About CEAS "just in time" Virtual Credentials
Based on discussions with our Participants, pre-assigning plastic credentials can limit how companies respond to an emergency. Just-in-time Virtual credentials allow the Coordinator to quickly put a credential in someone’s hands for display on a smartphone just-in-time to react to an event. Virtual credentials aren’t for everyone; some like the security of something physical in hand as a contingency. Others require more flexibility and may not know who will be “essential” based on a given event. Some would like a combination of both. Both credential types (Standard or Virtual) can be deactivated and reassigned as needed.
CEAS Virtual Credentials allow account coordinators to facilitate travel and access dynamically in a just-in-time fashion as an emergency unfolds and does not require printing, shipping, and distributing in advance. Furthermore, Virtual Credentials allow account coordinators to customize credential expiration so cardholders can access facilities on a per-event basis or for up to one year or your subscription expiration date. Like a TSA Boarding Pass, Virtual Credentials are directly distributed to your employee(s), received and displayed electronically, which provides coordinators unparalleled flexibility.
There is no additional cost to send a Virtual Credential; it is included in your subscription.
Virtual credentials are available to any individual who has been “assigned” to receive a CEAS credential by the Company Coordinator and has provided a name, valid email address, a headshot (passport type) image, and acknowledged the CEAS Program Orientation. Virtual Credentials can also be assigned to new personnel who provide the above credential requirements.
Company Coordinators can assign and send Virtual Credentials to existing cardholders anytime in a Just-In-Time fashion in advance or on a per-event, as-needed basis as long as your account is in good standing. Remember that an individual can only hold one credential at a time. If a Virtual Credential is sent to an existing CEAS cardholder, the new Virtual Credential will replace the older physical credential, which will automatically be deactivated and archived.
CEAS credentials are only intended for your company’s essential employees or contractors. Virtual Credentials can be sent to existing CEAS Standard card holders or newly assigned personnel. Once assigned, newly assigned personnel are sent an email requiring the candidate to read and acknowledge the CEAS Program Orientation (training).
Company Coordinators can send Virtual Credentials to one or more cardholders in seconds. Recipient cardholders must be assigned the Virtual Credential Card type to be eligible for a Virtual Credential.
For step-by-step instructions:
No. If your company still uses Flex Cards, they must be issued as physical CEAS Cards. For security purposes, there is no Virtual option to issue Flex Cards.
Every Participating company has a limit of credentials they can assign under their Participation Tier. Up to 50% of that limit can be used as Flex Cards; the remainder must be assigned either physical (plastic) CEAS Standard Cards, Virtual Credentials, or remain unassigned. Any unassigned credential slots can be assigned Virtual credentials up to your Subscription Tier limit. Coordinators can replace their current Flex Cards anytime by converting them to Virtual and assigning the card to an individual (with name, photo, email address, etc.)
E.g., If your allotment is 20 credentials and you have issued 5 Standard Cards and 10 Flex Cards, you still can assign 5 more Physical or Virtual Credential, but no more Flex Cards (based on the 50% rule). Companies that wish to have the flexibility to issue “just-in-time” Virtual Credentials must leave unassigned “credential slots” unassigned for that purpose, deactivate cards, or upgrade their subscription Tier.
NOTE: Flex Cards are assigned to the company, not to a specific person, do not contain a name or image, and are only issued as physical (plastic) cards. The maximum allotment of Flex Cards equals 50% of your total credential allotment
When a Virtual Credential has expired and is scanned, it will return EXPIRED or INVALID, which can result in denied access or travel. Though the credential itself is expired, the credential holder remains in the system until the Coordinator removes them. Coordinators can send a new Virtual Credential to the same credential holder as often as necessary. Sending a Virtual Credential with a relatively short expiration may be particularly helpful when limiting access on a per-event basis is desirable.
Assigning and Issuing Virtual Credentials
Before an individual can be assigned either a physical or virtual credential, your subscription must be up to date. A Qualified Employee is either:
- Your employee or contractor who has already been issued a valid CEAS Standard (plastic) Card or
- A newly designated assignee who has completed the required documentation to receive a credential, which includes:
- Has provided a name and valid email address, and
- Has provided a headshot (passport type) photograph of themselves, and
- Review and acknowledgment of the CEAS Program Orientation,
Only one (1) CEAS Credential can be held at a time. If you wish to assign a Virtual Card to a CEAS Standard cardholder, your physical card will automatically be deactivated upon assigning a Virtual Credential.
For your convenience, your CEAS Standard (plastic) credential has been pre-converted to Virtual. If you wish to keep your physical CEAS Standard Card, please refer to Re-issue my CEAS Standard Cards.
- From your credential management screen, you will note that your CEAS Standard cardholders will automatically show under the Virtual Credentials tab. Each should have an empty checkbox and a Status of "Pending."
Note: Anytime you do not see a checkbox next to the name of your assignee(s), one or more of the end-user requirements have not been met (missing headshot, email address, has not acknowledged the Program Orientation, etc.)
- Under Select Cardholders, tick the checkboxes for the employee(s) you wish to send virtual cards, and click Next.
- Set the Credential Expiration date for your cardholders (refer to How to Set the Expiration Date on a Virtual Credential?). Click Send.
- After clicking Next, You will be taken to the Virtual Credential Distribution screen, where you can review all recipients and set the Virtual Credential expiration (see Setting Virtual Credential Expiration Date).
- Once all expiration dates have been set, clicking Send will email the credential to the end user at the email address provided. Until you click Send the Virtual Credential, it will not be distributed to the end user
Note: BNET cannot verify the receipt of the virtual credentials by the end-user, please use internal protocols to verify.
- FLEX CARDS MAY NOT BE ASSIGNED AS VIRTUAL CREDENTIALS.
Expiration Dates play an important role in determining how to assign your credentials, outlined below are the differences between expiration dates of physical (plastic) CEAS Credentials and Virtual Credentials.
Plastic CEAS Standard Card: Standard Cards expire two years from issuance (up to your subscription expiration/renewal date). A Standard Card cannot be reassigned to anyone else in the company unless deactivated by the Coordinator. Any reissued Card will have the same expiration as your subscription expiration date. Standard (plastic) credentials may take up to two (2) weeks to arrive.
Virtual Credentials are different; the Company Coordinator can set a Virtual Credential expiration date upon issuance for selected periods. This allowing Virtual Credentials to be assigned for short-term response or up to one year and can be reassigned to the same individual after expiration. ONCE A VIRTUAL CREDENTIAL IS SENT, IT CAN NOT BE REASSIGNED UNTIL IT EXPIRES OR IS DEACTIVATED BY THE COORDINATOR. Other benefits are that Virtual Credentials can be issued in place of Flex Cards and are a better form of identification than the non-photo Flex Card. Click the link to learn more about Setting Virtual Credential Expiration Dates.
For Example, suppose your subscription Tier allows you ten (10) credentials, and you assign them all as plastic CEAS Standard cards, leaving no slots left for you to assign new credentials, virtual or otherwise. The only way to issue more credentials would be to deactivate and reassign cards or increase your Participation Tier.
Once a Virtual Card has been assigned, the card "status" will display as "Pending." Before the credential can be sent to the end user, the credential expiration must be set. Credential expiration can be set by clicking the Virtual Credentials tab from the Card Management screen, ticking the boxes to the left of the name(s) you wish to set, and clicking "Next."
PLEASE NOTE: Individuals you selected will all have the same expiration date. Credentials with different expiration dates must be selected separately. On the Credential Expiration screen, you will note the default of 30 Days; by clicking the dropdown arrow, you have the option to select a variety of expiration periods up to the date of your subscription expiration; after selecting an expiration, click "Send" and your assignment is complete.
- If you wish to assign different expirations, for Example:
From the Virtual Credentials tab, assume you have 5 different "Pending" Virtual Credential holders and wish their credentials to expire on different dates, e.g.:
i. Joe Smith 7 days
ii. Karen Jones 30 days
iii. Andre Lawson 30 days
iv. Sharon Wong 40 days
v. Ernest Harper 40 Days
Their expirations must be set and sent individually according to their desired expiration date.
- Starting with Joe Smith, select him by clicking the checkbox to the left of his name, and click "Next." Set the expiration for Joe Smith's credential by clicking the expiration date dropdown and selecting "7 Days", then clicking "Send."
- Return to Card Management and Select Karen Jones and Andre Lawson (both are set to expire the same day) by checking the checkboxes to the left of their names and clicking "Next." Set the expiration date (the default is already set to 30 days.), then click send.
- Next, select Sharon Wong and Ernest Harper by checking the checkboxes to the left of their names and clicking "Next." Set the expiration date to 40 days, then click send.
If you are an existing program Participant and have the availability to assign a new credential holder (you haven’t reached your maximum allotment of credentials), follow the steps below:
From the Card Management screen:
- Click the Assign Cards button
- Select Virtual Credential.
- Complete the required information for any new Assignees. Be sure to enter an accurate email address, as this is where the Virtual credential will be sent.
Note: If you wish to add numerous new Credential Holders at once, you can use the Bulk Upload tool by selecting the "Bulk Add from Text or Excel" tab
- Once the information is completed, the new assignee will receive an email link to the CEAS Program Orientation.
- The prospective credential holder must acknowledge reviewing the orientation document (unless they already hold a CEAS physical Credential).
- The Coordinator must upload an image of the prospective credential holder (unless one has been previously uploaded.) Once complete, the Virtual Credential is ready to be sent.
- Select the Virtual Credentials tab from the Card Management screen.
- A check box should appear next to the name of each Qualified Employee. Tick the box(es) of those to whom you wish to assign Virtual Credentials.
- Clicking Next at the bottom of the screen will assign the credential to the individual(s); the credential will not be issued to the end user until it is Sent.
- Click Send to forward the credential(s) to the user.
IMPORTANT: ONLY ONE CREDENTIAL CAN BE HELD AT A TIME. ASSIGNING A VIRTUAL CREDENTIAL TO AN INDIVIDUAL WHO ALREADY HAS A PHYSICAL (PLASTIC) CREDENTIAL WILL CAUSE THE PHYSICAL CREDENTIAL TO BE DEACTIVATED FROM THE SYSTEM.
When a new company subscribes to the CEAS Program, they will FIRST:
- Complete the online enrollment application and provide the required documentation (Participation Agreement, Insurance Certificate), make payment, and be APPROVED by the CEAS Administrator.
Once ready to assign personnel, the Company Coordinator must compile a list of prospective credential holders (Assignees) along with their email address and passport type (headshot) image for each (Assignees can be uploaded individually or via the bulk upload feature).
Once the upload is complete, the Company Coordinator can choose to assign a plastic CEAS Standard Card or Virtual credential.
To Assign a new CEAS Virtual Credential:
- From the Card Management screen, click the Assign Cards button
- Select Virtual Credential and click Next.
- Complete the required information for the credential holder.
- Review Assignment for accuracy and either Cancel or Submit.
- The prospective Credential Holder will be sent a Program Orientation document that they must attest to reading.
- Click Upload Image with a jpg headshot image of the intended credential holder, or if an image is not immediately available, from the All Cards tab, click Missing Images and select the credential holder’s name from those showing a red colored X beneath image.
- Once the CEAS Program Orientation is acknowledged by the credential holder, the Virtual Credential can be issued by Selecting the Virtual Credentials tab and selecting Next.
- Check the individual name(s) to send (issue) a Virtual Credential. Click Next and click Send.
Upon or near the expiration of your physical (plastic) CEAS Card(s), you can replace them with a Virtual Credential(s) for any or all of your qualified employees.
Once your renewal has been processed and approved: See Assigning Virtual Credentials to an active Physical (plastic) CEAS cardholder for detailed process steps.
CEAS Vehicle Dashboard Placards are available only to Virtual Credential holders and are intended for use during periods of declared restricted travel. Placards display on a standard 8.5 x 11 letter-sized paper. If the jurisdiction you wish to travel in declares essential travel only, CEAS credential holders should print and display the placard on their windshield while driving. Placard holders should also have their CEAS credentials while displaying the placard.
Keeping Physical CEAS Cards
Yes, you can. Though moving to Virtual is more flexible and easier to manage. Clients may elect to keep using the traditional CEAS Card.
Note: individual cardholders can not hold both physical and virtual credentials. If you elect to continue using the traditional CEAS cards, you must reprint them to take advantage of the new card design. There is no additional charge to do this.
1. From your Card Management Screen, click the Assign Cards button
2. Under select Credential Type, click the Standard Credentials radio button, and click Next.
3. On the Assign Standard Cards/ Identify Cardholders screen, select the Select Cardholders from List tab
4. A dropdown list of all your current cardholders will appear; click the checkboxes for the cardholders you wish to receive a new CEAS card, and click Next.
Note: If you wish to assign traditional physical cards to some of your employees and virtual cards to others, tick only the individuals you wish to receive traditional physical CEAS cards. To issue Virtual Credentials, see Issuing Virtual CEAS Credentials.
5. Review your assignment, and click Submit. You will then see your Assignment Results, correct any problems (indicated by a red “X”) if any.
Cans and Can Not of Virtual Credentials
- Issue Virtual Credentials to any qualified assignee at any time.
- Set the expiration date on every Virtual Credential issued.
- Reassign Virtual Credentials to another employee once the credential has expired.
- Reissue a Virtual credential to the previous holder once it has expired, as often as you wish, up to your renewal date.
- Virtual Credential holders can be deleted/removed from the system to make additional slots available
- Upgrade your subscription at any time to meet an increasing need.
- Download and store Virtual Credentials on the user’s smartphone device.
- Issue Virtual Credentials at any time, including subscription renewal.
- Issue Virtual Credentials without a headshot image.
- Issue Virtual Credential to an assignee without them first acknowledging the Program Orientation.
- Assign unlimited amounts of Virtual Credentials.
- Assign Virtual Credentials above your maximum allotment of credentials without upgrading your subscription.
- Assign a Flex Card as a Virtual Credential.
- Renew a Multi-Facility or All-Area access card