protect an organization against claims, should the situation arise.

How PlusOne Solutions Can Help

The use of a partner to confirm and verify that your compliance requirements are being met is often a cost-effective and consistent solution to improve your contractor risk mitigation program. It removes errors and subjective decisions around any requirements, it often ensures more timely and accurate results, and can even provide proactive notices and assistance to your network about what is required and the timeline within which compliance must be met. 

An effectively structured program should also be an ongoing compliance contractor risk effort, not just a one-time check, as many self-certifications are. Regular rechecks, confirmations, reverifications, or monitoring and rescreenings – depending on the requirement – ensures that compliance is not just met, but also maintained. Additionally, and most importantly, is this verification process should provide you the transparency and access to data to truly demonstrate what has been done so you no longer must rely on the word of your contractor network but have actual proof in hand you can rely on.

Again, we don’t want to call anyone a liar…. but when they have a vested interest in providing you information, as an organization you need to evaluate if that is the most objective and reliable response you should use when protecting your organization, reputation, and customers. We don’t think so. PlusOne Solutions is your partner in contractor risk mitigation. Contact us today to learn more about the solutions we have to offer.

Contents are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Users are reminded to seek legal counsel with respect to their obligations and use of PlusOne Solutions services.

About PlusOne Solutions

PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments. To learn more, visit

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