Certification refers to the confirmation or authentication of certain requirements by an external organization.
Within Supplier Diversity and Small Business, certifications point to the verification of certain business aspects including
- the ethnicity and / or gender of the majority owner(s)
- Day to day operational control
- Business function (products and services offered)
- and more
Certifications are produced from a federal, state, or city department or a nationally recognized third party certifying organization (e.g. National Minority Supplier Development Council). These Certifying Agencies handle the authentication process of a business which may take up to 90 days to complete. This may include an application where the external organization will collect business information, financial sheets, and ownership data as well as a site visit and interview.
Once a company has been certified by an external organization, they are provided at minimum a digital copy of their certificate or a letter of approval. If a digital certificate is given, the information displayed on that document may include:
- Brief explanation of certification
- Certifying Agency
- Certification ID
- Certification Start Date
- Certification End Date
Certifications can last from a year to an infinite amount of time depending on the external organization conducting the verification process. For certifications with end dates, those that offer re-certifying options will usually charge less than the original certification cost. Re-certification generally deals with the updating of business information, but can be more in depth depending on external certifying organization.
Certifications are needed for all Classifications within Supplier Diversity and are preferred against non-certified suppliers meeting the same criteria.