Onboarding New Hires: Fast Facts about OPM Certification for Federal Agencies

Are you thinking about automating your Onboarding process – or have you done so already? If so, you’ll need to make sure that you’re up-to-speed with the requirements of what many generally refer to as the EOD Self-Certification required for each agency’s Onboarding system. Since it became more strictly enforced in 2015, there has been a lot of uncertainty about what it is, why it is required, how you complete it, and what happens if you don’t.

As the only commercial technology provider working through the rigorous process with the only federal agency successfully completing the certification so far, we wanted to share some of the key facts we learned.

What is it? Why should federal agencies care?

The OPM self-certification process ensures that Onboarding automation successfully transmits all critical Entrance on Duty (EOD) forms containing new hire data to the permanent system of record (eOPF) and does so within the guidelines for information security, data, and formats that are required by OPM. Here are a few fast facts about the certification:

  • Any federal agency that uses an automated system to transmit EOD documents to the Electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF) is required to complete a self-certification approved by OPM.
  • Although Onboarding also includes other activities like training and orientation, the OPM self-certification requirements cover data transmission activities from the onboarding system into the eOPF.
  • Non-compliance, as some agencies have learned already, results in a cease and desist order to the federal Ultimately, an agency in non-compliance will not be able to transmit EOD data electronically to the eOPF.

How does the certification work?

The federal agency must complete the process as described in the OPM self-certification requirements checklist and with guidance from the EHRI staff. The agency that uses the automated Onboarding system must adhere to the requirements that are submitted to OPM for approval.

  • The requirements cover standard and non-standard forms and There are 24 standard forms that are used in federal hiring and there are countless non- standard forms, as well as data, that can be electronically transmitted to the eOPF. All forms must meet the certification requirements.
  • The agency must adhere to specific business rules, provide all applicable documentation and meet all requirements set forth in the checklist. As part of the process, the agency must prepare a test plan for each form that will be submitted.
  • Once a federal agency is certified, all transmitted EOD forms that were submitted as part of the certification are considered accepted and approved by OPM.

Does the specific Onboarding system matter?

Automating the EOD process provides significant benefits, including time and cost savings, elimination of redundant processes and data, improved new hire experience, and much more. However, the system and workflows supporting the automation make all the difference. Even though the agency holds the OPM certification, the system vendor plays a critical role in the ability of the agency to achieve and maintain system certification.

The certification process is rigorous and may take months depending upon the amount of data and the onboarding forms the agency uses. Once a vendor has gone through the process with an agency, it has two significant advantages:

  • Knowledge of the process and the experience of getting into compliance with requirements gives the vendor the ability to complete future agency certifications much faster.
  • The vendor can adjust to any incremental additions or changes that the Federal agency may have in the future.

Not all systems and vendors are created equal. The HRworx Intelleworx platform was created specifically for the Federal Government and with the appropriate connections to integrate seamlessly with OPM’s eOPF system as well as other government systems.

Below are a few characteristics of our system that might be helpful as you consider Onboarding solutions:

  • Intelleworx was designed to replicate and enhance every workflow that a federal agency requires as part of their unique Onboarding process.
  • All modules use an attractive, intuitive, Section 508 compliant, interface to gather information from new hires.
  • Information can be shared with other systems or used to populate and render a wide variety of forms which can be printed or stored in integrated document management solutions.
  • Reporting and notifications are included, as a vital part of the system.

Please contact us if you have questions about how the right technology partner can help you improve your Onboarding process and certification. We are happy to share our thoughts about how we successfully completed our part in the certification process so you’ll know what to expect.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for our next blog!