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 the need arises.
CEAS Virtual Credentials allow account coordinators to facilitate access quickly and dynamically as emergency events unfold, whereas physical credentials must be printed, shipped, and distributed in advance. Furthermore, Virtual Credentials allow account coordinators to set an expiration (from 24 hours up to 365 days) so cardholders can access facilities on a per-event basis or for as long as one year. Virtual Credentials are distributed and received electronically, which may be more convenient than shipping, receiving, and distributing cards.
No matter how you participate, the number of “credentials” you can assign to employees is limited based on your tier subscription level. If your subscription Tier limitations do not provide you with enough credentials, you may upgrade your subscription anytime within the CEAS application or through [email protected].
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 remain valid for any time up through your subscription expiration date.
Company Coordinators can 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.
CEAS credentials are intended for your company’s essential employees or contractors. Virtual Credentials can be sent to existing CEAS Standard Card Holders or newly assigned personnel who must first be “assigned” the “Virtual Credential” card type. The assignment process includes, but is not limited to, providing a name, valid email address, and headshot (passport style) image of the individual. Once assigned, the cardholder is 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. See “Assigning Virtual Credentials to active, CEAS Standard Cardholders” or “How to Assign a CEAS Virtual Credential to a NEWLY assigned employee” for step-by-step instructions.
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 deactivate and return un-issued Flex Cards to make room under their maximum allotment to issue Virtual Credentials.
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 “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
Expiration Dates play an important role in determining how to assign your credentials, outlined below are the differences between physical (plastic) CEAS Credentials, Virtual Credentials, and their expiration dates.
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 allows Virtual Credentials to be assigned for short-term response and 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.
Credential expiration can be set by accessing the dropdown menu to select the expiration date. Tick the boxes to the left of the name; each assignee will receive a virtual credential with the corresponding expiration date you selected. The menu default is “30 Days”,
For Example, on the Credential Distribution Screen, you show 20 possible recipients; of the 20, you wish ten (10) of them to have credentials that expire in seven (7) days. Tick the boxes of the recipients, then select 7 days from the dropdown and click “Send.” For the remaining recipients (there should be 10 available checkboxes,) you wish those Virtual Credentials to expire in ninety (90) days. Tick the checkboxes, select “90 Days” from the dropdown menu, and click “Send.”
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 new assignee, designated as “essential” 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. Suppose you wish to assign a Virtual Credential(s) to a CEAS physical (Plastic) Cardholder(s), including Multi-Facility and All Area Access cardholders. In that case, their existing physical card will automatically be deactivated upon assigning a Virtual Credential to that assignee.
Note: Using a deactivated card scanned by law enforcement will return an “INVALID” response, which may result in denial of access or travel.
- From your credential management screen, Click the “Assign Cards”
- Select Credential Type “Virtual” is default and click next.
- Under “Identify Cardholders,” select the middle tab “Select Cardholders from List,”
- Tick the checkboxes for the employee(s) you wish to replace their physical card with a virtual card, and click “”
- Under “Review Assignment,” check to see if accurate and click either “Cancel” or “”
- Open the “Virtual Credentials” tab
- This will open the Virtual Credential Eligible Next to each qualified employee, you will see a checkbox. Select by ticking the assignees you wish to receive a Virtual Credential, and click “Next” at the bottom of the list
- Note: If 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.)
- 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 “Send” the Virtual Credential, it will not be distributed to the end user
- Note: Coordinators will receive a confirmation email list all virtual card assignments made in the session. 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.
- ONCE YOUR VIRTUAL CREDENTIAL IS ASSIGNED AND SENT, IT CAN ONLY BE REASSIGNED TO THE SAME INDIVIDUAL AFTER THE EXPIRATION DATE IS REACHED.
- AN ISSUED, UNEXPIRED VIRTUAL CREDENTIAL CAN ONLY BE REASSIGNED TO ANOTHER EMPLOYEE IF THE CURRENT HOLDER IS DEACTIVATED (REMOVED) FROM THE SYSTEM.
If you are an existing program Participant and have 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”
- 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.
- 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 currently available only to Virtual Credential holders and are intended for use while traveling during times 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.
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 they have 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.
- Cannot assign a Flex Card as a Virtual Credential.