Overview

    Templates are the term we use for our digital forms. They are your company checklists, possibly previously in paper format, or excel that you’ve created in our system. By doing so you can send it to teammates or use it yourself to conduct inspections. When a teammate clicks ‘Start Audit’ on iAuditor the inspection app, the inspection is saved in the ‘Audits’ list.

    We recommend building your templates in our desktop SafetyCulture platform.

    Basic overview of templates


    A template is a digital form created by you in the SafetyCulture web platform or iAuditor the inspection app. A template consists of a cover page with header items, and questions using different fields you select.

    The basic functions of a template is to

    • Provide audit questions and instructions for an end-user.
    • Capture audit results, notes, capture images and annotate them for better clarity using set fields and questions.

    Title Page

    The title page is the first page of your report once it’s exported. Typical items you will see on the cover page are:

    We recommend keeping at a minimum the audit title, conducted on, and prepared by. This will ensure all your title pages are consistent and capturing useful data.

    Cover Page

    You will also find the option of a Cover Page, this is to provide your document with a front-facing cover, where the logo and company colours can reside.

    Audit Section


    You can preview how your template looks at anytime within the SafetyCulture platform.

    Final Report

    After your team conducts their audits, an option is presented to preview and send a report in a PDF, Word, Excel or Web format.

     

    This audit data will also automatically populate back to the SafetyCulture account, if the auditor is connected to WIFI/cellular data. Additionally, options to share audits automatically back to your teammates are available – see below “sharing” section.

    How to build the right template for your needs

    Getting your template set-up correctly from the get go is the key to your success using SafetyCulture. We typically see businesses create templates two ways. They either: download a template from our Public Library or; create their own company template.

    By learning a few basics about template creation and our best practices, you’ll be up and running with a digital template in no time.

    Firstly: define what your template will be used for.

    • Are you going to be comparing variants like locations, regions, or countries?
    • Do you want to inspect a facility and find out which area is performing better?
    • Does your template need to be more intuitive and adaptable.

    Auditing locations regions or other variants

    If you’re going to be auditing similar locations, we recommend building one template. With one comprehensive template, in analytics at a later date, you’ll be able to compare each location’s performance.

    You can see in the above template that we’ve asked what location the auditor is inspecting with a multiple choice field. This allows you to compare it using our analytics feature. See below for an example.

    When to use separate templates

    If you’re inspecting two sites or locations that are completely different, then two separate templates make more sense. Shorter, more frequent inspections will help you keep track of the health of your business or project.

    Building your template

    High level components that make up a template

    Template information: Each template consists of a name, description and logo.

    Sections: A section will create a brand new page in your end report. If you’re building a large checklist template, we recommend using sections to break it up.

    Categories: This is how your create your template structure and bucket items under headings

    Question Field: Our most commonly used field type. Offers up to 5 selection options and includes a built in media and comments feature as well as the ability to set a failed response for analytics tracking.

    Multiple Choice: Collect standardized data with pre-filled responses

    Failed Response: A setting that can be applied to Question and Multiple choice items to identify critical issues and drill down into them

    Drawing Field: Give your auditors the ability to sketch directly into the app whether on a blank screen or an embedded image/diagram.

    Address Field: Collect GPS location data

    Date & Time: Record the date and time automatically. Note: the date/time the audit is created is captured in the title page.

    Digital Signature: You’ll never have to print and chase people for signatures when you can sign on the device!

    Media: An image is worth a 1000 words, add a media field to allow auditors to take pictures of their surroundings as they audit. Users also have the ability to annotate on those images once captured. (note: media can be added to any field when it’s a negative response ie. when the response is no) This auto drop-down can also be configured for different scores. Read more here.

    Information Field: Display predefined, in-editable information (text, media hyperlink) face-up to your auditors. Information fields are often used by customers to display policy or procedural information.

    Smart Field: Logic driven field you can use if you need your template to be more intuitive. Read more.

    Dynamic Field: If you have a standardized set of questions/evaluations  for assessing a repetitive set of items.  Read more.

    Large response sets

    Question fields are limited to 5 responses, however multiple choice fields have an unlimited number of responses (responses = answers).

    Creating large templates

    To make it easier to build templates with a large number of questions, you can use the Copy/Paste feature. Simply click on the button up the top and paste all your questions into the field. Below is an image to show you.

    Changes to response sets across different templates

    When you need to use a response set across a number of different templates, you can do so using our Global Responses available only on the  Premium plan. With response sets you can upload, create and edit it at anytime. That response set will then auto-update on any template it’s been applied to. It’s a great way to manage updates on large or repeating response sets included in multiple templates.

    For a step-by-step guide on setting up response sets, click here.

    Scoring and Weighting

    Scoring is how you keep track of how well your inspections are doing. Think of it like a test, the lower the score, the worse it’s performing. When you are creating your template, there are default response sets that appear. Yes has a score of 1, No has a score of 0, and N/A does not affect the score. You can set these numbers to anything you like on your response sets.

    Scoring best practices

    We recommend keeping it simple, by using a ‘1’ to say a question has passed and a ‘0’ to say it’s failed. Here are some general guidelines to follow:

    1. Keep score values consistent
    2. Multiple choice score values add up to the total point value of the question, so if you want a multiple choice answer to be worth ‘1’ then each of the responses must be a partial point (ie. 0.25)
    3. Use weighting sparingly or your scores will be skewed by the multiplier
    4. A report will never go over 100%

    Scoring in analytics

    The score appears in analytics as a graph. In the overview it will show you the average score as a %. In the audit section, you can see the performance of that audit as well. The reason it is useful is that you can see the score of your audit at a glance. If it drops down by 20% you can identify issues. Scoring is confined to the categories you drop and drag into your template.

    As a bonus, you can set the threshold colours, so you can see at a glance what score it appears. For example, red is bad, green is good.

    What is weighting

    Weighting acts like a multiplier. If you want a certain question to carry more weight in your inspection you can modify the score to be a 10 for example. If you update the multiplier to 10, it has 10x more impact on the scoring. This means you would lose 10 points instead of 1 on a single question. The reason you would use this is if you wanted a question to have an impact on the overall score.

    You will be able to easily see if there is something that has gone wrong. The benefit of this is that you can use the default response set. However, we recommend using failed responses and actions to be notified of an issue.

    Note: Multipliers can be confusing if not used correctly. This is why we recommend using Failed Responses and Actions instead.

    Removing Scoring

    If scoring isn’t something that is useful to you, it’s easy to remove by unchecking the box when you are editing your response set for a single response.

    However, to remove scoring from the final report, you will need to create an Export Profile. Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to remove scoring altogether.

    What We Recommend

    You don’t have to only use scoring to know what items are failing within your inspections. By using failed items and actions, you can quickly identify things that aren’t working in your business. These will also appear straight away in the report and the analytics.

    Failed Responses/Items is a setting you can put on any questions that you want to monitor. For example, if your inspection form has a question about whether or not the bathroom is clean, you can set a negative response (No) to be a failed item. You can also create an action from this failed item during an inspection, and send a notification immediately.

    Read more here about setting up failed responses and actions.

    Note: Remember, this won’t retroactively work on your Templates, so it’s important to set failed responses from the beginning before you start inspecting.

    The failed item will appear in the analytics dashboard with details on the amount of times it has failed and who has completed the inspections.

    Failed items are extremely useful to know what is failing, so you can investigate the cause further.

    Failed responses

    A failed response is an extra setting you can apply to Yes/No fields and Multiple choice fields in your templates. They should be added to any question that could pose a high risk or is critical to your business. By setting Failed Responses on questions, once an inspection is complete you will be able to see the number of times this question has failed and drill down into what went wrong.

    Failed Responses is a highly valuable feature for you to use in your templates. We recommend applying these to questions as you’re building your first template if you want insight into what’s working and what’s not.

    Actions and Notifications

    An action is a task you can create from any question during an inspection using iAuditor. For example, if a hazard has been identified on a jobsite, anyone inspecting can report the issue on the spot. Once an action is created, a message will be sent in real-time via email, text (SMS), or push notification. The action will appear in the ‘Actions’ tab within iAuditor and within the SafetyCulture platform.

    Actions in iAuditor is primarily used to report the actions only. SafetyCulture, the web platform is the ideal place for a manager to assign the task to someone and follow-up to ensure it’s been completed. Here’s how it looks in iAuditor:

    SafetyCulture, the web platform: displays a dashboard for Actions. This is where you can assign, create and manage the Actions that are following in from your team. If Worker A reports an issue but doesn’t assign it to someone, the account administrator(s) can assign the issue to another worker. Here’s how it looks in SafetyCulture, the web platform:

    The key benefits of using Actions is that

    1. You will no longer have to wait until after an inspection is finished to fix an issue
    2. You can easily manage follow-up tasks quickly without reading an entire report
    3. Track progress of corrective actions to ensure they’re completed

    Note: Actions will appear for everyone when they’re inspecting with iAuditor. There is no need to apply any setting when you’re building out your template.

    Notifications

    Notifications is how you get notified of a failed response. You can be notified of an action or failed response in three ways: via SMS (Text), push notification, or email.

    Set up notifications by editing your templates or when creating new ones. The ability to enable a notification is available on the ‘Question’ field. Check the ‘Enable Notification’ on and select the response that you’d like for the notification be sent upon.

    For example, the question below: “Is the facility in production or closed?” you can enable a notification to send to someone on your team if the response “Closed” is selected for the question.

    The notification feature works well for teams using SafetyCulture. It enables faster communication between the field and the office. Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to set up notifications for yourself, your workers and your organisation.

    Advanced fields

    While basic checklists are great, there’s more that can be done by leveraging these Smart and Dynamic Fields. That’s where the true power of SafetyCulture can be leveraged for your benefit.

    Smart fields

    Smart Fields allow you to build logic into your template that generates a particular path for the inspector. You can hide irrelevant information based on the response the inspector chooses.

    You can modify what the inspector can see based on whether they choose Yes or No.

    When to use Smart Fields

    Let’s say you inspect 10 different vehicles on a regular basis with each vehicle requiring a particular set of questions. You can use one template and with smart fields, display a different set of questions to lead them down a particular path.

    For a step-by-step guide on how to use Smart Fields, click here.

    Dynamic fields

    Dynamic Fields provide the flexibility to add items on the fly when you’re unsure of how many items there may be. For example, if you’re a property manager, every property you’re inspecting will be different. You will need a flexible and adaptable inspection checklist to add items such as the number of bedrooms or bathrooms as needed.

    When to use Dynamic Fields

    When you don’t know the number of items that need inspecting, Dynamic Fields are really useful. Apply them to any template to have an unlimited amount of additions.

    For a step-by-step guide on how to use Dynamic Fields, click here.

    Template best practices

    We recommend using question fields with set responses and multiple choice fields for the best data collection. It is very easy when you’re out auditing to type in something incorrectly. With pre-prepared response sets your auditors will be collecting uniform data. This will make your job less of a headache when it comes to reporting time. iAuditor is unique in its ability to add images and notes at a rapid speed.

    To recap, here are the top question fields we recommend using:

    Question Field: Our most commonly used field type. Offers up to 5 selection options and includes a built in media and comments feature as well as the ability to set a failed response for analytics tracking.

    Multiple Choice: Collect standardized data with pre-filled responses

    Failed Items: To identify critical issues and drill down into them

    Drawing Field: To share images and diagrams with your team

    Address Field: Collect GPS location data

    Date & Time: Record the date and time automatically

    Digital Signature: You’ll never have to print and chase people for signatures when you can sign on the device!

    Media: An image is worth a 1000 words

    Smart Field: Allows you to build logic into your template that generates a particular path for the inspector.

    Dynamic Field: Dynamic Fields give you an unlimited amount of additions to a template.

    Note: You can make any field mandatory so an inspector doesn’t accidentally skip over it. However, we recommend not making EVERY field mandatory unless it’s critical.

    Examples of great templates

    Once your template is complete and ready to use, it will be transformed into a dynamic checklist form for you or your team to use out in the field.

    Now that you know what fields are best and how to get started building your template, we’re going to show you some great examples.

    Template Example #1

    The template below uses Smart Fields, Dynamic Fields and multiple choice fields. Multiple choice fields help you collect standardized data and reduce the amount of human error.

    By using a Dynamic field, the creator of this has kept the template flexible.

    Template Example #2

    For an extensive list of responses, we recommend using the Response Sets in the Premium plan. This template below again uses multiple choice for easy selection, and Dynamic Fields to keep the template flexible. The creator has added mandatory fields (sections with red) on critical items they want answered.

    Template Example #3

    In this template, the drawing field has been added so the inspector can annotate it. Drawing fields display best practices, diagrams or how-to-guides. If work has to be completed a certain way, an image is the best way to display it.

    What not to do

    We recommend asking one question at a time. See in the below template, it’s quite text heavy. This creates a cognitive load on the inspector when they’re trying to capture and record information. A good checklist will be short and to the point.

    If you’re someone that likes to see a complete template before you start building your own, we recommend downloading the construction templates here. You can reverse engineer it and use it as inspiration for your own.

    Use existing expert created templates

    The SafetyCulture public library is filled with expert-created templates that are free to download. If you’re unsure how to get started with a template from scratch, you can simply download one in your industry and modify it. The public library is filtered by industry; hosting over 70,000 checklist templates to choose from.

    Visit the Public Library

    Are you a construction company? Find out ultimate list of safety checklists for construction sites here.

    Note: Prefer videos? Visit our Training Videos page.


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