How Can Federal Contractors Prepare for AAP Certification?

How Can Federal Contractors Prepare for AAP Certification?
Every year, federal contractors must undergo an audit by the OFFCP. But how can federal contractors prepare for AAP certification? Here’s what to know.

Any business that works with the government must undergo scrutiny to ensure its workplace remains a fair, equitable place for all employees of every demographic. However, ensuring that your business meets all the standards and guidelines of the OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) can be a Herculean task. Here’s how federal contractors can prepare for AAP certification.

Know Your Dates

The OFCCP will conduct an audit of your business, but you also must submit your AAP (Affirmative Action Program) certifications through the OFCCP’s contractor portal on the appropriate dates. The three important dates you should be conscious of are:

  • February 1: Registration opens, and you’ll create a account on the OFCCP’s contractor portal. To register, you’ll enter your company’s Employer Identification Number and EEO-1 Company Number. If you don’t have your business’s EEO-1, you will instead provide your company’s legal name, DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number, and NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code.
  • March 31: The certification period begins. This is the earliest date that federal contractors can certify their compliance with their AAP plans.
  • June 30: The certification period ends. This is the absolute deadline to submit your AAP plans and certifications to prove your compliance.

Because the guidelines and language of the AAP certification often changes and evolves, it’s important that you review and update your AAP plan promptly and thoroughly before the certification period begins.

Review Your AAP

As we mentioned, AAP standards and OFCCP guidelines change and evolve all the time to ensure federal contractors provide fair workplaces. Even if your business has an affirmative action plan in place, you’ll need to review it annually to ensure that it’s up to date and fulfills all standards. A thorough review of your AAP can be time consuming, so make sure you set aside enough time before the certification period begins to make the necessary changes and put them into practice.

Conduct Your Own Audit

One of the best ways federal contractors can prepare for AAP certification is by conducting their own internal audits. This gives them a chance to really investigate the inner workings of their businesses and correct any issues they find before the OFCCP comes through. It’s a chance to tidy up, dot the i’s, and cross their t’s before professionals arrive to scrutinize their businesses.

Get Outside Help

Reviewing your AAP and performing an internal audit can be extremely time consuming and labor intensive—time, effort, and personnel you may not have to spare in your day-to-day operations. For that reason, you should outsource your affirmative action plan. We’ll provide a fresh set of unbiased eyes. Call us any time. We would be happy to apply our expertise to your specific set of problems.