How do I set a contractor’s approval status at the project level?


This document provides best practices for a general contractor user to set and document safety approvals at the project level.

Common thresholds that clients consider when evaluating a contractor’s safety risk in Highwire include:

  • Is their Highwire safety score at 80 or above?
  • Is there an absence of a critical safety flag(s)?


There are no clients today that use the safety score as a pass or fail mechanism. It is not used to eliminate contractors from consideration. Rather, the Highwire safety score and flags are viewed as indicators of risk. They are used to facilitate important conversations with contractors that occur before award and certainly before work begins on site.


Example Approval Criteria


Although Highwire offers clients the flexibility to configure their own critical safety flags, below is a list of common critical flags that are often set by clients in the Highwire platform:


While each client can configure their own criteria for safety approval, the above is meant to give a common scenario for what factors are considered by clients during the approval process. The remainder of this article will focus on how a client sets a contractor’s approval within the Projects flow in Highwire.

Setting and Documenting an Approval

Once a client establishes their approval criteria, there are two ways that they can set and document the approval status of a particular contractor in Highwire. In a separate article, we detail how to set approval in the Profile tab. Here, we will give you a step-by-step guide on setting approval status in the Project tab. We will use a fictitious project, Jellwin Technology Center, and fictitious contractors.

  1. On the Projects tab, click on the project you want to set approvals for, in this example, Jellwin Technology Center:

  1. Once you’ve opened the Jellwin project, you will see the 4 step project flow across the top of your screen (note that if you do not use Highwire’s Finance module then the workflow will include only 3 steps). 

Click on Step 4, Safety Approval, to see the list of contractors who are working on the Jellwin project. In the Safety Approval column you will notice a dropdown arrow to the right of the Safety Approval field (highlighted with the purple arrow below): 

  1. By clicking on the dropdown arrow, you are given the option to either approve the contractor or require some other condition before the contractor is approved. In this case, the client has configured their safety approval to include Approved, Needs Review, CAP Required, Provisionally Approved, and Not Approved:

  1. Finally, you simply click on the correct option for the contractor in question - in this case, Davenport Masonry Architecture has a safety score of 82 and does not have any critical flags, so we will set their approval status to “Approved”:

Project Level Comments


General contractor users can enter or review comments about a specific contractor at the project level. Comments provide a mechanism for client teams to share their experiences across their organization and are visible only to general contractor and client users, not contractors. Common use cases for comments include:

  • Documenting what went into the approval decision.
  • Items discussed directly with the contractor.
  • High-level elements included in a corrective action or risk mitigation plan.
  • Experience with the contractor on a past project.


  1. To enter new comments or review past comments, you simply click on the button in the Safety Approval column as circled in red below:

  1. That will open a box that shows you any historic Project Comments and gives you the option to add a new comment:

  1. If you want to add a comment, you simply click on the blue “Add Comment” button, type in your comment, and click on “Create”:


Uploading Supporting Documentation


Prior to awarding work to a contractor that does not meet the minimum established criteria (or prior to them being allowed on-site), plans are often developed and uploaded. This supporting documentation may include:

  • Project-specific corrective action plans
  • Conditional approval forms or exception documentation

Project-specific corrective action plans are typically developed by the contractor. Conditional approval forms or exception documentation may be completed by the client. The process for uploading supporting documentation at the project level is simple. You simply click on the upload symbol in the “Upload” column and follow the prompts.

In the next example, the client uploaded supporting documentation for Babilonia roofing. As shown, once a document has been uploaded, there is a blue download button visible and the number of uploaded documents is shown in parenthesis:

A general contractor user can click on the the blue download icon to see the list of uploaded document(s) and to download the document to their device: