Export templates as PDF or other files

Related products: Templates

My team has a pretty consistent need to export templates we’ve created within SC as blank PDF’s. It’s my understanding that currently templates can only be exported via the mobile app and only as “iat” files. Is there any possibility of adding the ability to export to PDF or even other file types beside “iat”?

Currently, we maintain a Word Doc version of our template in addition to the one we’ve created in SC due to not having the ability to export a blank template within SC.

Also curious if any other SC users ever have a need to export as PDF? If so, what do you do instead?

It hasn’t come up a lot, but we always have in the back of our mind a concern that the Internet might go down. I’ve also seen rare instances where it needs to be done on paper or we want to show someone (such as a supplier or auditor), and they need to be given a copy.


In those instances, we would want a “fillable” document or printable form as a backup.  I’m not sure if our sites do this regularly still, but many were still creating old Word and Excel documents to mirror the SafetyCulture templates for this reason. I would like to see a feature to export templates into a Word document or PDF that is formatted as a useable form.

​Hi @Blake, great question! You're spot on regarding the available export option for templates (.iat file only). I think it's a great idea worth posting on the ideas page to see if other users are looking for more export formats for templates in SafetyCulture. 

I would love to jump on a call to learn more about how your team maintains and exports SafetyCulture templates as a Word file. I'm very interested to find out how multiple logic fields are displayed in a Word file. Also, this will be an excellent opportunity for us to continue our discussion regarding PDF reports vs. Web reports.

Please send me a message if you would be happy to share more information via a call.

Hi @Corey, thank you for your feedback and for sharing how your organization could benefit from exporting templates as a Word or PDF file.

Out of curiosity, what are the "rare instances" you had to conduct inspections on paper instead of conducting them in SafetyCulture? 

As you mentioned, we have an opportunity to explore how we can quickly and easily share or preview templates with users not using the SafetyCulture platform (Contractors, suppliers, auditors, and more). At the moment, this could be achieved by adding users outside of your organization as Free seat users.

If you would like to share more information or jump on a call, please send me a message so we can organize a call.

I have reached out to everyone to ask why they still maintain old “Word/Excel” versions (converted to PDF) to mirror SC templates:

  1. To more easily show 3rd party auditors the form
    1. They could change their ways to show the template directly in SafetyCulture, but it’s a bit more confusing looking. 
    2. Perhaps they can use the preview panel from the template listing instead so it’s a functional “demo”.  It just takes a tad longer.
  2. To have a backup paper copy to revert to in case the Internet is down
    1. I’m not sure if they have tried using the app when the Internet has gone down and were unsuccessful getting the inspection to work or to sync when Internet was restored… of if they just didn’t try.  If there is a problem with this feature, we just need to resolve it.
  3. To have a backup paper copy in case the SafetyCulture platform is down, or the iPad is otherwise behaving improperly
    1. This is a legitimate reason.  It’s rare but does happen.
  4. To have a reference for discussion or providing someone a sample they can take with them, especially if not from the site or 3rd parties
    1. This is probably a rare scenario but is a good reason.  Sometimes having things you can “hold” have value.

These are all great points @Corey! Honestly we share almost all the same reasons for needing to maintain Word Doc versions of our templates. 

Being that my team is using our templates to audit on flights, we are constantly going in and out with a connection on our iPads. Often times, we find that the SC app does struggle a bit and can temporarily make all in-progress and complete templates disappear until it gets a strong enough connection. Thus, it’s nice to be able to have printed hard copies on hand as back ups. 

We also get audited from a third party and have to show them our checklist (template). We have to show them the Word version since they do not use SC. 

Thanks for sharing @Corey​​​​ and ​@Blake!

We have opportunities to improve how we can easily share templates with non-SC users and external organizations (third-party), and we will continue looking into this moving forward. This also includes the stability and reliability improvements of offline experience.

@Corey, I would love to learn more about the workflow of your team when you or the team had to conduct the inspection on a paper, instead of using the SafetyCulture app. 

  • How did you export the template? Did you conduct a blank inspection and print the report?
  • How do you manage these one off or rare cases inspections? Do you re-conduct the inspections on SC or keep these as physical reports only? 

As always, please don’t hesitate to send me a message if you want to share more info via a call.

@Hojae Jung several sites still maintain Word and Excel versions of forms to mimic the SC template. They don’t have a way to output from SC and are not blanking out a completed inspection report.  Therefore, it takes them more time to recreate (or maintain old) documents in the event they need to revert to paper for conducting or handing someone a copy for discussion or example.  In the case of logic, you would have to show the logic below that, along with questions/requirements.  In the Word/Excel versions they are maintaining, it’s static, and they don’t show the logic.  They just have the questions all shown (in some cases with a comment or section header as to when it is applicable).  The person filling it out must write “N/A” in those fields if unused.

It’s rare they’ve needed to actually use those, but they feel more comfortable having them.  I don’t believe they conduct after the fact when the SC platform or Internet is back.  This might be handing an auditor (OSHA, SQF) or customer a paper copy, comparing it to something else where having paper is easier, or even uploading a blank copy in a customer portal.  All rare scenarios, but I think having this capability would be ideal. 

Great discussion going on here! I’ll convert this post into an idea so other members can upvote as well :)

Thanks for sharing your insights and experiences @Corey !

These are very valuable feedback for us and we look forward to looking into this opportunity in the near future!

Cheers @jackihann for converting this to an idea. One upvote from me 😁

The following idea has been merged into this idea:

All the votes have been transferred into this idea.

For us as a business we have a few ISO management systems and keep a document matrix, to help keep track of the original audit template that I create for each audit on our Safety Culture account we wanted to download a PDF of the blank template and keep this filed for control purposes. Just helps if anything gets accidently deleted or changed over time 🤷‍♀️

As part of our QMS (ISO9001) we need to evidence our procedures. Being able to export the SC templates would mean that we didn't have to maintain duplicate documents.

We have just run into a scenario where we are considering moving our supplier site audits from a PDF form we made to be in SafetyCulture.  One of the reasons we are not sure if we can do this is that we send a “blank” copy of the PDF form to the supplier ahead of us visiting them on site. This allows them to understand the topics, questions, and scoring so they can be prepared, and they can pre-fill answers so we have an idea of what systems/practices they have in place before we get there.  If we make a template in SafetyCulture, we cannot send them a blank or a topic list without making something separate.  We don’t want them to have access to SafetyCulture for a rare audit, especially when there people might change after those few years of time and because we are the ones doing the actual audit.

The following idea has been merged into this idea:

All the votes have been transferred into this idea.

Hi all,

I have a workaround for this recommended by the safety culture help team. You can start an inspection and leave it blank, then export it as a PDF file. It's not perfect, but it works okay.

I am glad I am not alone with this issue. Really hoping they make this a feature. 

Hi all,

I have a workaround for this recommended by the safety culture help team. You can start an inspection and leave it blank, then export it as a PDF file. It's not perfect, but it works okay.

I am glad I am not alone with this issue. Really hoping they make this a feature. 

That’s what we plan to do in cases where we need to send someone a blank, such as a supplier audit.  We may actually pre-fill some things out for them anyway, so that might be the best option in that scenario.  In a case we just want to view or share the blank but not so they can prepare for an audit, exporting the template as a blank would still be a better solution than creating a fake inspection.