Electronic Policy Submission Testing Phases and Test File Requirements

This guide is intended to help insurers and their authorized third party entities (data submitters) through the steps required to become approved for electronic policy data reporting.

Prior to electronic policy submission testing, data submitters must review and complete all pretesting requirements (see the Getting Started Guide and Checklist for Electronic Policy Submission Testing page). The testing process verifies that the data submitter can submit policy transactions electronically in accordance with the Workers Compensation Insurance Organizations’ (WCIO) Workers Compensation Policy Reporting Specifications (WCPOLS) and the California Workers' Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan—1995 (USRP) and the data is reflective of the policy documents provided to the policyholder. The WCIRB will not begin testing until all pretesting requirements have been completed.

Policy Data Quality Program Timeframe to Complete Electronic Policy Submission Testing

In accordance to the WCIRB Policy Data Quality Program, all data submitters must complete testing 180 days from the Testing Commencement Date.

The Testing Commencement Date is based on the earlier of:

  1. The date the WCIRB acknowledges receipt of the data submitter’s notice that the policy reporting system is ready for testing; or
  2. The 30th day after the inception date of the first policy document received by the WCIRB from the data submitter.

If the data submitter is unable to complete testing within 180 days, the insurers may be subject to the remedial actions.

Electronic Policy Submission Testing Process

Step 1: Policy validation by preprocessing testing. This step involves basic edit errors and validations to ensure that the submitted data meets the specification requirements. This step is done in tandem with Step 2 below.

Step 2: Hard copy comparison testing occurs by transaction type and is organized into two phases (Exhibit 1):

  • Phase 1 – policies, cancellations/reinstatements and general limiting and restricting endorsements, if applicable
  • Phase 2 – change endorsements

As part of testing, the data submitter must provide examples of the scenarios listed in Exhibit 2 along with the matching hard copy transaction for comparison. (Testing is based on transactions that the data submitter intends to use. However, should the data submitter wish to submit transactions that were not sampled during initial testing, the data submitter will need to alert the WCIRB and complete testing for those specific transactions.) While not required, the data submitter is strongly encouraged to use production transactions for testing purposes. If production data is unavailable for a specific testing scenario, fictitious data may be used.

General Testing Process

  1. Data submitter notifies the WCIRB that testing will begin and establish the Testing Commencement Date.
  2. Data submitter submits test file via CDX with policy information and their accompanying hard copy documents to the WCIRB1.
  3. The WCIRB provides test results (typically within 10 to 14 days).
  4. Data submitter reviews the WCIRB’s feedback, makes system updates to resolve reporting deficiencies and submits an updated test file to the WCIRB.
  5. Steps 3 and 4 are repeated until all identified deficiencies have been addressed. The WCIRB will notify the data submitter once the testing phase has been completed.

Estimated Timeframes to Complete Each Testing Phase

Testing PhasesEstimated Timeframe
Policies, Cancellations/Reinstatements and General Limiting & Restricting Endorsements (if applicable)45–60 days
Change Endorsements45 days

Electronic Policy Submission Test File Format and Reporting

  • All test files must be submitted via CDX, and the Submission Type Code (position 64 of the Electronic Transmittal Record [ETR]) must have a value of T to indicate that it is a test file.
  • The ETR is the required first record in every submission file and begins with “$!+WORKCOMP+!$” and includes identifying information about the submitter and its data.
    • Please refer to the ETR specifications on the WCIO website for the ETR fields and their attributes. All fields that are required for California should be reported in the ETR.
  • Test files must be submitted in compliance with the WCPOLS specifications published on WCIO.org.

Exhibit 1: Transactions to Be Sampled

PhaseTransaction Types IncludedNumber of Examples2
1. Policies & Cancellations/ Reinstatements
  • New Business (Transaction Code [TC] 01)
  • Renewals (TC02)
  • Annual Rating Endorsements (TC04), if applicable
  • Cancellations/ Reinstatements (TC05) 
  • Policy Replacement Due to Key Field Change (TC06), if applicable
  • Coverage Notices (TC16), if applicable
  • Renewal Agreements/ Renewal Certificates (TC18), if applicable
  • Approx. 20–25 for each TC 01, 02 & 06 
  • Approx. 10–12 for TC 05 (mix of cancellations & reinstatements)
General Limiting & Restricting EndorsementsBased on an insurer’s filed forms & will be tested, if applicableAt least one example of each scenario
2. Change Endorsements
  • Endorsements (TC03) or
  • Policy Replacements (TC08/10/14) and
  • Policy Replacement due to Add/Delete State change (TC15), if applicable
At least two examples of each change endorsement scenario in Exhibit 2

Exhibit 2: Testing Scenarios

Transaction TypeArea of TestingScenario


  • New Business (TC01) 
  • Renewals (TC02 
  • Annual Rating Endorsements (TC04), if applicable 
  • Policy Replacement Due to Key Field Change (TC06), if applicable 
  • Coverage Notices (TC16), if applicable 
  • Renewal Agreements/Renewal Certificates (TC18), if applicable
NamesPersonal name reporting
Commercial name reporting
DBA reporting
Multiple names
Address (if applicable)Foreign
C/O Address
Experience ModificationAt inception
Not applicable
Variable TextPEO policy related endorsement scenarios, if applicable
Group Coverage policy, if applicable
USL&H policy, if applicable
Fixed or Extended Term policy with ARE/Renewal Certificate, if applicable
Cancellation and Reinstatement (TC05)Cancellation and Reinstatement SequencingIncluding Cancellation & Reinstatement transaction issued same day, if applicable

Change Endorsements 

  • Endorsements (TC03) or 
  • Policy Replacements (TC08/10/14) and 
  • Policy Replacement due to Add/ Delete State change (TC15), if applicable
Name ChangesAdd a name at inception
Add a name at midterm
Delete a name at midterm
Change the named insured
Class CodeAdd a class code
Delete a class code
Experience ModificationAdd an experience modification at inception
Add an experience modification at midterm
Delete an experience modification
AddressChange the mailing address
Add a location
Delete a location
FormsAdd a form
Delete a form
State (if applicable)Add California
Delete California
Variable Text RecordChange variable text on D records
GroupChange group status, if applicable

1 Digital versions of hard copy documents will be collected via Box.com

2 Number of examples requested during testing is based on the insurer’s filed forms and expected book of business. The WCIRB may request additional examples if determined necessary.