Watch Out! The MSAs Are Coming!
Manny Schrager, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you haven’t been through it yet, brace yourself for a potential MSA onslaught. So what are they, and why me? MSAs are Master Service Agreements and large companies and being “encouraged” by their legal teams to have all vendors, large or small, agree to a uniform set of standards. Unfortunately, these MSAs have become a “one size fits all” situation. Why me? Because if you work directly with these companies or subcontract to others who do, you will most likely be required to meet these established standards. MSAs can run from 20 to 50 pages or more and cover many areas including pricing, timeliness, employee security checks, and much more.
The two areas that may cause the most concern, expense, and work to meet standards for our members are insurance and data security.
- Insurance. This goes beyond a typical Business Owners Policy (BOP) and asks for coverage in areas such as Errors and Omissions (E&O) and even Cybercrime.
- Even though our qualitative reports most likely have a caveat about findings not being projectable, companies are not waiving their requests for E&O coverage.
- Cybercrime is the hotter new area, as more and more companies (JP Morgan Chase, Home Depot, etc.) are being hacked. Even though we rarely are responsible for Personally Identifiable Information (PII), companies are looking to get coverage on even the smallest breaches. (Think about financial repercussions or embarrassment if spreadsheets of respondents in high wealth or medical groups were compromised.)
- Companies can ask for coverage of up to $10,000,000. Companies may be willing to negotiate down based upon perceived risk, but probably not below $1,000,000 to $2,000,000.
- Data Security. How are you protecting client data, including such things as emails between you and clients?
- Clients are asking for “Security Programs” which include a “comprehensive security program under which the vendor documents, implements and maintains the physical, administrative, and technical safeguards necessary to comply with applicable law and protect the confidentiality, integrity, availability, and security of Vendor and Customer Information.”
If you haven’t faced the MSA onslaught yet, you may want to proactively talk with your insurance agent about what it may cost to increase your coverage, should it become necessary.
For more information on security, a good place to start is here.
As these will be ongoing industry issues, please post your questions and findings on the QRCA Forum so we can keep each other up to date on ways of complying that are most cost and time efficient.
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Action! From the Board
Regina Szyszkiewicz, email@example.com
The Board met on October 1, and items discussed included:
- Approving the slate of Board liaisons to each of QRCA’s committees
- Approving Corette Haf as the Membership Committee co-chair
- Approving the new Visual Standards Manual that incorporates the new logo and brand colors
- Creating a Task Force on Continuing Professional Education led by Tom Rich to investigate how we can recognize our members for their ongoing dedication to education
- Recognizing the Membership Committee’s great efforts in getting 32 new members (to date!) to sign up for the free Introductory Membership
The Board looks forward to meeting again on November 21.
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Getting to Know Your Board
Jay Zaltzman, firstname.lastname@example.org
I realize that this column is entitled “Getting to Know Your Board;” but, because this is my third year on the board, I’m thinking some of you might be saying, “We know enough about him already!”
So what more is there to tell? Well, I don’t think I mentioned that I’m one of the founders of a creative retreat in the mountains above Palm Springs called Makerville. It’s a really cool place — a large space that is a former Elks Lodge and is surrounded on all sides by National Forest. See it at http://www.makervillestudio.com/.
Because there are costs to maintain Makerville, we do various fundraisers from time to time. A few weeks ago I conducted a day-long workshop for ten people called Find Your Passion, helping participants figure out what they would really love to do, whether it’s for a second career, in retirement, or just to be more fulfilled. I adapted some exercises from a wonderful book by Nancy Anderson called Work with Passion in Midlife and Beyond, and I added some exercises of my own, including using cut-out pictures from magazines like we do in focus groups, as well as using Caroline Myss’ archetype cards. Have you ever seen those cards? I was introduced to them when Laurie Tema-Lyn (who else?) brought them for an exercise at our last board retreat. I find them really fascinating and great catalysts for creativity. In my workshop, I asked people to choose the card that represented who their parents or society expected them to be and then choose a card that represented who they wanted to be. It was great! (I also try to use them in focus groups whenever I can find an opportunity. Check them out at https://www.amazon.com/Archetype-Cards-Caroline-Myss/dp/1401901840)
It was fun facilitating a workshop that went deeper than focus groups typically do, and it made me wonder: might I have a second career as a life coach? Who knows! I’m not giving up my day job just yet, though!
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