Supplier Diversity – California Unified Certification Program

About this post. This is one of several posts (overview) sharing R|CAT’s afternoons of in real time blogging about certifying entities and their certification criteria.

This post presents initial activities of reviewing (beginning on 29 November) the California Unified Certification Program or UCP (California-based) certification process. The program is the federal Department of Transportation’s DBE Unified Certification Program.

What R|CAT has learned. The CPUC overview for the DBE program includes 3 links – CalTrans, CUCP, federal DOT. Based on this initial review, use the California UCP site map as a starting point. (R|CAT started with the CalTrans site.)

CUCP_site mapX

Applying is free. As a new business that has not been certified in the past, R|CAT must complete and mail two forms – (1) DBE application and (2)  the Personal Net Worth Statement, as well as providing copies of several required documents. R|CAT will submit its application either to BART, SAMTRANS, or VTA, among the six agency options.

The UCP is administering the federal DBE program. With no on-line application process, the UCP has a fillable .pdf form that would then be printed and mailed to the certifying agency. A business would apply to one of several member agencies throughout the state (.pdf) based on the which county the business is located. After submitting the application, a business would participate in an agency conducting an on-site visit.

RECOMMEND: Review the DBE File Processing Flow Chart (.pdf) for overall process.
OPINION: The State/CalTrans site is a bit of a maze of links and redundant information. Use the CUCP site.


California Unified Certification Program

This California Unified Certification Program or UCP (California-based) is the state’s program for qualifying businesses to be certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE).

CUCP header_web

The California’s Department of Transportation (or CalTrans), Office of Business and Economic Opportunity (or OBEO), is one of the certifying agencies.CivilRightsBanner

Per CalTrans’s description, the DBE program’s main objectives are  as follows –

  • To ensure that small DBE firms can compete fairly for federally funded transportation-related projects.
  • To ensure that only eligible firms participate as a DBE firm.
  • To assist DBE firms in competing outside of the DBE Program.

In order for small disadvantaged firms, including those owned by minorities and women, to participate as a DBE in DOT-assisted contracts, they must apply for and receive certification as a DBE. For the state of California, DBE certification is performed by the certifying agencies of the California Unified Certification Program (CUCP).

The CUCP also can be administered by other select member agencies throughout the state.

Overview

The UCP is the California program for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s DBE program described as –

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), through its operating administrations which include Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Transit Administration, distributes in excess of $20 billion annually throughout the nation to help finance thousands of projects across the country. Although a major portion of the funds is allocated for highway construction, funds are also provided to local public transit authorities, including the District, for mass transit projects. The DOT DBE Program provides a vehicle for increasing the participation by disadvantaged businesses in these procurements.

Certification Qualifications

One of the main criteria is for the business seeking certification to have at leat 51% ownership (and control) by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual, for which R|CAT qualifies under –

6. “Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individual” means any individual who is a citizen of the United States (or lawfully admitted permanent resident) and who is:

CalTrans_DBE eligibility1. Any individual found to be socially and economically disadvantaged, on a case-by-case basis, by a certifying agency of the CUCP, pursuant to standards of the U.S. D.O.T. in 49 CFR Part 26, Subpart D-Certification Standards.

2. Any individual in the following groups, members of which are reputably presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged:

4. “Asian-Pacific Americans” which includes persons whose origins are from Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (Kampuchea), Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Samoa, Guam, the U. S. Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands (Republic of Palau), the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Macao, Fiji, Tonga, Kirbati, Juvalu, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia, or Hong Kong;

Navigating the DBE-related Information

Although the State and CalTrans information is relatively straightforward, it is relatively dense and often redundant, depending which links one follows. Furthermore, in some cases, it is unclear which is the more recent and relevant information. Nevertheless, the main objective is to complete and submit the application form. R|CAT attempts to access the nuts and bolts of the application process.

Application Form

The forms may be accessed from the CalTrans OBEO site, which links to the forms over here (image below).

before starting DBE

For the get-to-the-point, download fillable forms at the following –

– with the following support information to reference while filling out the forms –

The California UCP site map, which R|CAT found after reviewing the CalTrans information, is a much more efficient way to understand the process.

Certifying Agencies

Based on the CUCP site, there are ten DBE certifying agencies throughout California. R|CAT may opt to apply to one of these six member agencies serving Alameda County (.pdf)

Application Content Requirements

UCP_Req DocumentsBased on a quick review of the application content requirements and required documents, here is information beyond what is required of The Supplier Clearinghouse and Department of General Services (DGS) processes –

    • NAICS – rather than the SIC (required by the Clearinghouse) or UNSPSC® (required by the DGS)
    • About financials – Served as a subcontractor with another firm constituting more than 25% of your firm’s receipts?
    • About ownership – Initial investment to acquire ownership interest in firm
    • What is the personal net worth of this disadvantaged owner applying for certification?
    • Has any trust been created for the benefit of this disadvantaged owner(s)?
    • Officer of the Company – Date appointed
    • Personal Net Worth Statement (.pdf)

 

Also, a straightforward “check the box” items regarding owner activities and duties are required.

Owner Duties Activities

For the California Unified Certification Program (UCP) process, what tips do you have for completing the process?

Supplier Diversity – Clearinghouse Status at 70% Complete

About this status update. This post presents R|CAT’s updated status since beginning the application process. On December 5, R|CAT provided an interim status of its application.

On December 6 (as expected), R|CAT received an email reminder about the status of its Clearinghouse application. Why “as expected”? The Clearinghouse has sent two email reminders about the status (incomplete) of R|CAT’s application. December 6 represented eight days since receiving the most recent email reminder. R|CAT began the application process with the Supplier Clearinghouse application on November 12. deletion dateR|CAT’s deadline for completing and submitting its application is in February.

2_MainSumm_0

In the beginning on November 12, 0% complete.

Sec3_BEFORE 12-06


On November 15, after initial efforts to complete application, 65% complete (although not listed in the main summary).

Sec3_AFTER 12-06

On December 6, after completing two additional Section 3, Business Profile, items.

Completing Seventy Percent

Sec3_AFTER 12-06 70percentTo date, R|CAT is at the 70% completeness status. After adding information for two items in Section 3, Business Profile – (1) date established (3.B.) and (2) indicate local business, contractor and professional license(s) (3.H.) – R|CAT reached seventy percent.

For accuracy and correctness, R|CAT will seek clarification for these two items as follows:

    1. Date established – Is this (a) establishing the sole proprietorship, prior to establishing the dba Resource Catalysts; (b) the formal dba public notice publication (or end of comment period) in 1994, (c) the corporation filing date with the California Secretary of State, or (d) the completeness date of obtaining corporate status with the State?
    2. Business license – R|CAT’s local city business license does not have an issuance date. Rather, the license only lists a May 31, 2016 expiration date.

Thirty Percent Into the Home Stretch

SuppClear_MandatoryDocsMeanwhile, the additional thirty percent remaining include compiling mandatory, required documents –

    • copy of bank account signature card, or letter from your bank verifying person(s) authorized to sign checks and the number of signatures required
    • evidence of personal capital contributions (such as cancelled checks) or an explanation and substantiating evidence of other consideration given to acquire ownership interest in the business (initial investment).
    • most recent federal tax returns IN FULL, for Corporations – Form 1120, 1120A, or 1120S, including all statements and applicable schedules
    • notarized, verification agreement and affidavit of application

R|CAT next steps include obtaining (another copy of the) bank account signature card, an explanation/evidence of initial investment and ownership, and a copy of 2014 federal tax returns (with previous years tax returns since 2006 available).


 

About this post. This is one of several posts (overview) sharing R|CAT’s afternoons of in real time blogging about certifying entities and their certification criteria.

Supplier Diversity – Clearinghouse Documents, Status

About this post. This is one of several posts (overview) sharing R|CAT’s afternoons of in real time blogging about certifying entities and their certification criteria.

This post presents R|CAT’s current status for the The Supplier Clearinghouse since initially beginning the Clearinghouse application process on November 12 and receiving email reminders about the status (incomplete) of my application.

Additional Information Gathered

With an application only 65% complete, a deadline of February 10, 2016, and the holiday season, R|CAT is chipping away at compiling mandatory documents. Additional information (or documents) gathered since November 12 includes –

    • local business license information
    • copy of U.S. passport
    • Articles of Incorporation, including documents issued by the Secretary of State
    • By-Laws and any amendments of the Corporation

Slide1

Glad to know my passport remains active, with an expiration date of August 29, 2017.

Either / Or? Both

Although a detailed resume OR work history with dates, duties, and responsibilities is required, R|CAT is creating both. R|CAT currently has a somewhat unconventional format for a resume; therefore, a detailed resume is being created.

Outstanding Application Information

With that said, the additional information still outstanding are as follows.

    • date business established
      (clarifying whether it is the date when R|CAT was initially established as a sole proprietorship in 1994 or when corporate status was established in 2003)
    • copy of bank account signature card, or letter from your bank verifying person(s) authorized to sign checks and the number of signatures required
    • evidence of personal capital contributions (such as cancelled checks) or an explanation and substantiating evidence of other consideration given to acquire ownership interest in the business (initial investment).
    • most recent federal tax returns IN FULL, for Corporations – Form 1120, 1120A, or 1120S, including all statements and applicable schedules
    • notarized, verification agreement and affidavit of application

deletion date

{Vintage 1998} Supplier Diversity – Dept of General Services

About this post. This is one of several posts (overview) related to sharing R|CAT’s endeavors to obtain select business certifications. Specifically, this is related to Department of General Services (DGS) small business certification.


Social Proof of Previous DGS Certification

Found while reviewing archived business files –
R|CAT’s initial DGS small business certification.

initial_cert 1998

Issued in October 1998, R|CAT’s small business certification was valid until 2001. There is no doubt that R|CAT would secure this certification again.

Supplier Diversity – Clearinghouse Email Reminder

On November 12, R|CAT started the supplier diversity application process with The Supplier Clearinghouse. As shared in an earlier post, the Clearinghouse has a 90-day duration until the application is deleted, if it has not yet been submitted as a complete application.

Every Eight Days

To date, R|CAT has received two email reminders on November 20 and November 28. Below is an image of the email received November 28, which is the same content as the initial reminder.

email_1127_reminder

 

This every-eight-days reminder is a good trigger to chip away at the remaining information during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The bottom line – 74 days remaining.

deletion date


 

About this post. This is one of several posts (overview) sharing R|CAT’s afternoons of in real time blogging about certifying entities and their certification criteria.

 

Classifications – UNSPSC®

About this post. The following is another sharing of R|CAT’s afternoons of in real time blogging about activities related to seeking supplier diversity certification. This post is specific to identifying potential business classification codes to fulfill Section 6 of the California’s Department of General Services (DGS) small business certification application.

R|CAT is applying for at least two of the six supplier diversity certifications programs for which R|CAT qualifies. The first application started was for The Supplier Clearinghouse, which required identifying the SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) four digit code.

For the intended second application with DGS, there is a different code required – UNSPSC®, or United Nations Standard Products and Services Code®.

Bottom line. Selecting at least one UNSPSC® is straightforward using the search function. However, seeking to select up to six codes, which is the maximum for DGS’s application and is optional, is more effort. At this time, R|CAT will wait until December, when the DGS on-line process is available, to determine the final codes from those identified below.


UNSPSC®

In addition to SIC and NAICS codes for business classifications, there is the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code®.

main_banner_short_UNSPSC

This is described as follows –

The United Nations Standard Products and Services Code® (UNSPSC®), managed by GS1 US™ for the UN Development Programme (UNDP), is an open, global, multi-sector standard for efficient, accurate classification of products and services. UNSPSC is an efficient, accurate and flexible classification system for achieving company-wide visibility of spend analysis, as well as, enabling procurement to deliver on cost-effectiveness demands and allowing full exploitation of electronic commerce capabilities. Encompassing a five level hierarchical classification codeset, UNSPSC enables expenditure analysis at grouping levels relevant to your needs. You can drill down or up to the codeset to see more or less detail as is necessary for business analysis.

The UNSPSC offers a single global classification system that can be used for:

  • Company-wide visibility of spend analysis
  • Cost-effective procurement optimization
  • Full exploitation of electronic commerce capabilities

– and it is the business classification code system that the Department of General Services requires in Section 6 of its application (.pdf).

DGS - Sec 6_UNSPSC

Section 6.A. provides for up to six codes. Section 6.B. states –

ENTER KEYWORDS WHICH BEST DESCRIBE THE BUSINESS. CONSIDER USING TERMS THAT WILL HELP STATE BUYERS AND POTENTIAL BUSINESS PARTNERS LOCATE YOUR BUSINESS WHEN THEY USE THE STATE’S ONLINE SEARCH ENGINE. YOUR KEYWORDS WILL BE TRUNCATED TO 255 CHARACTERS. CERTIFICATION HOLDERS MAY UPDATE KEYWORDS ONLINE.

(After review of the codes, R|CAT will include specific keywords related to environmental, air quality, power generation, and training related to behavior design, applied improvisation, and leadership.)

Search-Code

Identifying relevant codes begins with the Search-Code feature of the page. Unfamiliar with the codes, R|CAT used keyword searches based on SIC and NAICS descriptions, as a start. That said, “environmental” was the first search.

DGS - UNSPSC - search code

Begin at Search-Code

The keyword “environmental” produces a significantly longer list of eight-digit codes related to environmental. This includes the following possible codes for R|CAT:

    • 77000000 – Environmental services
    • 77100000 – Environmental management
    • 77101500 – Environmental impact assessment
    • 77101504 – Environmental Impact Assessment EIA services
    • 77101600 – Environmental planning
    • 77101700 – Environmental advisory services
    • 94131501 – Environmental non governmental services

Given there is a hierarchy for the codes, 77000000 is the category for Environmental Services, therefore other UNSPSCs with “77” as a start are assumed to be environmental services-related. 94000000 is for “Organizations and Clubs”, therefore, that code would not represent R|CAT.

Hierarchy of Code

The code is composed of a four-level hierarchy (described in wikipedia) –

  1. SEGMENT
  2. FAMILY
  3. CLASS
  4. COMMODITY

– therefore to seek representative, descriptive codes, R|CAT reviewed several segments and families to drill down to possible codes.

Codeset-Download

In addition to using the keyword search feature, R|CAT created an account, became a new user, and downloaded the free, in English (.pdf) CODESET.

UNSPSC-codeset_Download

The Codeset is 6,685 pages. Therefore, R|CAT used a combination of the Search-Code feature and “find” function on the Codeset to determine the possible, relevant two-digit codes, aka SEGMENT,  for R|CAT’s services.

    • 77000000 – Environmental Services
    • 72000000 – Building and Facility Construction and Maintenance Services
    • 80000000 – Management and Business Professionals and Administrative Services
    • 81000000 – Engineering and Research and Technology Based Services
    • 86000000 – Education and Training Services

Long List of Codes for R|CAT

The following presents the select FAMILY, CLASS, and COMMODITY codes for each of the above-listed SEGMENT codes, which would likely describe R|CAT’s services.

Segment 77000000 – Environmental Services
  • 77100000 – Environmental management
    • 77101700 – Environmental advisory services
      • 77101704 – Environmental technology advisory services
      • 77101706 – Environmental law advisory services
        (follow-up if would apply for regulatory advisory)
    • 77102000 – Environmental reporting services
      • 77102001 – Legal compliance certification service (defined as: Service to create certification of compliance with environment related laws and regulations)
      • 77102002 – Emission reporting compliance service (defined as: Service to create reports that provide information on air, water and land emissions required by regulatory agencies)
Segment 72000000 – Building and Facility Construction and Maintenance Services
  • 72120000 – Nonresidential building construction services
    • 72121500 – Industrial plant construction services
      • 72121506 – Power plant construction service (defined as: The building of power plants owned by others)
    • 72151500 – Electrical system services
      • 72151502 – Electric power system construction service (defined as: The installation of electrical power systems owned by others)
      • 72151503 – Cogeneration plant construction service (defined as: The construction of electrical cogeneration plants owned by others)
      • 72151505 – Standby or emergency power installation service (defined as: The installation of standby or emergency electrical power systems owned by others)
Segment 80000000 – Management and Business Professionals and Administrative Services
  • 80100000 – Management advisory services
    • 80101500 – Business and corporate management consultation services
      • 80101501 – New business start up consultation services
        (follow-up if would apply for any business start up that may be subject to environmental regulatory and compliance requirements)
      • 80101504 – Strategic planning consultation services
        (follow-up if would apply to environmental strategic planning)
      • 80101509 – Government affairs and community relations consultation service (defined as: Services associated with consultation regarding government and community relations)
    •  80101600 – Project management
      • 80101601 – Feasibility studies or screening of project ideas
      • 80101602 – Regional or location studies for projects
      • 80101606 – Project monitoring and evaluation (defined as:  Monitoring and evaluation are complementary, monitoring is the process of collecting information on a routine basis for use in decision-making and evaluation of projects, is a process by which we determine the
        impact or effects generated by a project from the comparison between the current state and the state planning provisions. That is, it tries to know how much a project has failed to meet its objectives or how much it possesses the capacity to meet them)
  • 80110000 – Human resources services
    • 80111500 – Human resource development
      • 80111501 – Management development
      • 80111504 – Labor training or development
        (follow-up if would apply to environmental health and safety)
  • 80170000 – Public relations and professional communications services
    • 80171500 – Situation and stakeholder analysis and communications planning services
      • 80171502 – Focus group and public feedback meeting facilitation and analysis (defined as: Public relations consultation services relating to the facilitation of focus group sessions and public meetings to gather feedback on an issue, and associated analysis of data gathered)
        (follow-up if would apply to the subset of environmental and energy project PR)
      • 80171505 – Communication planning (defined as: Public relations consultation services relating to the development of communications plans)
    • 80171900 – Stakeholder management and relations services
      (follow-up if would apply to environmental justice-related, public engagement for public comments, and agency liaison support activities)

      • 80171904 – Cultural and ethnic group relations consultation and engagement (defined as: Public relations consultation services relating to managing stakeholder relations and engagement with cultural or ethnic groups)
      • 80171905 – Indigenous peoples relations consultation and engagement (defined as: Public relations consultation services relating to managing stakeholder relations and engagement with indigenous peoples and cultural groups)
      • 80171906 – Government relations consultation and engagement (defined as: Public relations consultation services relating to managing stakeholder relations and engagement with central, state or local government  agencies or departments)
      • 80171907 – Community relations consultation and engagement (defined as: Public relations consultation services relating to managing stakeholder relations and engagement with the wider community and publics)
Segment 81000000 – Engineering and Research and Technology Based Services
  • 81100000 – Professional engineering services
    (follow-up if is specific to licensed professional engineering services)

    • 81101500 – Civil Engineering(follow-up if this class can be irrespective of being a civil engineer)
      • 81101516 – Energy or utility consulting service (defined as: Contract consulting related to utilities and other energy producing companies)
    • 81102500 – Permitting services
      (follow-up if applies to permit to construct / air quality permitting )

      • 81102502 – Building consent and permit engineering peer review service (defined as: Professional services used to validate a statement supplied by, or on behalf of an applicant for, a building consent, by, or on behalf of a person who has been granted a building consent that a certain work has been or will be carried out in accordance with certain technical specifications)
Segment 86000000 – Education and Training Services
  • 86130000 – Specialized educational services
    • 86132000 – Management education and training services
      • 86132001 – Executive coaching service (defined as: Service provided to executives to improve their interaction with the public, increase the effectiveness of their communication and speaking abilities. Involves coaching, counseling and mentoring)
    • 86132200 – Educational support services
      • 86132201 – Training workshop service (defined as: Training or workshop for skills enhancement and development)

Selection Process of Final Codes

At this time, R|CAT will inquire about select codes (for clarification and applicability) and then use a process of elimination, based on expected percentage of revenue from R|CAT’s business services, to determine the codes for the DGS application.

When did you learn about the UNSPSC®? How did you select your classification codes?

 

Supplier Diversity – Department of General Services

About this post. This is one of several posts (overview) sharing R|CAT’s afternoons of in real time blogging about certifying entities and their certification criteria.

This post presents initial activities for formally beginning (on 17 November) the Department of General Services or DGS (California-based) certification process for its Office of Small Business & Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (OSDS). Because an on-line application process is not currently available, this is a cursory review of the required information, compared to The Supplier Clearinghouse information requirements.

Bottom line. Applying is free. There is no longer a current on-line application process until the on-line process transitions to a California-wide procurment portal. Until DGS’s application process is available on Cal eProcure, an electronic version of the paper application (.pdf) is available. Much of the required information also is part of The Supplier Clearinghouse Fast Track Process application (.pdf). A different business classification code (UNSPSC, United Nations Standard Products and Services Codes) than SIC or NAICS is used.


Department of General Services

The Department of General Services (or DGS) will have an on-line application process in December 2015. R|CAT certification under this agency would be for Small Business Certification. For now, an electronic version of the paper application (.pdf) is available.

DGS - no online apps

Surprised to see this ATTENTION!, this afternoon’s session to begin the on-line DGS certification process is short-lived.

DGS - Cal e Procure

Eventually, the DGS on-line certification process will be part of Cal eProcure, described as –

Cal eProcure is the new online portal designed to improve the experience of businesses selling products and services to the state of California. Launching December 2015, this new system replaces BidSync, giving businesses access to bidding and contracting resources in one location. Cal eProcure is user-friendly and responsively designed for mobile devices.

By replacing BidSync, Cal eProcure becomes the portal for access to advertised bid opportunities with the state of California in the California State Contracts Register (CSCR). It also provides access to the State Contracting and Procurement Registration System (SCPRS), Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (SB/DVBE) certification and queries, and statewide Leveraged Procurement Agreement (LPA) search functions.

About the Small Business Certification Program

DGS - small biz cert benDGS’s Small Business Certification Benefits include the following –

  • 5% bid preference on applicable State solicitations
  • Small Business Participation Program that sets a goal for the use of small businesses in at least 25% of the State’s overall annual contract dollars;
  • As an incentive, a non-small business prime contractor, who uses certified small business/microbusiness subcontractors for at least 25% of its net bid price, is eligible for a bid preference of five percent (5%) of the lowest responsible bid, when competing against another non-small business;  and When applying bidder preferences, in which non-small business bidders may be eligible, certified small business/microbusiness bidders have precedence over non-small business bidders.

All this means is that there are goals of applying certain contract dollars to certified small businesses.

Certification Application Form Review

DGS - Elect Paper AppThe following is a quick review of the paper application (.pdf) to identify information required, in addition to what has been gathered for the Clearinghouse application.

    • social security number (which may be optional if FEIN is provided; will check)
    • Dun & Bradstreet number
    • California counties where services to be provided
    • Address of other owners, shareholders, and/or officers
    • information related to affiliate business relationships, if applicable
    • business classification code(s) using the UNSPSC, United Nations Standard Products and Services Codes
    • describing business in keywords, not more than 255 characters

DGS also has a list of required documents. This will be addressed in a separate post.

For the DGS Small Business Certification process, what tips do you have for completing the process?

 

Classifications – SIC and NAICS Codes

R|CAT is applying for at least two of the six supplier diversity certifications programs for which R|CAT qualifies. The first application started was for The Supplier Clearinghouse. One of the form requirements is to identify the SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) four digit code(s).

About this post. The following are R|CAT’s current SIC codes and NAICS codes (i.e., Northern American Industry Classification System codes) based on intended services.

What R|CAT has learned. SIC Codes 8999 (primary), and 8742 and 8299. NAICS* Codes 541620 (primary), and 541612 and 611430.

REFERENCE for SIC and NAICS codes: http://siccode.com/en


Section 2.A. Business Specialty

In The Supplier Clearinghouse process, a description of Business Specialty is required. R|CAT has been described as an Environmental and Energy Consulting practice, providing air quality, energy projects, and environmental communications consulting services. With the additional Behavior Design services, here is the current description (subject to change) provided in the Clearinghouse application –

Resource Catalysts (R|CAT) provides environmental, energy, and human resources consulting services – Environmental / Air Quality, Energy Projects / Power Generation support, Environmental Communications, and Behavior Design / Organizational Culture Development.
Slide1
Environmental and Energy Consulting services include the following: regulatory strategy and advocacy, project feasibility analyses, and permitting/compliance management services to address issues pertaining to air quality, energy project development and operations, and environmental communications.

Human Resources Consulting, Management Consulting, and Professional and Management Development Training services are based on applying Behavior Design and Applied Improvisation practices and philosophies for the following: environmental health & safety management and compliance practices, professional development, cultural diversity awareness, and leadership (esp. servant leadership).

The overall categories used and the descriptions listed are based on the SIC codes. This post is for reference in anticipation that other business-related applications may request NAICS codes rather than SIC codes (or both?). For R|CAT’s primary business classification, SIC 8999 and NAICS 541620 are the most representative.

Section 2.B. for SIC Codes

“Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes are four-digit numerical codes assigned by the U.S. government to business establishments to identify the primary business of the establishment. The classification was developed to facilitate the collection, presentation and analysis of data; and to promote uniformity and comparability in the presentation of statistical data collected by various agencies of the federal government, state agencies and private organizations. The classification covers all economic activities.”
Reference: What is a SIC Code?

8999 – Services, Not Elsewhere Classified

This SIC is described as Miscellaneous Services, and environmental consultants is one of several listed services. This SIC is described as –

Authors, artists, and related technical services, independent record production, scientific and related consulting services, music publishing, actuarial consulting , all other information providers, environmental consultants.

8742 – Management Consulting Services

Industry Group 874 is described as Management and Public Relations Services. This SIC is described as Management Consulting Services, and human resource consultants and personnel management consultants are listed. This SIC is described as –

Establishments primarily engaged in furnishing operating counsel and assistance to managements of private, nonprofit, and public organizations. These establishments generally perform a variety of activities, such as strategic and organizational planning; financial planning and budgeting; marketing objectives and policies; information systems planning, evaluation and selection; human resource policies and practices planning; and production scheduling and control planning. These establishments are characterized by the breadth and scope of the problems they address.

8299 – Schools and Educational Services, Not Elsewhere Classified

R|CAT selected this SIC to describe potential applied improvisation training and improv-related training services. This SIC is described as –

Establishments primarily engaged in offering educational courses and services, not elsewhere classified. Included in this industry are music schools, drama schools, language schools, short-term examination preparatory schools, student exchange programs, curriculum development, and vocational counseling, except rehabilitation counseling.

(It is not clear whether this SIC code is applicable. It may be that 8742 is sufficient for R|CAT applied improvisation training and improv-related training.)

NAICS – North American

“The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is used by businesses and governments to classify and measure economic activity in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. NAICS is 6-digit code system that is currently the standard used by federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments.  NAICS organizes establishments into industries according to the similarity in the processes used to produce goods or services.”
Reference: What is a NAICS Code?

Based on SIC codes, two NAICS Industry Sectors – 54 and 61 – match R|CAT’s services –

NAICS Industry Sector 54 is for Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, described as –

“The Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services sector comprises establishments that specialize in performing professional, scientific, and technical activities for others. These activities require a high degree of expertise and training. The establishments in this sector specialize according to expertise and provide these services to clients in a variety of industries and, in some cases, to households.”

NAICS Industry Sector 61 is for Educational Services, described as –

The Educational Services sector comprises establishments that provide instruction and training in a wide variety of subjects. This instruction and training is provided by specialized establishments, such as schools, colleges, universities, and training centers. These establishments may be privately owned and operated for profit or not for profit, or they may be publicly owned and operated. They may also offer food and/or accommodation services to their students.

Educational services are usually delivered by teachers or instructors that explain, tell, demonstrate, supervise, and direct learning. Instruction is imparted in diverse settings, such as educational institutions, the workplace, or the home, and through diverse means, such as correspondence, television, the Internet, or other electronic and distance-learning methods. The training provided by these establishments may include the use of simulators and simulation methods. It can be adapted to the particular needs of the students, for example sign language can replace verbal language for teaching students with hearing impairments. All industries in the sector share this commonality of process, namely, labor inputs of instructors with the requisite subject matter expertise and teaching ability.

For SIC 8999, 8742, and 8299, the following three NAICS codes match R|CAT’s services.

541620 – Environmental Consulting Services

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing advice and assistance to businesses and other organizations on environmental issues, such as the control of environmental contamination from pollutants, toxic substances, and hazardous materials. these establishments identify problems (e.g., inspect buildings for hazardous materials), measure and evaluate risks, and recommend solutions. they employ a multidisciplined staff of scientists, engineers, and other technicians with expertise in areas, such as air and water quality, asbestos contamination, remediation, and environmental law. Establishments providing sanitation or site remediation consulting services are included in this industry.

541612 – Human Resources Consulting Services

This U.S. industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing advice and assistance to businesses and other organizations in one or more of the following areas: (1) human resource and personnel policies, practices, and procedures; (2) employee benefits planning, communication, and administration; (3) compensation systems planning; and (4) wage and salary administration.

611430 – Professional and Management Development Training

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in offering an array of short duration courses and seminars for management and professional development. Training for career development may be provided directly to individuals or through employers’ training programs; and courses may be customized or modified to meet the special needs of customers. Instruction may be provided in diverse settings, such as the establishment’s or client’s training facilities, educational institutions, the workplace, or the home, and through diverse means, such as correspondence, television, the internet, or other electronic and distance-learning methods. The training provided by these establishments may include the use of simulators and simulation methods.

How many SIC/NAICS codes does your business use for your business classification, e.g., primary, secondary?

* The California UCP requires NAICS codes.

Supplier Diversity – The Supplier Clearinghouse

About this post. This is one of several posts (overview) sharing R|CAT’s afternoons of in real time blogging about certifying entities and their certification criteria.

This post presents initial activities for formally beginning (on 12 November) the The Supplier Clearinghouse (California-based) application process, as well as some thoughts while “walking-through” the process.

Bottom line. Applying is free. The on-line application process is an alternative to the hard copy application process. Create an account to start the process. There are several mandatory, required documents that must be scanned. The application must be notarized (which also must be scanned). Information about (but not hard copies of) any maintained licenses is required. The User Manuals are easy to follow and read. A one-hour training (which requires signing-up for a specified date and time) to complete the on-line process is available, as well.


The Supplier Clearinghouse

The Supplier Clearinghouse, under the CPUC supplier diversity program, has an on-line application processes. If preferred, applying via hardcopy is an option.

SuppClear_header

The Supplier Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) is described as follows:

The Supplier Clearinghouse is a Commission-supervised entity whose primary purpose is to audit and verify the status of WMBEs and LGBTBEs, and to establish and maintain a database of WMBE/DVBE/LGBTBE firms that is accessible to the CPUC and to participating utilities. The Supplier Clearinghouse audit and verification program precludes the need for individual utilities to audit and verify WMBE/DVBE/LGBTBE firms with whom they do business — it is one-stop shop.

3_SuppClearOverview

Creating an account with the Clearinghouse and filling in the on-line application is straightforward.

Step 1: Create an account (which requires business Federal Tax ID number)
Step 2: Review program information (optional)
Step 3: Receive/review email confirmation of account information
Step 4a: Begin the on-line application process by self-identifying type of business using prescribed drop-down links.
Step 4b: Choose “Continue” after self-identifying to access the actual on-line application.
Step 4c: Receive/review email confirmation of account information (which includes the direct link to access the specific vendor application)
SuppClear_log back inStep 4d: Fill-in on-line application sections and regularly save.
(NOTE: Because it is an on-line process, lack of on-line activity will require re-logging in to the dashboard. )
Step 4*: R|CAT suggestion – Create separate off-line document containing responses to application fields, which may be used for completing other certifying entities’ application forms for certification
Step 5: Collect mandatory, required documents to scan
Step 6: Complete and notarize the Agreement and Affidavit form (.pdf)
Step 7: Submit
and
Step 8: Be patient (based on other colleagues’ experiences)

The “hard part”? While not difficult, compiling the mandatory, requirement documents may be time-consuming.

About the Program

The on-line process appears fairly streamlined. The Clearinghouse provides information about Why Apply. For the two criteria R|CAT fulfills, participating utilities’ procurement goals are

    • 5% goal for woman-owned businesses
    • 15% goal for minority-owned businesses

– for which the criteria under the CPUC’s General Order 156 (.pdf) are –

SupplierClearinghouse“Women-owned business” means (1) a business enterprise (a) that is at least 51% owned by a woman or women or (b) if a publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock of which is owned by one or more women, and (2) whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of those individuals.
(section 1.3.2)

“Minority-owned business” means (1) a business enterprise (a) that is at least 51% owned by a minority individual or group(s) or (b) if a publicly owned business, at least 51 % of the stock of which is owned by one or more minority groups, and (2) whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of those individuals. The contracting utility shall presume that minority includes, but is not limited to, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and other groups, as defined herein.(section 1.3.3)

Asian Pacific American person, for purposes of this General Order, refers to a person having origin in Asia or the Indian subcontinent, including, but not limited to, persons from Japan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific, Northern Marianas, Laos, Cambodia, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
(section 1.3.12)

The application submission is free. Based on the benefits described, R|CAT is applying for classification as a women-owned, minority-owned business.

SuppClear_NewApplCreating An Account

R|CAT is considered a new applicant, regardless of previously certified status (pre-2007). Creating an account requires basic information, including the Federal Tax ID Number.
After creating an account, an email confirmation of a created account is sent. Information to start the application process is included.
SuppClear
With this a series of clicks, several web pages can be accessed. Because of R|CAT’s number of employees (one) and historical annual receipts of the past three years, R|CAT qualifies for the Fast Track Process application.

2_SuppClear

As a prospective applicant, the dashboard provides useful information for the overall application process. Seeing the beginning of the Fast Track Process is a milestone.

3_SuppClear

On-Line Fast Track Process and Documents

The hard part.  In addition to filling in the on-line form, there are several mandatory, required documents. Also, the application process requires a notarized the Supplier Clearinghouse Participation Agreement & Affidavit (.pdf).

1_DoctsReqd

After reviewing the list, choosing to continue formally begins the application process.

Another confirmation email is sent to confirm this action.

3_EmailAppCreatedReceiving this email confirmation is another milestone – completing the creation of a Clearinghouse account and accessing the on-line application form.

Form-Filling Milestones and Discoveries

The “Certification Application: Main Summary” page presents the level of completeness of the application sections –

    1. Contact Information
    2. Business Capabilities
    3. Business Profile
    4. Owners & Management Personnel

– with a “fifth” section for mandatory documents to be submitted electronically or by hard copy/mail.

In the beginning

2_MainSumm_0

In the middle

4_AppSections

Near the end

5_MainSumm_XAlmost complete.

deletion dateThe date for the Clearinghouse’s deletion of the application is February 10, 90-days from my initially starting the process. An extension (upon request) of one-week is available. This means that for the next several weeks, mandatory and requirement documents will be gathered and scanned to complete the application process for Clearinghouse review.

Discoveries

A few discoveries and thoughts emerged while completing some of the sections –

    • SIC Codes – R|CAT’s three Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes are 8999, 8742 and 8299. When establishing R|CAT in 1994, R|CAT identified under two SIC codes – 8999 and 8742. Based on additional services offered by R|CAT, SIC codes include –
      • 8999 – Environmental Consultants
      • 8742 – Human Resources and Personnel Management Consulting, Management Consulting Services
      • 8299* – Professional and Management Development Training
    • Copy responses – Realizing information in this process may be used for other certifications, responses for select items are copied into an off-line document.
    • Business Specialty – Completing the “Business Specialty” section (Section 2.A.) was an iterative process, as I described services more in line with the selected SIC Codes.
    • Date established – R|CAT was established in Spring 1994 as a sole proprietorship, with formal public notice dba filing completed in October 1994 and corporate status in 2003. Will review archived files to determine correct date for this form.
    • Local business, contractor, or professional licenses – A hard copy of licenses is not required, howvever, dates (issuance, expiration) and license holder name is required, for which R|CAT maintains a local business license.

For The Supplier Clearinghouse certification process, what tips do you have for completing the process?

Update
* After further reviewing SIC codes, it is unclear whether this code applies for the type of training services R|CAT intends to provide. One version of the SIC definitions references “schools” of which R|CAT is not.