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The New Virtual Essential Employee Credentials

CEAS_Essential Employee ID Group

The New CEAS Program is here, and there are some changes you should know about.

New CEAS Credential Design

Topography: the new CEAS credential has been redesigned to provide emphasis on the Essential nature of the holder and to support program interoperability.

Introducing the Virtual Credential: Virtual credentials are intended to introduce convenience and flexibility into the program. Think of your CEAS credential as a TSA virtual boarding pass. It also allows participating users to respond to an event based on situational need and not lock them into a set of pre-assigned individuals. Learn how to switch to CEAS Virtual Credentials.

Vehicle Dashboard Placard: Introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the CEAS Vehicle Dashboard Placard now comes standard along with your Virtual credential and can be self-printed by the end-user for display while traveling during times of restricted travel. Your vehicle placard will arrive as a printable image as part of the Virtual Credential email sent to your assigned employees. The CEAS Vehicle Dashboard Placard is currently only available to Virtual Credential holders.

Flex Cards: are NOT available as virtual credentials, regardless of whether you've chosen to go virtual or retain physical credentials. If you wish to use a physical Flex card, you will continue to receive them.  If your company has chosen to go virtual, you can replace any flex card with a virtual credential.  Please remember, to replace a physical Flex card with a virtual credential, the name, photo, and email address of the employee receiving the credential is required (new employees not previously in the system must also acknowledge receiving the program orientation.)

Program Interoperability

Program Interoperability: The purpose of the CEAS credential redesign is twofold. First, the new credential (both physical and Virtual) draws immediate attention of the holder's essential nature to the reviewer.  Second, removing addresses and city seals facilitates interoperability between CEAS jurisdictional programs.  In short, the new credential design removes address restrictions and allows your essential employees to be recognized across all active CEAS programs.


Operational Changes

  • No Activation Required: The new CEAS program does not require a specific activation or announcement by government officials. Credential holders should present their credentials if challenged any time the jurisdiction declares a general "Essential Employee/ Worker/ Personnel" only condition.
  • No Longer Address Based: CEAS credentials are no longer associated with specific addresses or facilities. Your ability to travel or access a specified area is now determined by your Essential Employee status.
  • Removal of Access Levels / Introduction of NAICS Codes: Since the emergency often drives what industries are critical to crisis response, we are no longer predetermining access based on specific industry types.  Instead, we have integrated the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code into each credential, allowing government officials to restrict access and travel by industry if necessary.  A NAICS code has been assigned to your company; all coordinators should check the code for correctness.
  • Sunsetting of Multi-Facility & All Area Cards: The deemphasis on address location has allowed us to streamline credentialing by sunsetting two types of CEAS Cards.
    • The All-Area Card was initially intended for companies with work locations too numerous or impractical for Multi-Facility Card use; it will be replaced by the CEAS (physical) Standard and Virtual Credentials.
    • The Multi-Facility Card previously permitted individual access based on the need to enter multiple company workplaces. With the program's operational changes, which include removing location requirements, the new CEAS Standard and Virtual credentials will replace the Multi-Facility Card because work location is no longer a determining factor to permit travel and access.

How to Send a Virtual Credential(s) to your pre-existing cardholders

If you wish to convert your CEAS credentials to Virtual most of the work has been done for you already.  Every existing Card has already been pre-converted in the system for you; you only need to send them to your recipients by following the link above.

How to Issue a Virtual Credential(s) to a newly assigned employee

Suppose you wish to assign a Virtual Credential(s) just in time to a new employee (not previously in the CEAS system).  In that case, you can assign the credentials individually or in bulk.  All newly assigned Virtual credentials require the name, photo, and email address of the employee receiving the credential is required.  Newly assigned employees not previously in the system will be sent an email requesting they acknowledge the Program Orientation.  Once acknowledged, the Virtual credential can be sent by following the link above.

Retaining your physical (plastic) CEAS Cards

While conversion to virtual is recommended, if you prefer to stay with physical CEAS cards, you can; however, an individual cannot have both a Virtual CEAS card and a Physical CEAS card.  Your Physical CEAS cards must be re-issued because of the updated topography of the CEAS credential (there is no additional charge to do this, and your current CEAS cards will remain valid until new Cards are received). Follow the link to learn how to re-issue your physical CEAS cards. 

Sunsetting of Multi-Facility and All Area Cards

Due to the lifting of address restrictions in the program, you will no longer need nor be able to issue Multi-Facility Cards or All Area Access Cards in CEAS.  A Standard (physical) CEAS Card or Virtual Credential is all you need.

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