With the deadline for our first round of BizCycle certification fast approaching March 15, the pace of questions is picking up.
Organizations are asking, what do I have to do to get my business certified? How much time will this take? Does biking in high heels count as an innovation credit?
First, we will address these questions in more detail. Then, we’ll go one step further to pull back the curtain and share our experiences certifying Cascade Bicycle Club as a bike-friendly business.
Q: Is there still time to get in the door before the March 15 deadline?
A: Yes. March 15 is the deadline to have started the process with us. In order to complete the process in time for the awards on May 2, you’ll need to dedicate some time and attention to get through the process in a timely manner. But we are confident it can be done.
Q: How long does the process take?
A: Short answer: It depends. Longer answer: Our initial cohort of applicants have reported that the entire process requires an average of 5-10 hours. Completing the full application requires internal preparation including data-mining and facility assessment. Factor in a little extra time to complete the process if you choose to improve policies or infrastructure for a higher certification level.
Q: What IS the process anyway?
- Learn. Visit bizcycle.cascade.org and review the BizCycle Best Practices Guide, credit list and the prerequisites to certification.
- Self-assess. A preliminary self-assessment of your workplace using our scoring rubric provides a chance to gather the information required by the application, estimate your certification level and identify any improvements that could yield a higher score.
- Apply. Pay the application fee to gain access to the full application on our online survey portal. When complete, the BizCycle team will process your application, identify any clarifications needed and determine your certification level.
- Celebrate! We are recognizing our first round of BizCycle certified workplaces at the 2013 Bike to Work Breakfast on May 2, featuring Governor Jay Inslee as the Keynote Speaker. Additionally, the Puget Sound Business Journal will highlight the top ten certified organizations.
Q: Help! What do we do if we don’t understand or meet some of the criteria?
A: No worries! Most applicants (including Cascade Bicycle Club!) did not initially clear the prereqs. Throughout the process, all applicants will require additional guidance to understand and evaluate some of the criteria. We’re here to help every step of the way via consultations, site visits, online resources or even a simple reference back to the Best Practices Guide.
Look for upcoming posts that will discuss the some of the more common questions in greater detail.
A: While comprehensive, the current credit list may not capture innovative best practices that are not yet on our radar. We will award up to one Innovation Credit in each of the five categories (Policy and Planning, Performance Evaluation, Infrastructure, Programming and Messaging and Leadership) for creative actions that have been shown to increase bicycling within an organization, and have the potential to be instituted at other businesses. So regarding bicycling in high heels: Is it unique? Yes. Is it replicable? For those with sufficient coordination. Does it increase bicycling? Debatable, but we could be convinced…
Q: So how bike-friendly is Cascade Bicycle Club?
A: You’d be surprised. With our mission of creating better communities for bicycling, Cascade can proudly claim credit for practicing many of the best practices we preach. That said, carry your steel-frame cruiser up the stairs into our Magnuson Park office and attempt a one-handed opening of our outrageously heavy door, and you might begin to think that perhaps—like most workplaces— even Cascade could do more.
The ultimate indication that even the country’s largest bicycle club needed to take a journey through the Best Practices Guide: when we first went to certify Cascade, we didn’t even clear the six pre-requisites.
The beauty of BizCycle is its relevance to businesses across the entire bike-friendly spectrum—from the über-bikey workplace deserving accolades to those desperately in need of some bike love. As we will reveal, our very own Cascade seems to straddle both ends of the spectrum. Stay tuned for more about the nuts and bolts of BizCycle, including advice gleaned from certifying Cascade.