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Alinity Modules

CHOOSE ONLY THE FUNCTIONS RIGHT FOR YOU

Alinity is broken down into two major sets of modules. The Base Modules are part of every implementation, providing the fundamental functions of the software such as general setup and user access. Optional Modules to expand Alinity include everything from renewals and applications to online jurisprudence exams and the management of council member elections.

BASE MODULES

The Setup module is part of the base Alinity installation and is where most business rules, preferences and other components of the configuration are established. The Setup module is used initially by our configuration staff as they work with you to custom-fit Alinity to your business requirements. Once you’re up and running, many small changes to your setup can be made without requiring intervention of our help desk (although our help is always available if you need it).

 

FEATURES:

• Added Flexibility

• Selectable Business Rules

• New Validation Tool

• Process Monitoring

 

ADDED FLEXIBILITY

The latest version of Alinity includes configuration points that increase flexibility of the Alinity framework. The full message system is now user addressable so if you don’t like the wording in a particular message you can add an override on your own to better match your terminology. Do you need to support or remove file types you are going to allow for upload to your online applications? Do you want to automatically accept address changes or do you want to review them one by one? Go ahead and update that configuration on your own.

SELECTABLE BUSINESS RULES

Alinity also features tools and utilities for improving the quality of your data. Rather than requiring our help desk to change common business rules including mandatory/non-mandatory fields, minimum and maximum values, and many licensing-specific rules, there is a pre-defined library reflecting best practices from across our large client base. You can selectively turn rules on or off using a simple interface.

DATA VALIDATION TOOL

Along with selectable business rules, Alinity features a validation tool that will check and report on records that don’t meet the rule. The tool is particularly useful for conversions and to check how a new business rule would impact existing records. For example, you can run the tool to quickly determine which records need updating in order to make postal codes mandatory. Too much legacy data that is not worth updating? No problem. Archived records are now supported and can be skipped when applying new rules.

PROCESS MONITORING

The Alinity association management software for regulatory authorities also includes utilities for monitoring standard processes running on your system, such as email delivery, which is built-in. If you have implemented the optional Task Management module, work-flow automation triggers can also be setup and monitored through this module. These monitor screens are a bit more technical than the usual Alinity screens but with a bit guidance you can resolve many common issues on your own . For example, does it seem that searches are taking longer than before? Quickly check the status of your database through a monitor screen or archive non-license related records for faster navigation.

If you need detailed information about the database structure for reporting (e.g. for creating reporting data-sets in our new Analyzer module) or for interfacing with other systems, you can find the information through the Setup module’s new data model reports.

Like all Alinity modules, the Setup module is fully web-based and mobile-device compatible. No installation is necessary. All Alinity modules run equally well on PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets by applying responsive web design technology that dynamically changes layouts to fit various screen sizes.

The Access Management module is where new user profiles are created and access rights established. This module is also part of the base Alinity product.

The module provides an easy-to-use interface that allows you to manage access rights from either a role-based perspective (who is in the group that can perform this action?) or from the perspective of the user and the roles they have been assigned to (what can this user do?). The module has also been upgraded to include reporting for both perspectives.

 

FEATURES:

• User Templates

• Audit Trails

• Hardened Against Attack

 

USER TEMPLATES

One of the most useful features is the ability to establish specific users as templates that can be applied to other users. For example, if you have a new staff person joining your group and you would like them to have the same access as someone else, just apply the original person’s roles as a template. You can still make refinements if there are minor differences.

AUDIT TRAILS

Auditing functions have also been updated and the user-session audit log made more robust. As an administrator, you can see the history of logins for any user ID, their IP addresses of origin and other information useful to investigate suspicious activity (if necessary). Along with these feature-based measures, the underlying security technology is hardened against known attack types.

Finally, this module has been designed to provide quick information about the subscriptions you have purchased (previously referred to as licenses) and to whom they are currently assigned.

Like all modules in Alinity, the Access Management module is fully web-based and mobile-compatible. No installation is necessary. All Alinity modules run equally well on PCs, Macs, smart phones and tablets by applying responsive web design technology that dynamically changes layouts to fit various screen sizes.

Registration is the core of the Alinity system. The data explorer interface uses a flexible card display. Each card provides key information about the registrant at a glance without needing to drill down through a tree control. The amount of information displayed on the card automatically changes based on the type of device you are using, with less information on smart phones, and more information on tablets and computers.

FEATURES:

• Responsive Card Display

• Search, Filter, and Query Options

• Integrated Audit Log

RESPONSIVE CARD DISPLAYS

When you click a registrant card, all the details the system has on that individual (such as applications, renewals, documents, correspondence, payments) is accessible from a single page. It is no longer necessary to expand multiple nodes. A snapshot of a registrant’s details can also be taken and saved as a PDF to their document history or printed or saved for offline use.

The registrant detail page is organized into expandable sections you can turn on or off based on personal preference. For example, if your role requires you to review license and renewal information but not correspondence or continuing Competence, you can configure your screen to keep those areas closed by default.

The updated Registration module also includes credential tracking for each registrant. In addition, it allows for easy importing of exam results, to help keep registrant education information as complete as possible.

SEARCH, QUERY AND FILTER OPTIONS

Search options are simple, so that entering any of a number of criteria in the single search box will find results (name, partial name, license/permit number, phone number, email, etc.). An advanced search is provided for more precise control.

In addition to searching, queries can be defined to search according to a sequence of logic-based parameters, rather than simple text. New queries can be defined directly in the Setup module (requires SQL skills). A testing tool has also been incorporated with the query editor to make verification of new queries much quicker. Once a query is established, it can be added to existing screens without programming. We have also expanded our library of standard queries based on experience with our large customer base, which reduces the need for further customization.

Step-by-step process screens (sometimes called wizard-style UI) are included to walk users through more complex processes like merging records and changing registration types.

INTEGRATED AUDIT LOG

The module is also enhanced with an integrated audit log so that it is easy to see when, and by whom, key changes to records were made.

Setting up registration types uses a simple structure based on “Registers” and “Sections”. Requirements for each Register can be different, and Sections inherit requirements from their Register but may also add additional requirements. (Requirements replaces the term “deficiencies” used in previous versions of Alinity.)

Configuration of public directories is easily accomplished without technical skills, and content rules can be different for each Register and Section.

The latest version of the module also improves the Profile Update web service (often combined into Renewal) by supporting alternate name histories and more flexible approval rules.

Like all modules in Alinity, the Registration module is fully web-based and mobile-compatible. No installation is necessary. All Alinity modules run equally well on PCs, Macs, smart phones and tablets by applying responsive web design (RWD) technology that dynamically changes layouts to fit various screen sizes.

Accounting is another core module in the Alinity solution that has gone through a major revision for version 6. The key goal is to simplify the module and make it easier to use for those without accounting training.  Accounting terms like debits and credits, which were prevalent in version 5 of the module, have been eliminated from the general user interface.

Payments are now entered without the need to setup batches. Payment transactions are automatically organized into virtual batches by the system. Virtual batches can be viewed by deposit account, entry date, deposit date, payment type, entry form (renewal, application, etc.), entry person or any combination of these parameters.

New tools have been added to make reconciling deposit amounts to bank statements much easier. Payment amounts entered on different days but deposited together can now be associated to a single deposit date. You can also mark amounts as reconciled to reduce the number of transactions that need to be reviewed when the next statement is available.

Real-time reconciliation features based on import of transactions directly from your bank account is on the road map for the module but did not fit into the release schedule for 2017.

A special view is provided for mapping registration types and other chargeable items to General Ledger (GL) accounts by those with an accounting background. This work may also be done through our Help Desk while working with your accountant during setup. This feature simplifies accounting setup and makes it much easier to establish exports to GL programs. You and your bookkeeper can adjust mappings, re-run exports and examine exported transactions in a spreadsheet before finalizing the pass-through to your GL program.

One of the other key improvements to Accounting in version 6 is the introduction of step-by-step process screens (sometimes called wizard-style UI) to walk users through most accounting functions like refunds, split payments and adjustments to standard pricing.

The Document Management module is new in Alinity version 6. This module allows documents to be brought into the secure, encrypted Alinity database both through administrator screens and through registrant service forms such as applications, renewals and Continuing Competence profiles. Administrators can upload any standard file type of ad hoc documents such as letters and interview notes.

When documents are uploaded, they appear in a repository for the registrant they are associated with. An easy interface allows the same document to be associated with multiple contexts. For example, suppose a marks-transcript was uploaded as part of an application process; that same document may become relevant to an extended practice application at some point the next year and can be associated with both application forms without requiring copying.

The system automatically categorizes documents based on what they have been associated with so that folder structures are consistent from one registrant record to the next. Extensive sorting and searching tools are also included, including full-text searching. Full-text searching enables you to find documents by searching for specific words or phrases in their content. Similar word forms are automatically interpreted equivalently; “ran,” “running” and “run” are all treated the same for search purposes.

Registrants see documents they uploaded as well as documents you choose to share with them on the portal. For administrative users, documents can be restricted from view according to criteria you setup. For example, if you want to restrict documents associated with complaint cases to a specific set of users, the documents can be automatically restricted when they are linked to a case. More granular case-by-case restrictions are also possible.

Since Document Management has become so fundamental to the road-map for all other Alinity modules, we have included it as part of our base-product. This ensures the module will be available for other modules like Application, Renewals, Complaints, and Continuing Competence to take advantage of. Since Document Management is now part of the base Alinity product, it is provided to existing clients without additional license fees. The module does, however, significantly change how existing forms and modules need to be configured and so extensive re-configuration is required, which is a chargeable service. A second cost factor to be aware of is resource requirements. This module typically increases computing resources required by your implementation by roughly 1000% within two years. This impacts database size, backup size and computing power required for indexing the documents so that searches run quickly. The costs for the increased computer power are still nominal, but there is a base hosting price of $25/month plus $5/gigabyte of storage for this module.

The Correspondence module is now part of the core Alinity product, and is included in every implementation. This new module eliminates the need for exporting lists and 3rd-party email programs. Now,
you can create or import templates, and send out beautiful, CASL-compliant emails and text messages to your entire membership and staff, or to specific registers, groups, or individuals as required, all from within the Alinity application

 

FEATURES:

• Rich Text Formatting

• Tracking Pixels

• Easy CASL-compliance

• Smart Distribution Lists

• Merge Fields

• Metered Distribution

• Optional SMS messaging

 

RICH TEXT FORMATTING

In many association management softwares and previous versions of Alinity, email lists needed to be exported as text or CSV files. These files then had to be imported and processed with a 3rd party tool like Microsoft Outlook™ to send the mail. The resulting mail messages were not incorporated into the registrant record.

The Correspondence module eliminates the need for exports. The module enables you to create beautiful, richly formatted email templates within Alinity itself. Images, fonts, colours and other advanced formatting is supported. Templates can be saved for reuse and copied to create similar templates. Registrants to be included in the mailing are then selected and the resulting email documents are stored into the registrants’ document area. A complete and searchable history of email is maintained. Attachments are fully supported and email can be setup in advance for later sending, which is particularly useful for renewal notices.

SMART DISTRIBUTION LISTS

In addition to selecting registrants individually, you can save previous selections as distribution lists. You can also create smart-lists which apply a query to select recipients for mailing. This way you can target “all active registrants who have not renewed” or “registrants on the XYZ committee” and so on.

MERGE FIELDS

One of the most important features of the template editor is the ability to include merge fields (name, license type, permit expiry date, etc.). These are selected from drop-down lists and positioned directly in the text in much the same way as you may have previously done in Microsoft Word™ or Outlook™. The merge fields also support personalized links. These are website URLs that, when clicked, direct the registrant to the portal where they login and automatically proceed to the target destination such as an application form, renewal form or profile update.

METERED DISTRIBUTION

Sending large volumes of email through personal accounts can be problematic. It is easy to be blacklisted if you appear as a spam distributor to email monitoring services. Once your account is flagged, email sent from it is automatically blocked or routed to junk mail folders. Reversing the classification can be very difficult and time consuming.

The Correspondence module eliminates these risks by interfacing with a mail distribution service that carefully sends email at a rate calculated to be acceptable to the monitoring services. This means large email batches are sent throughout the day when you first start up with the system. The per-hour limits are gradually increased as the reputation (a score algorithmically derived by monitoring services) of your sending account increases. The whole process is automatic and doesn’t require tuning or adjustment of your configuration. A specially designed batch-mail management screen allows you to monitor your outbound mail and to review messages already sent. Archiving of old messages is supported along with scheduling mail to be sent at future dates.

EASY CASL-COMPLIANCE

In addition to a robust distribution method, the Correspondence module also fully complies with Canadian and US anti-spam legislation that requires recipients be allowed to opt-out of some classification of mailings. This is supported through email-preferences. When a message is in a category allowing opt-out, a link is included where the registrant can update their preferences. Note that opt-out does not typically apply to messages that are critical to maintaining licensure, such as renewal notices. For those classes of mailing it is best practice to include a mandatory declaration as a condition of the license/permit explicitly allowing your regulatory body to use email to distribute such messages.

OPTIONAL SMS MESSAGING

In addition to new email features, the Alinity Correspondence module opens an entirely new option by supporting text-messaging. This approach is preferred by many younger registrants who perform most web-based activities on their smart phones and may not in fact, use computers at all. By sending a text with an embedded link, the registrant can click to complete an online form or read an important message without needing access to a computer.

Like the Document Management module, the features of Correspondence are relied on in the road-map of many other Alinity modules. Therefore, Correspondence is included in our base-product starting with version 6. Correspondence is available to existing clients without additional license fees but requires significant re-configuration to apply to existing processes, which is a chargeable service. The integration to the mail distribution service is a second cost factor to be aware of, and is set at a flat fee of $25/month, allowing up to 100,000 messages per year.

OPTIONAL MODULES

Support for online applications is new in the latest version of Alinity. This module allows you to define multiple processes to match the various applicant streams you support, such as provincial graduates, other Canadian graduates, foreign applicants and so on. Specific workflow support, document management, correspondence and integration with the Alinity accounting functions is built in.

 

FEATURES:

• Dynamic Online Forms

• Data Validation Tools

• Multiple Application Streams

• Staff Review and Employer Verification

• Online Application Fee Processing

• Document Management and Correspondence Integration

• Data Analysis and Reporting

• Totally Online Experience

 

DYNAMIC ONLINE FORMS

This module leverages a new dynamic forms engine that makes it possible to create state of the art, attractive web-forms defined through XML documents. While advanced technical skills of our Help Desk staff are required for the configuration, the process is much quicker than previous methods that required traditional programming techniques. We have also built in the ability to create multi-part forms that branch on values entered, such as the location where training was obtained.

MULTIPLE APPLICATION STREAMS

Many regulatory authorities have multiple application streams, such as for applicants with education from within the province, from a different province, or from outside the county. Alinity offers multiple application streams, and can automatically sort new applicants to different registers and sections as required, or allow for manual sorting by staff.

STAFF REVIEW AND EMPLOYER VERIFICATION

As in the Renewal module, there is a dedicated process for administrator review of application forms. When an application requires updates before it can be approved, the administrator can enter comments for the applicant directly on the form. Correspondence features notify the applicant and it appears for a second review once the form has been updated. This feedback loop can continue as long as necessary and is particularly useful when an applicant is in a different time zone than administrators.

The module supports participation by Supervisors and other employer-designates to confirm credential claims.

The module also supports a credential management system where approved credentials and the organizations granting them can be maintained for selection on the application form. Each type of license can be setup with its own application form, and with branching support for different sections of the register.

Once an application is finalized, it is saved by the system as a PDF file (along with all feedback comments) that goes into the registrant’s document library for easy review, printing or saving to the local file system for offline use.

TOTALLY ONLINE EXPERIENCE

Like all modules in the latest version of Alinity, the Application module is fully web-based and mobile compatible. No installation is necessary. All Alinity modules run equally well on PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets by applying responsive web design (RWD) technology that dynamically changes layouts to fit various screen sizes.

The most frequently accessed registrant service for most regulatory bodies is Renewal, and the quality of the user’s experience going through renewal is critical to registrant satisfaction. For that reason, taking the opportunity to improve the Renewal experience can pay big dividends for your organization. With the latest version of Alinity, the chief opportunity is the ability to support mobile devices and integrated document management.

 

FEATURES:

• Responsive Design

• Customizable Forms

• Simple but powerful search, filter and management functions

• Dedicated Administrator Review

• Integrated correspondence for feedback

• Supervisor Verification

• Data Reporting

 

RESPONSIVE DESIGN

To make the renewal form work well on mobile devices, we have created a completely new dynamic forms-engine. The new form technology supports responsive web design (RWD) standards so that whether the renewal form is being completed on a Mac, PC, tablet or smartphone, the screen adjusts its layout automatically to be functional and easy to read.

CUSTOMIZABLE FORMS

Configuring custom forms for your organization is now is carried out by editing XML documents (a type of text document). While the technical skills of our Help Desk staff are required for the configuration, the process is much quicker than previous methods that required traditional programming techniques. We have also built in the ability to create multi-part forms that branch on values entered elsewhere in the form. For example, different sections appear based on the registration type, or the expiry of a document previously submitted (such as when a new criminal record check is required).

DEDICATED ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW PROCESS

There is now a dedicated process for administrator review of renewal forms. When a form requires updates before it can be approved, the administrator can enter comments for the registrant directly on the form. Correspondence features notify the registrant when their form is updated, and the revised form appears for second review. This feedback loop continues as long as necessary and all details are maintained in a comprehensive audit log that can be viewed even years later.

The module also supports participation by Supervisors and other employer-designates to confirm claims of competency made on the form.

DATA REPORTING

New reports have been added to support administration and follow-up on the renewal cycle. The Correspondence module can be leveraged to send out reminders using email or even text messages, which often have a higher response rate.

Once the form is finalized, it is saved by the system as a PDF file (along with all feedback comments) that goes into the registrant’s document library for easy review, printing or saving to the local file system for offline use.

Like all Alinity modules, the Renewal module is fully web-based and mobile device compatible. No installation is necessary. All Alinity modules run equally well on PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets by applying responsive web design (RWD) technology that dynamically changes layouts to fit various screen sizes.

The Continuing Competence module is fully upgraded in Alinity version 6. The feature list of the revised module includes both Reflective Self-Assessment (RSA) and Continuing Education Unit (CEU) models. In previous versions of this module, configuration of the model type required custom settings from developers or our Help Desk. The configuration process will now be achieved through options in the Settings module.

 

FEATURES:

• RSA and CEU Competence Models

• Goal/Activity Linking

• Peer Feedback and Case Review

• Comprehensive Audit Options

• Integrated correspondence for feedback

• New CEU Support

• Data Reporting

 

RSA AND CEU COMPETENCE MODELS

RSA is a qualitative tool where the regulatory body reviews content the registrant has provided to make sure they are competent. CEU is a quantitative measure where registrants have a competence cycle during which they must complete a set number of courses (or other activities) to collect credits over the length of the cycle (for example: 45 credits every 3 years).

New support for the RSA model includes goal definitions linked to activities. Goals are created by the registrant from scratch or selected from a list you create and maintain. The list may provide a starting point for the registrant to create their own goals or it may be configured as a mandatory set they must choose from. Linking of goals to activities may also be configured to be compulsory or optional.

COMPREHENSIVE AUDIT OPTIONS

Additional tools supported include Peer Feedback and Case Review which most often apply to the RSA module but may also be used in random auditing of Continuing Competence plans.

Audit selection is supported by the module and integrated with Document Management for maintenance of comprehensive audit records.

NEW CEU SUPPORT

New support for the CEU model includes maintenance of accredited course lists and support for user-entered courses with or without approval from administrative staff depending on your organization’s requirements. The module also supports uploading of exam batches in a standard format so that CEU credits can be assigned quickly to large numbers of attendees.

Like all modules in Alinity version 6, the Continuing Competence module is fully web-based and mobile-device compatible. No installation is necessary. All Alinity version 6 modules run equally well on PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets by applying responsive web design (RWD) technology that dynamically changes layouts to fit various screen sizes.

The Case Management module, formerly referred to as “Complaints” has also gone through a major overhaul for version 6.  The module integrates with Document Management to support a full case file, including participation from external reviewers and investigators to track correspondence, interview notes, and other relevant documentation. The module is also integrated with Correspondence to take advantage of standard templates for notification of complainants, registrants, and standard correspondence throughout pre-defined processes. The impact of case decisions on licensing, such as restricting practice, revoking a license, preventing renewal without review, re-enable renewal after expiry of restrictions, and so forth, is fully integrated with the Registration module to eliminate the need for double entry.

Like all modules in Alinity version 6, the Case Management module is fully web-based and mobile-device compatible. No installation is necessary. All Alinity version 6 modules run equally well on PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets by applying responsive web design (RWD) technology that dynamically changes layouts to fit various screen sizes.

The Jurisprudence module of Alinity version 6 is being fully upgraded to improve upon previous functionality and implement entirely new features. The redesigned Jurisprudence module will feature a modern, user-friendly interface to make configuring fees for exam entrants simple and easy. You’ll be able to create and deliver your own exams online, or integrate with 3rd party exam providers.

The upgraded Jurisprudence module allows for the creation and distribution of online exams within Alinity itself. Using a new dynamic forms-engine based on XML documents, Jurisprudence will allow you to create an array of attractive web-forms. This means licensors will be able to create exams of their own design if and when required. You can create specific, static exams, or randomly generated exams that draw from pools of questions (to prevent exam duplication). Technical support and training may be required in the early iterations of this feature, but we aim to streamline this powerful tool significantly as it matures. And of course, Alinity will be happy to provide Helpdesk support as required.

For licensors working with 3rd party providers, you’ll be able to tie exams to specific locations, dates and times, with easy control over seating capacity, registration windows and language options for exam delivery. Business rules for exams will be defined within the Setup module, where you can set how long to hold seats while awaiting payment, how many failures are allowed, and other exam variables. Information about registrants taking exams, and their status, will be displayed alongside all other pertinent information in an easy-to-read, responsive format.

The upgraded Jurisprudence module will maintain the ability to import text-based .csv files from third-party exam providers. Custom web services will still be supported to ensure the system can accept 3rd party data. As with version 5, version 6 will read the accepted file and update the records of registrants who took the exam with their results automatically.

Version 6 will also streamline this process with a modern, user-friendly interface.

Regardless of if you’ll be using third-party exam providers or creating and distributing exams within Alinity (or both), integration with Alinity’s Accounting module will allow you to take payments for any exam type and reconcile them using that module’s enhanced features.

Finally, integration with Correspondence makes distribution of exam results and other exam notifications simple. You can even future-date distribution of the results if your organization so requires.

Like all modules in Alinity, the Jurisprudence module will be fully web-based and mobile-device compatible. No installation will be necessary. All Alinity version 6 modules run equally well on PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets by applying responsive web design (RWD) technology that dynamically changes layouts to fit various screen sizes.

The Database Management module is new to Alinity in 2018, and provides users with a broad array of information, reporting options, and database management functions. Database Management has access to every field in your database, allowing you to report on all areas of your Alinity database. With Database Management you can extract and export information about any table or dataset in your configuration to excel, csv or xml files.

In addition to being able to report on any aspect of your database, the Database Management module also provides you with access to and control over your database backups. With Database Management, you can backup data according to your own schedule, and access backup data as required (our technicians will still be required to assist in a complete restoration if necessary). You’ll also be able to track your database storage and usage limits.

Like all modules in Alinity, the Database Management module is fully web-based and mobile device compatible. No installation is necessary. All Alinity modules run equally well on PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets by applying responsive web design (RWD) technology that dynamically changes layouts to fit various screen sizes.

The Elections module of Alinity version 6 is still under development, and is scheduled for release in 2019. It will allow for defining elections, including generating ballots according to members’ electoral zones, online voting, anonymously tallying the results, and recording and distributing the outcome, among other features. Please note this module is still in the early design phase; the feature list has not yet been finalized, and is therefore subject to change.

Like all modules in Alinity version 6, the Elections module will be fully web-based and mobile-device compatible. No installation will be necessary. All Alinity version 6 modules run equally well on PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets by applying responsive web design (RWD) technology that dynamically changes layouts to fit various screen sizes.