We’re now nine months into the 7th Cycle of Responsible Distribution, but despite our best laid plans, it’s hardly gone as expected this year. As the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted every facet of our lives, NACD has worked hard to adapt to the ever-changing situation.
We had ambitious plans for the roll out the program starting in January of this year and were excited at the prospect of our many wonderful new resources, trainings, and workshops.
But with travel disrupted and social distancing rules in place because of COVID-19, some site visits and verifications have been hampered.
With the safety and security of our members and verifiers our main priority, early in the year, we presented an option to delay verifications due this calendar year to 2021.
As essential workers, our members have continued to run their businesses, fulfill orders, and ship product across the nation. For many of you, it's been business as usual in a very unusual time.
For that reason, as well as inquiries from customers and suppliers, many of you wanted to proceed with verifications anyway – and as long as all parties could do so in a safe manner, we wanted to offer as much support as possible.
For the remainder of the current cycle through 2022, we have therefore introduced several new verification models. We remain cautiously optimistic that everything will return to normal for the 8th Cycle.
While the member company does not get to choose the model, they will work closely with the verifier who will determine which of these four seems the most appropriate.
Admittedly, it's a big challenge for all of us to coordinate our efforts amid the COVID-19 restrictions. None of this was in the game plan a year ago, but NACD has been working in concert with the industry to evolve and adapt as quickly, effectively, and safely as possible.
We're working hard to get through this, and we hope the situation with COVID-19 fades rather quickly so we can resume our traditional verification and training programs as soon as possible.
NACD has many excellent resources available to help you through Responsible Distribution, from our companion guides and Code Coordinator Manual, to the workshops, webinars, website, NACD U online courses, and support from the Responsible Distribution mentor Jim Benning and three adviser companies. Find out more at https://www.nacd.com/responsible-distribution/resources/