Qualification and Approvals in Certain
This article will guide you in using the Qualification and Approvals feature in Certain.
If this is not enabled for your account, and you are interested in it after reading this guide, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, including your account name.
The functionality described here is available to users with a user type of Registration Support or higher.
Why would you use Qualification and Approvals? For example:
- To approve hosted buyers’ applications for attendance at a trade show
- To qualify potential speakers at an event
- To qualify applicants to an invitation-only event or program
Qualification and Approvals can also be used in general, where you need to select amongst a group of registrants based on criteria related to their application.
The result is each registration is assigned one final user-defined “approval status”, such as “Approved” or “Rejected” for example. That might be something more qualitative, such as “Platinum VIP”, “Gold Class VIP” or “Non-VIP”, for example.
Each assigned approval status can be qualified further with one or more optional “approval status details”, such as “Rejected – bad debt”, and/or “Rejected – does not meet criteria.”
Terminology note: although the words “attendee” and “registrant” may both be used in this document, please note that there is no difference in meaning intended.
- Process Overview
- Recommendation and Approval Statuses
- Reviewer – Event List
- Reviewer – Review Qualifications
- Event Builder views Registrations by Rule, sets Approval Status
- Event Builder edits Approval Status on Registration
If the Qualification and Approvals sub-module is enabled at the account level, you can set up your event to use qualification and approvals functionality for any attendee type. In the event, go to Plan > Configure > Options, and select Qualification and Approvals under Event Module in Functional Areas Needed by This Event.
The Manage menu on the Top Navigation Bar in the event will now include a Qualification link.
In short, at a very high level, the process consists of these four phases:
- The event planner sets up the event, configuring it for Qualification. (Steps 1-8 below.)
- Registrants register. These might be applications to attend, for example. (Step 9.)
- External reviewers recommend whether registrants qualify. (Steps 10-12.)
- The event planner sets and communicates each registrant’s final approval status. (Steps 13-14.)
Let’s look at that process in step-by step detail.
- When setting up the event, switch the Qualification and Approvals module on, in Plan > Configure > Options, as described above.
- In that event, as Account Administrator, set up Users with a User Type of "Reviewer", whose sole activity in Certain will be to make recommendations about the approval of registrants.
- Set up custom Qualification Statuses in the event. These are: a. Recommendation Statuses, to be used by external reviewers in recommending registrants (in step 11). b. Approval Statuses, to be used as the final status by internal event staff (in step 12).
- Set up any Custom Questions that registrants will answer, where the answers may be used as criteria (in step 7) for determining assignment of registrants to reviewers.
- Set up any Attendee Types to be used as criteria in step 7.
- Set up, and publish, any Registration Form(s) for registrants to complete. (Include the Custom Questions and Attendee Types from steps 4 and 5.)
- Set up the Rules that will determine which registrants' applications are reviewed by which reviewers. (You can choose to have tiered recommendations, where a registration has to be reviewed by one tier before being reviewed by the next.)
- Optionally set the event to use Blind Approvals – multiple reviewers attached to a rule but who cannot see each other’s recommendations.
- Register using the form set up in step 6. Reviewers
- Log into Certain, going straight to their Events List page, where they see only the current and future events in which they are assigned to the rules set up in step 7.
- Select one of those events, where they see only the registrations assigned to them for review (that is, only those that meet the rules set up in step 7 with them as the reviewer). (If rules have reviewers assigned to different tiers, then each reviewer only sees the registrations that have already been reviewed by the previous tier.)
- Review registrations assigned to them, setting the Recommendation Status for each registration, including notes for the event planner where appropriate. Event Planner
- Assess reviewers’ recommendations and notes, and set the final approval status of each registration.
- Communicate with approved and rejected registrants. This can be set up to happen automatically when a registrant's approval status changes by using the standard email templates you have set up in Communication > Email Templates and assigned to Approval Statuses.
A user type called "Reviewer" is available when the Qualifications and Approvals module is enabled. As an Administrator, when adding a new user in Account Settings > Administration > Users, you can select "Reviewer" in the User Type drop-down list.
A reviewer has access to only those event(s) in which they have been assigned as a reviewer for one or more rules. (That assignment process is described below.) They can make recommendations about approving registrants, but do not have access to the other functionality that an Event Builder does.
Recommendation and Approval Statuses
As explained below, reviewers are able to review the registrations assigned to them, which they do by assigning a Recommendation Status to each one. For example, for an exhibition they may be reviewing applications to be hosted buyers. As an Event Builder, you can set the overall Approval Status on each registration based on the recommendation statuses provided by the reviewers.
But first, you need to set up the recommendation statuses and approval statuses, which are known generically as “qualification statuses”. Note that all the qualification statuses used in the Qualification and Approvals process are "custom" statuses, which you set up for each event. There are no standard default statuses.
As an Event Builder, logged into the event, go to Manage > Qualification, and click the Approvals page link in the Left Navigation Panel. You see a list of any qualification statuses (i.e., approval statuses and recommendation statuses) that have already been set up, if any.
Whether you are adding Approval Statuses or Recommendation Statuses, click the Add New button in that section to display the Status Information section, in which you can enter a new status. A status may be just a single status record (such as "Accepted" or "Rejected"), or a single status record with multiple status detail records (such as "Rejected - Bad debt" and "Rejected - Does not meet criteria").
The status Name is required, and you can add a Description and multiple Status Details. For Approval Statuses there is also an Email Template drop-down list of the active event email templates defined in Communication > Templates. This enables you to tie an email template to a status, so that when a registration is changed to that approval status the associated email will be sent to the registrant.
The Create and Manage Qualification Statuses page described above ends with an Advanced Options section.
Select Blind if reviewers cannot see other reviewers’ recommendations. (If selected, you then choose which sections of the Registration Overview Page reviewers can see: Profile, Registration, Agenda, etc.)
Select Reviewer not allowed to edit status after it has been saved if reviewers cannot edit a registrant's Recommendation Status after they have saved it.
Select Recommendation Notes Mandatory if a reviewer must always enter a Note when entering a Recommendation Status for a registrant.
Go to Manage > Qualification > Rules. This page lists any rules that you have already defined, and has the usual controls to add, edit, or delete rules.
Each rule is assigned to one or many reviewers, and consists of one or more criteria, which define the registrations that the reviewers will be able to see (and review) when they log in.
Click Add New to display the three areas in which you set up a rule:
- Registration Selection Criteria
- Choose the Qualification Criteria
Registration Selection Criteria
Give the rule a brief Name; for example, "Buyers Canada". This must be unique within the event. (Note that it is visible to any reviewers to whom it is assigned.)
The Description is optional: a more detailed description of the rule, perhaps summarizing the criteria. For example, "All Hosted Buyers from Canada."
In the Users list you can (optionally) select one or more "Approvers": (internal) users responsible for setting the final Approval Status of registrations meeting this rule.
Before adding the criteria that make up a rule, you select one of three radio buttons that specify how criteria in a rule are used to determine whether a registration meets the rule or not.
Match All – If this radio button is selected, then a registration only meets the rule if all the criteria are met. A logical "AND" will be used between each criterion when applying the rule.
Match Any – If this radio button is selected, then a registration meets the rule if any criteria are met. A logical "OR" will be used between the criteria.
Advanced – If this radio button is selected, you can use the AND / OR buttons to build up a logical rule, which you can edit, in the Rule Expression field. This enables you to combine options when you have three or more criteria and the previous radio buttons, Match All or Match Any, don't quite meet your requirements. For example if you have three criteria, you could make this "1 and (2 or 3)", meaning that the rule succeeds if criterion 1 is met and either criterion 2 or criterion 3 is also met.
You build a rule by adding criteria from the list of fields below. To build each one, select the elements from the drop-down lists, and then click Add (or, if you selected Advanced matching, AND or OR).
- Attendee Type
- Agenda Items
- Registration Status (standard statuses, plus any set up via Plan >Configure > Custom Statuses)
- Profile fields (including Country, State, City, Organization, and Email)
- Answers to custom profile questions (set up via Account Settings > Registration > Profile Data)
- Answers to custom registration questions (as set up via Plan > Event Setup > Questions)
- Custom Travel Questions (set up via Plan > Event Setup > Travel)
- Group / Sub Group Name(s) and Code(s) (set up via Plan > Groups)
Note that when setting up the custom questions, the answers must be enumerable, so the registrant can provide answers by selecting check boxes or radio buttons – they can’t type their answers.
In the screenshot below, there are two criteria. And Match All is selected, so the Rule Expressions is “1 and 2”; the Attendee Type must be “Hosted Buyer” and the Country on the registrant’s profile must be “Canada”.
The number of tiers for a rule is the number of “levels” of review required; the default is 1.
In the screenshot below, there are two tiers. Michael Smith is in Tier 1, and Linda Ridgway is being selected for Tier 2. So Linda will only be able to review registrations meeting this rule once Michael has reviewed them.
It is possible to have multiple reviewers in the same tier, so Richard Freedman might yet be added as a second reviewer in Tier 2, but a reviewer can only be in one tier.
When you’ve saved a rule with two or more tiers, it has an extra icon in the Actions column in the rule list:
Click to open the Qualification Tiers page, where you can define the routing policies between tiers: what has to happen for a registration to pass from one tier to the next, or to move from the review process to the approval process.
There is a default "NEXT TIER" rule for the first tier; click to edit it. Once it has been saved you can, if required, click Add New to set up another new routing policy (for example, to define how a registration moves from Tier 2 to Tier 3).
When editing a routing policy, you can define the route from this tier to another, and to approval.
Editing either of these aspects of a routing policy is very similar to editing a rule, as explained above.
The details explained below are identical whether you are editing the Route to Tier ## (for example from Tier 1 to Tier 2) or the Route to Approval (that is, when the approver can apply the final approval status).
Before adding the criteria that make up a routing policy, select one of three radio buttons to specify how criteria in a policy are used to determine whether reviewing moves to another tier or not. These are the same as for rule criteria: Match All, Match Any, or Advanced.
Just as for rule criteria, if you select Advanced then you can use the AND / OR buttons to build up a logical rule, which you can edit, in the Routing Policy Expression field. For example if you have three criteria, you could make this "1 and (2 or 3)", meaning that the routing policy takes effect if criterion 1 is met and either criterion 2 or criterion 3 is also met.
For each criterion you first select one of two values (in the first drop-down list): Reviewer or Recommendation Status Count.
If you select Reviewer then two fields are added: in the first you select one of the re viewers assigned to the rule, and in the second a recommendation status.
For example: "Reviewer | Melanie Wise | Recommend Approval." If that were the only criterion in the routing policy it would take effect (such as moving the registration on to the next tier of reviewing) if Melanie applies that status to the registration.
If you select Recommendation Status Count (rather than Reviewer), then there are three further fields to complete. Select a recommendation status, then an operator ("Equals", "Greater Than", or "Less Than"), and then enter a number in the third field.
For example: "Recommendation Status | Recommend Approval | Greater Than | 2." If that were the only criterion in the routing policy it would take effect (such as moving the registration on to the next tier of reviewing) when more than two reviewers on this tier had recommended approval.
For each criterion, click the Add button (or the AND or OR button if you selected Advanced matching).
Reviewer – Event List
When a reviewer logs into Certain, they automatically go to an Events List page which shows only the events in which they have been assigned as a reviewer in any rules. An event is included in the list regardless of whether it has any registrations actually meeting the criteria in those rules. (But only current and upcoming active events are displayed; unlike other users, a reviewer can’t choose to display recently ended, archived, or inactive events.)
When a reviewer selects an event, they see the Review Qualifications page described below, listing only the registrations that meet the criteria in rules assigned to them as a reviewer in this event.
Reviewer – Review Qualifications
The filtering rules that were set up for a reviewer (in Manage > Qualification > Rules) are run when the reviewer selects that event on the Events tab. This generates a list of registrations for subsequent appraisal. If Tiered recommendations are in place, i.e. if the number of tiers on a rule is more than 1 (see Rules on page 6), then the registrations listed are only those already reviewed by the previous tier.
The reviewer can choose to filter the list of registrations by selecting Hide assigned statuses (thus showing only those still to be reviewed), and by clicking Select to select a field on which to filter. The fields available include Profile fields (Country, State, City, Organization, First Name, Last Name, Profile ID, Email), Recommendation Status, Registration Status, and Rule Name.
They make their recommendation by selecting a Recommendation Status, and optionally one or more Status Details, in the drop-down lists. Once they have selected a status, they can also enter a note by clicking , which isn’t available until a status is selected.
They can click the pencil icon to view the registrant’s details on the standard Attendee Overview page, where they can see other reviewers’ recommendations (unless blind reviewing is switched on, on Qualification > Approvals – see page 5), and also set their own Recommendation Status / Details / Notes.
Event Builder views Registrations by Rule, sets Approval Status
- As an Event Builder, you can go to the Qualification page and click Rules to see the list of qualification rules associated with the event.
- Click the eyeball icon on a rule’s row to see the list of registrations meeting the criteria in that rule.
- Clicking the pencil icon on a registrant’s row on that page will take you to the regular registration view/edit page.
- Clicking the Details icon on a registrant’s row opens the Status per Reviewer section, showing the reviewers’ recommendations for that registrant.
- To set the final approval status for a registrant, select a single Status in the drop-down list, and (optionally) one or more Status Details from the multiple-select list which is populated when a Status is selected.
- Clicking the Notes icon on a registrant’s row enables you to add notes to that registration about their approval status. (It is only available if a status is selected.)
Event Builder edits Approval Status on Registration
When Qualifications and Approval is enabled you see a Registration Approval Status section on an attendee’s Registrations > Overview page as well as the usual registration and profile information. Here the event builder can allocate or modify the final approval status quickly.
When a registration is assigned an approval status that is tied to an email template, that email is sent to the registration’s email address, provided it has one.
- As an Event Builder, search for a registration record, for example by clicking Search in the global navigation icons
- In the Report Results screen, click the registration to open its Attendee Overview page.
- That includes a Registration Approval Status section after the Registration information.
- All the reviewers’ recommendations for this registration are displayed.
- They are followed by the registration’s Approval Status and Approval Status Details.
- You can amend these by selecting a single Approval Status in the drop-down list, and optionally one or more Approval Status Details if the Approval Status has any
- You can also add Notes about the approval.
- When this Attendee Overview page is next viewed, the History section will include details of the approval status change, including the nature of the change, when it was made, and by whom.