Compliance training is a serious matter and non-compliance has cost many companies dear. For example, in June 2020, the British investment banking and financial services company, Barclays PLC, was imposed an administrative penalty of €700,000 by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).
Simple. Breaches of administrative regulations.
In another case, OSHA fined Dollar Tree Stores $177,800 a few years back for exposing its employees to the dangers of blocked exits and hazardous working conditions in a Massachusetts store. According to OSHA, the penalty was a result of Dollar Tree Stores’ “deliberate and ongoing refusal to effectively address hazards that have been cited multiple times at their stores across the country.“
In addition to helping you avoid fines and lawsuits, compliance training programs equip employees with the knowledge and willingness to comply with regulatory laws. This, in turn, enables them to stay in line with the latest applicable rules, protect themselves from unsafe and unprofessional working environments, and safeguard business reputation.
In this post, you will learn all the nitty-gritty of compliance training to help you develop a strong culture of compliance and stay within the boundaries of laws while earning good repute in the industry.
So, let’s dive right in.
Read More: What is OSHA Compliance Training?
Watch: What Is Employee Training
What is Compliance Training?
Compliance training is a type of employee training mandated by state or federal legislation. The primary purpose of deploying such training is to protect the safety, dignity, and well-being of employees as well as to maintain a good business reputation.
Importance of Compliance Training
You may ask:
Why is compliance training important?
Compliance training is important because of various reasons.
Legally speaking, an organization is held accountable by regulatory agencies if there is reasonable evidence that it didn’t make even the slightest efforts to check non-compliance with a law or rule.
In the eye of the law, these organizations could have prevented an unwanted incident. Since they didn’t, they are considered responsible for the same.
Compliance training is also a key part of business administration. It is one of the core corporate responsibilities that a business needs to fulfill.
Generally, you are required to prove that you’ve trained your employees on certain compulsory topics within the deadline, using the means outlined in the rule book and that you’ve properly documented the training.
From the human side as well, compliance training is a moral responsibility for companies. Employees are the greatest asset of an organization. It is the duty of the latter to ensure their safety and well-being.
Employees who feel safe and happy in the workplace tend to be more productive and loyal than those who are left to fend for themselves.
“If you think compliance is expensive, try non-compliance.”
~ Paul McNulty, Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General
Benefits of Compliance Training
Most organizations focus on the immediate benefits of employee compliance training, which is avoiding legal penalties. But there’s more to it than just penalties. By conducting compliance training regularly and successfully, you will be able to ensure the following:
- A safer workplace
- Decreased absenteeism
- More productive workforce
- Minimized chances of legal action
- Protection of business reputation
- A good audit trail
Compliance Training Laws & Requirements
Depending on which compliance training program you’re talking about, the applicable laws and requirements also differ. For example, the requirements for anti-sexual harassment training will differ from the requirements for cybersecurity and data protection & privacy training. The difference can be in the form of the number of minimum employees required to be trained, content type, duration of the training, or frequency.
Having said that, the underlying principle of every compliance training program remains the same – to safeguard the interests, safety, wellbeing, and dignity of employees.
Essential Elements of a Compliance Training Program
There are eight elements of a compliance training program that are considered essential to its success.
1. Written Policies
Every compliance program should be attended by a written policy that spells out the code of conduct in the specific compliance situation.
What should it provide: An outline, including the do’s and don’ts, implementation of compliance laws, reporting, and other related procedures.
2. Leadership Buy-in
Active participation and support from top management are a must for successful compliance training programs.
Why does this matter?
It demonstrates their commitment and willingness to adhere to compliance laws as an organization while keeping the employees motivated with how important such measures are to them and the company.
3. Consistent & Sustainable Training
Every compliance training should be conducted periodically as specified by the directives. Whether it is making the training engaging or documenting it for verification by enforcing agencies, compliance training should follow a standardized format that is effective and sustainable.
4. Compliance Training Software
A superior compliance training platform is indispensable if you want to streamline your company-wide online training programs. Such tools can help simplify how you administer the training in more than one way.
How such tools help
You can create, share, and track compliance training seamlessly and centrally manage learner groups, course assignments, assessments, and reporting.
Regulatory compliance is mandatory, but how do you ensure that learners access your training resources anytime, anywhere without disrupting their daily routine? You can deploy a useful platform such as mobile LMS to let your employees engage in microlearning. The tool should work on any device, browser, and operating system.
6. Effective Reporting System
Set up a compliance issue reporting system such as a toll-free telephone number. If anyone is aware of non-compliance in your organization, it is their moral obligation to report it to the right department confidently and without fear.
This will make it easy for your company to take remedial actions in time.
7. Investigation & Remedies
Thorough investigations into cases of non-compliance with federal or state laws will enable you to respond to them effectively. Regulatory bodies generally go to the root causes, identify the people responsible for the issue, and recommend remedies to prevent a recurrence.
In the worst-case scenario, non-compliance results in fines, litigation, and other consequences.
It is considered a best practice to assess the effectiveness of compliance programs after each regulatory compliance training online.
What to check and why?
Course completion rates, knowledge retention, and noticeable change in employee behavior. The main objective here is to determine whether the training has had a measurable impact on your employees and organization.
Objectives of Compliance Training
The chief objectives of compliance training for employees are to:
- Educate employees on individual & corporate compliance responsibilities
- Avoid legal liabilities
- Reduce risks
- Safeguard business reputation
- Promote a healthy workplace culture
How Can Compliance Training Be Made Engaging
Depending on the online compliance training solutions you adopt, there are various ways to make compliance training relevant and engaging.
Add Case Studies and Real-Life Scenarios
These provide a story-based training method. This will make it easier for learners to understand and relate to common compliance issues.
You can assign learning paths and bundled courses to course participants and reward them with levels, points, badges, and certification. This will make learning an otherwise serious topic fun, increase retention, and keep learners motivated.
Generally, compliance covers vast topics that include all the applicable laws and regulations, employer and employee responsibilities, safety measures, reporting & investigation procedures, and so on. It is not advisable to load learners with all this information in one go.
That’s where microlearning comes in, delivering one topic at a time.
Short and engaging videos that employees can watch on-demand and in less than 5 minutes are examples you can employ.
You can also personalize compliance training according to your employees’ roles, responsibilities, and experience level.
Even after you’re done with the training, you can use tools such as flashcards at regular intervals to refresh your employees’ memory. This will help prevent the training from becoming just a formality or ‘tick the box’ thing.
Best Practices for Compliance Training
Like any other corporate training program, compliance training requires the best techniques and strategies to succeed. Only then will it stick longer with the learners and translate into measurable results.
What can you possibly do as an instructor or training administrator?
Link It With Your Corporate Culture
Since different organizations are driven by different beliefs, it is important to associate the training with your unique company policies, culture, and mission. It will not only make goal achievement easier but empower your employees to do the right thing at the right time by upholding everything that your company stands for.
Make It Engaging and Interactive
There’s no substitute for an engaging learning environment. Videos, quizzes, role-plays, infographics, and leaner collaboration are some of the tools and methods you can use to make compliance training a delightful learning experience. When you make learning interesting like this, the outcomes also turn out to be positive.
Train Employees During Onboarding
The earlier you train your employees on compliance matters, the better it is for the organization. Make it a practice to train new hires as soon as they are onboarded instead of waiting.
This will enable you to educate them from day one as to why you have compliance policies in place, who are the people they protect, and the consequences of not abiding by them.
One of the best ways to guarantee the success of compliance training is by ensuring the accountability of employees on a daily basis. It is something that they apply to their day-to-day job roles and responsibilities. For example, you can assign partners to each employee to oversee and report on whether their peers are complying with mandatory laws.
Use Data to Analyze Training Effectiveness
Measure the effectiveness of your compliance training by analyzing training data that show participation, completion rates, total time taken, and final scores. You can also deploy surveys to elicit opinions from learners on what they think about the training. This can help you improve the training, if necessary, for better results.
Compliance Training Courses
You will find numerous compliance training courses online, both free and paid. The criteria for comparing and choosing them is to see whether they can deliver all your training requirements.
For example, ProProfs offers various online compliance training courses.
These courses are ready for deployment as they are, or you can customize them to fit your specific needs. Edit course content, add branding, leverage the tracking and reporting tool, and issue certifications.
The ProProfs courses are developed by professionals based on different risk profiles of companies. Some of its best-selling compliance courses are:
- OSHA Compliance Training
- HIPAA Compliance Training
- Emergency Preparedness & Response Action Plan
- Fair Labor Standards Act Training
- Sexual Harassment Prevention in Healthcare
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