One of the core components of our Elevate platform is the application workflow engine. Hundreds of thousands of applications have been received and managed through our workflows. Application and registration processing is a specialised field where the first step is literally the tip of the iceberg.
Large Scale Real World Experience
Our StudentRego.com and TAFEApply services have registered hundreds of thousands of applicants, kicking off workflows for approval that often involve 20-30 pipeline stages and 50 or more workflow tasks or triggers.
StudentRego.com provides application services for students applying for vocational or workplace learning in Australia. More than 150 sites in Australia utilise studentrego.com employing workflow tools such as:
- Application data validation and cross checking
- Fraud detection and 3rd party lookup lists (blocked applicants, bots, known bad actors)
- Email and SMS workflow tools to notify related parties at each step of the application
- Third party application approval (eg. references, teachers etc can electronically approve the application).
- Digital Signature Support - provide ability to agree via checkbox and conditions in addition to traditional on-screen written digital signature.
- Upload and storage/checking of qualifications or supporting documents for the application
- Workflow Pipeline Tasks and checklists - allow administrators to manage mandatory and optional tasks as part of an application's passage.
- Audit Trail - events within an application's passage are logged for easy reference and auditing based on the who, what, when, where history facility.
Uploaded File Storage
Most applications include some requirement to upload and securely store files. These could be references, qualifications, or general support documents to assist the application.
Elevate's application file library assigns any uploaded file to a predefined template where each file is version controlled, renamed to a standardised system, scanned for viruses or malware, and attached to the application for instant access by administrators.
For example if there were 15 difference supporting documents, each would be attached to it's specific "requirement" or "category". If later versions are uploaded within the administrator console, prior versions are retained and a full audit history is maintained.
Accepting Applications - Quality Forms
Successful application and registration systems are just as much about the user experience as the technology that drives them. The design of the application form, the order of questions, the validation provided and the structure are one of the most critical aspects to receiving quality information,
When quality and considered information is entered into an application, the downstream processes can run more smoothly and the hidden transaction cost of checking/adjusting/confirming application information can be side-stepped.
Our experience with designing secure application forms for use in a broad range of contexts using our Elevate components avoids the garbage-in -> garbage-out scenario.
Process Control - Workflow Pipeline & Tasks
Once an application has passed the early validation and applying process it enters the application pipeline. This is a carefully defined set of paths to standardise how applications progress and cover all scenarios. Each pipeline stage is typically colour coded and has a set of Workflow Tasks attached.
For example a pipeline stage named "Pre-Approval" may be defined, and within that pipeline stage 10 tasks are included, some mandatory and some optional. To progress to the next pipeline stage these tasks would need to be checked off. Pipeline Tasks provide not only a clear audit trail of an application's passage, but also a solid guide to the administrators of the system as to the process to follow internally.
Email & SMS Notifications
Possibly one of the most important, but often neglected part of a successful application workflow is including accurate, time-relevant notifications to the applicants and related stakeholders.
Elevate allows for timed or triggered email and sms notifications to be sent automatically depending on the passage of an application through the pipeline. For example an applicant moving from "Pre-Approval" to "Document Checking" could have an email notification attached to it so it's sent automatically.
Similarly but often overlooked - there are manually-initiated communications via email or SMS often relating to an application. Elevate caters to this scenario also allowing email "merges" to be sent from the application screen based on predefined templates, ensuring application communications are consistent and originate from a standard, process controlled origin. For example you may have a query about a specific supporting document uploaded. An email template named "Supporting Document Query" would be available so the administrator could just adjust any specifics and send directly from Elevate, with it logging against the application also.