Certification Overview

What Types Of Certifications Are Available For Companies?


Different types of certifications include:

  • National - Typically required by publicly traded companies to meet Supplier Diversity Programs
  • Federal - Requires SAM registration and includes sole source contracts
  • DOT - Roadways, Highways, Bridges, Airports and Airport Concessions
  • State - Some, but not all, States have Certifications for Women and/or Minorities
  • Local - Some Counties and Cities have a local certification process
Contact Us if you need help determining the right Certification(s) to meet your goals.




What Are The Certifications?


Different Certifications Have Different Acronyms. For Example:

  1. WBE = Women Business Enterprise
  2. MBE = Minority Business Enterprise
  3. VBE = Veteran Business Enterprise
  4. LGBTE = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Enterprise
  5. WOSB = Woman Owned Small Business
  6. DBE = Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
States and Cities may have other certification acronyms including combining them, such as WMBE or M/WBE, etc. This is not a comprehensive list, but meant to give you an idea of what you and your company may pursue, if you qualify. Contact Us if you need help determining the right Certification(s) to meet your goals.




Which Certification Is Right For Me And My Company?


It depends. The best way to decide is to determine what certification or certifications are accepted by your current clients. If you are going after a different vertical or diversifying your clients as part of your marketing strategy, you may opt to pursue a specific Certification to meet the needs of this new market. For example, if you want to sell to the Federal Government, and you are a woman, you should consider the WOSB. If you currently sell to the Federal Government then you certainly should pursue the WOSB! Contact Us if you need help determining the right Certification(s) to meet your goals.




Do I Qualify For Certification?


Maybe. You must be a Qualifying Individual. A Qualifying Individual is usually a woman or a recognized minority who owns, manages, and controls 51% or more of the Company. Keep in mind:

  • What qualifies as a minority may vary from certification to certification.
  • You must also possess the ability to run your company independent of a non-qualifying individiual.
  • Some certifications require US Citizenship while others require legal residence.
  • About 60% of the information required for certification is the same for almost every certification, but there can be quite a variety of required documentation.
  • The required documentation is the minimum to be considered for certification.
    • Be prepared to provide more than the minimum required documentation and to be able to answer every inconsistency with supporting documentation.
Note: Even if you meet the criteria as a Qualifying Individual, your company's business model may not be eligible for Certification. Requirements AND Eligibility may vary among Certifications. Contact Us if you need help determining your eligibility.




Does My Company Qualify For Certification?


Not all business models qualify for certification. Each certification has it's own requirements, but generally, your company must produce a good or service unless it is standard in the industry.

For Example: A Real Estate Broker does not own the property they are selling, but they do bring added value to the transaction and it is the industry model in Real Estate. You can't go down to the corner and buy a piece of property. It is also unreasonable for a Real Estate Broker to actually own all of the property they are selling.

Generally, Brokers and Holding Companies are not eligible. There are restrictions on Franchises.

Please Contact Us if you are in one of these challenging situations.




Why Should I Get Certified?


Certification is a Marketing Tool. It will not help you unless you use it. You should consider certification if you are B2B and...

  • Your Product or Service is targeted at Corporations or Retail.
  • Your Product or Service is targeted at Federal, State or Local Agencies.
  • You do work with or for your State's Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • You wish to be included in searchable databases for companies and government agencies who have supplier diversity requirements.
  • Your Customers have requested a specific certification.
If you are a B2C model, you must weigh the benefits of certification.




Why Would I Get Denied?


About 20% of our clients have been previously denied and are women or minority owned companies that manage and control their company. The documentation they submitted or the answers they provided on the site visit or in the application did not meet the requirements for certification. Remember, the integrity of each certification is of great importance to the Certifying Body. No matter how large, how small, how old, how young, or how much or little your company has in revenue, every company has to meet stringent Certification Requirements, no exceptions! Each Third Party Certifying Body is very good at ensuring only those companies who qualify and meet these requirements, earn their Certification. If you would like assitance with this process, please Contact Us today!





The Certification Process

How Long Does It Take To Get Certified?


It depends. When you submit your Certification Application, it typically takes 60-120 days for the Third Party Certification body to review your application. Most will set up a Site Visit and come out to interview you at your office or work site. Usually you receive a response 2-14 days after your Site Visit. Once you decide to pursue a Certification, it usually takes 4-8 weeks for a company to obtain and assemble the application and required documentation. The total time is typically 4-6 months from Kickoff to you receiving a Certification Determination. HIT Executive Consulting manages your Certification Project, reviews and completes the application, and reviews and assembles the required documentation for submission as part of our Certification Services. We also make sure you are applying for the certification that meets your business needs and that you are aware of the different certifications that are available to you and your company.




What Is The Process After Application Submission?


  1. Your application is received by the certification body and put into a queue. Someone will then review your application to ensure it is complete
a. If it is not complete, they will request the missing documentation. b. If it is complete, but they need additional documentation, they may request it from you. 2. Your application is placed into a queue for a review by a reviewer or a committee. a. Some committees only meet once or twice a month, others more frequently. 3. The Certification Committee/Reviewer will review you application more thoroughly. a. At this point, you may be denied based upon the review of your application and/or supporting documentation. b. The Committee/Reviewer may ask for more information, an explaination, or more supporting documentation. c. Typically this is no more than a couple of questions, although it can be 10 more questions, back and forth, before the Committee makes a decision about a Site Visit. 4. An initial Determination is reached. a. A formal Site Visit and interview is arranged with the qualifying individual. OR b. A Denial Letter is sent out, usually with 1-3 rationales for denial, sometimes with supporting documentation from the specific regulation or requirement that you or your company did not meet. 4. An final Certification Determination is reached. a. You are granted Certification, typically 2-14 days after the site visit. OR b. A Denial Letter is sent out, usually with 1-3 rationales including the site visit interview, that led to the denial, with supporting documentation from the specific regulation or requirement that you or your company did not meet.




What Happens If I Am Denied Certification?


If you receive a Certification Denial letter you must wait a period of time before attempting to reapply. This timeframe can vary between the different Certification Bodies, but typically is between 6 months to 1 year. If you wish to appeal the Certification Decision, you will have 10-90 days, depending upon the Certification Body, to inform them that you are appealing. You will then be given a specified number of days to provide supporting documentation or information not included in the original application. Keep in mind, each Certificaiton Body has their own rules and requirements around the Certification Denial Appeal process, but typically you are not able to make changes to previously submitted documentation and additional supporting documentation may also have restrictions.




What Documentation Is Required For Certification?


The Certification Required Documentation is about 50% the same for all certifications. In general, you must provide: Statement of Affidavit of being a qualified member (Woman, Minority, Veteran, etc.) Proof that you are a qualified individual (birth certificate stating minority/race/ethnicity/gender) Proof of legal residence (some certifications require US Citizenship) State and/or Federal Tax Returns for the Company W2, 1099, K1 for all owners State and/or Federal Tax Returns for the Qualifying Individual Corporate Governance Documentation (varies by business structure) Bank Documents Proof of Equity Investment (How you obtained your ownership) Personnel Documentation Management Information, Agreements, ESOP's, Trusts and Other Agreements SAM Status W3 941 Some certifications will also require vehicle information, title, insurance, DOT numbers, etc. Your Certification Application, supporting documentation, and any available public information can be used to make the certification determination. In addition, the Certifying Body may ask for information above and beyond what is simply "required". Contact Us today for more information and how we can help you with the Certification Process!





Certification Denial

I Was Denied And Wish To Reapply, What Should I Do?


A Certification body typically chooses 1-3 reasons for denial and sends it out to the applicant. However, they do not provide a comprehensive list of all of the issues they may have found. Depending on the volume of Certfication Applications, the reviewer may stop after 1 or 2 reasons even though your application may have many more issues! Just "fixing" the denial reasons typically leads to another denial... and another 6 months to 1 year wait to reapply. HIT Executive Consulting helps Companies who were previously denied. Almost 20% of our Clients have been previously denied. Contact Us and we can map out a strategy to ensure a successful Certification Application and Decision!




I Was Recently Denied Certification. What Can I Do?


Keep in mind that the Certifiers job is to ensure that the requirements and integrity of the Certification are upheld and it is not a personal attack to be denied. 98% of Certification Denials are upheld upon appeal. The reason is that most Denials have to do with one or two things. 1. Something you submitted did not meet the requirements. 2. Something you said during the site visit did not meet their requirements. a. In the case of "he said, she said", the Site Vistor will typically win. However, there are situations that occur that can lead to an appeal being successful. 1. A piece of supporting documentation that was submitted is overlooked and not considered. 2. The Site Visitor does not fully understand your business model. 3. The Site Visitor happens to be a competitor (yes it has happened). 4. The Site Visitor has a bad day or is not professional. If you feel that you have been improperly denied, please Contact Us for a Denial Review. We will discuss your portential options, including appeal, and provide recommendations and a successful plan of action for you and your company.




Why Were 2% Of Your Clients Denied? (98% Approval Rate)


Our Clients have had some of the most challenging business situations including Start Ups, Succession Planning, Husband/Wife, Buy/Sell, Trusts, Multiple Owners, Missing or Incomplete Corporate Documentation and more. We will also tell you if we cannot help you due to your business model, situation, or objectives. Since 2011, HIT Executive Consulting has helped almost 250 clients recieve over 300 Certifications. (Some clients apply for more than one certification) These Certifications include: MBE, WBE, DBE, WOSB, State MWBE, City and County Certifications. Our Clients have had a total of 5 denials, but we have successfully appealed 2 of those denials at no additional cost to our client. Here are the 5 denials: 1. National WBE Montana - Approved for the DBE in 2 states, she was denied because the site visitor could not understand the company's business model. Successfully appealed at the national level. 2. National WBE Georgia - Initially denied because of "public appearance" of the company not being woman owned. Successfully appealed at the national level using publicly available information. 3. State TBE Minnesota - Nationally WBE approved, this client did not do well on the site visit despite the review session and a successful site visit on the national level. This was not appealable. 4. National WBE California - MBE approved, the documentation did not support woman control and the owner would not change it out of respect for her father. This was not appealable. 5. DBE Texas - National WBE Certified, this client was denied because of a perceived lack of business knowledge and education. This is being appealed in Washington, DC as the site reviewer did not take into account the owners Bachelor Degree in Finance and Accounting and other documentation! Contact Us for Certification Application Preparation, Supporting Documentation Review and Revision, Preparation for Site Visit, and Mentorship and Guidance to give you and your company the best opportunity to succeed!




What Happens If I Am Denied Certification?


If you are denied Certification you must wait a period of time before attempting to reapply. This timeframe can vary between the different Certification Bodies, but typically is between 6 months to 1 year. Contact Us for the best opportunity of success. If you are denied after using our services (98% success rate) in error, we will appeal your application, including supporting documentation, at no additional cost to you.




Why Did I Get Denied?


It's hard to say, but roughly 30-40% of companies who apply for Certifications are denied every year. It is thought to be highest with the DBE Certification process (roughly 50%). The documents you submitted or the answers you provided on the site visit or in the Certification Application did not meet the requirements for Certification. A few, but not necessarily all, of the denial reasons may be pointed out in your Denial Letter. The integrity of the Certification is of great importance to each Certifying Body. No matter how large, how small, how old, how young, or how much or little your company has in revenue, every company has to meet the stringent requirements, no exceptions! About 20% of our clients are women or minority owned companies that were previously denied. We have a 100% success rate getting these companies certified! Remember, there are a lot of contracts, bids, jobs and ultimately money on the line for certified companies. The Third Party Certifying Bodies are very good at ensuring only those companies who qualify and meet the requirements, earn their Certification. If you would like assitance with your Certification Application process, please Contact Us today!





Certification Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

WBE MBE DBE WOSB WMBE LGBTBE FAQ's

 

Questions About WBE MBE DBE From WBENC, NWBOC, NMSDC, DOT, NGLCC, City, State and more...

Contact Us Today!

Call Us       (833) 254-9489

Note: HIT Executive Consulting Provides Certification Assistance For Women Owned Businesses, Women Business Enterprise (WBE Certification), Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB), Minority Owned Business, Minority Business Enterprise (MBE Certification), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DOT DBE Certification, State And Local MWBE Certifications. We Are Not Affiliated With These Third Party Certifiers and Certifying Bodies. NGLCC, NWBOC, WBENC, NMSDC, SAM.gov, SBE, USWCC, Or Any Of The 50 States Department Of Transportation (DOT) Services. HIT Executive Consulting Does Not Provide The Business Certification. We Provide Eligibility Assistance And Certification Application Preparation And Submission Services For Qualified Individuals And Companies. 

The Fountains Office Center Bradenton, Florida 34207

 

(833) 254-9489

 

info@hitexecutiveconsulting.com

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