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What is Compliance Training?

Larkin Anders

While corporate and regulatory compliance training isn't the most exciting concept within organizations, your business can't run without some level of compliance practice in place. Violating different laws, accreditation requirements, regulatory policies, or corporate policies can hurt your organization, from penalties and fines to lawsuits, and in some cases, criminal charges. 

Corporate compliance ensures that organizations can operate efficiently and safely while abiding by the founders' policies. Regulatory compliance ensures your employees follow the regulations and laws established by the local, state, and federal governments. 

Since both policies can change regularly, your organization must invest in a compliance training program to ensure your partners, employees, and customers understand the regulations and rules you must follow. 

Unfortunately, online compliance training is often overlooked or rushed with all the different aspects of daily operations, and the additional training offered. In fact, some organizations spend just half a day on policy compliance or simply provide workers with a copy of the employee handbook, hoping they read it on their own. More times than not, employees will skim over these resources and therefore aren't trained properly on rules that are vital they follow.

Compliance Training Explained 

Compliance is when your company fulfills official requirements, regardless of if they are corporate or regulatory ones. It's considered a formal program that helps educate employees on the actions, procedures, and policies needed to prevent issues in the work setting and violations of the law. 

The procedures and policies are typically industry or job-specific. However, in some situations, government-mandated policies apply across certain industries or the entire corporate world. 

The Importance of Compliance Training 

Modern organizations have a social responsibility to the general public and their employees. From making sure the workplace is free from harassment and bullying to protecting consumer privacy and data, your business is constantly at risk of harming its reputation, legal action, and in extreme situations, shutting down completely. 

Put simply; compliance training is essential to your organization's entire risk management system. 

While this is true, compliance isn't just focused on minimizing risk. It is important for several reasons, which include:

  • Establishing a safer workplace
  • Reducing the risk of legal action
  • Increasing overall productivity
  • Protecting the business's reputation
  • Securing insurance for the organization¬†
  • Reducing absenteeism due to mental health issues, injuries, etc.¬†

 

Besides the benefits above, compliance training lets your employees know that you respect them and run a reputable business that should be taken seriously. It also provides employees with the proper resources needed to ensure a healthy company culture.

 

Compliance Training vs. Corporate Training 

It's worth noting that compliance training is unique from general training, which usually covers things like job operations and functions, to the role of managers and departments. These types of training usually cover topics like the proper way to use ERP software, the right way to file a report, and the proper procedure for requesting time off. However, compliance training covers a broad spectrum of topics.

The training often includes employment and business laws and explains the penalties that may be assessed if they are violated. It also covers industry-specific regulations, like financial disclosures, the privacy of members, clients, and patients, and reporting requirements for certain organizations. 

It also covers ethical and legal issues, your organization's values, operating philosophies, and principles. 

Compliance training must be ongoing and compulsory. Along with all-new employees participating in this online training, you should also have annual events for everyone in your organization. By doing this, you are laying the groundwork for a healthy, well-established workplace culture where you can discuss problems and handle issues before they arise. 

Compliance Training Examples 

Regardless of your business or industry, compliance training should be a top priority. However, compliance training topics can vary greatly. Your location, activities, department, and industry impact the types of training you should deliver and it's important to know which ones employees must complete.

Below are some of the most common compliance training examples:

Anti-Harassment 

An anti-harassment compliance program administers guidance and measures on responding to bullying situations, covers sexual harassment training, and harassment in general. This training should focus on what harassment is and its associated behaviors. Also, anti-harassment training needs to cover the effective strategies to respond to these actions and provide various intervention strategies. 

Diversity Training 

Diversity training is more than just political correctness. Instead, it emphasizes the strengths offered by diversity and addresses the proper way to work with individuals of different physical and mental abilities, ages, sexual orientations, genders, ethnicities, and more. 

It's worth noting there is strength in diversity, and your employees need to learn the proper way to embrace the valuable perspectives and inputs that a diverse workplace offers. Also, training in this area should focus on how different employee demographics should be portrayed in your company's marketing content and literature. 

Data Privacy and Protection 

If you want to ensure compliance in your company, you need to include the proper way for employees to distinguish between PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and Personal Data. It's also necessary to explain why and how the information is exploited. 

Your employees also need to know the proper way to maintain and handle data beyond the work environment, like when they use mobile devices, and the steps to take if a mobile device is stolen or lost. 

Cyber Security 

Data privacy and protection and cyber security are topics that overlap naturally. While that's true, it's still smart to separate both subjects into the various compliance training programs. 

Your training program needs to include the proper way to efficiently manage the growing volume of confidential or sensitive information and train employees on the systems, tools, and strategies required to protect individuals ' personal data and identities. 

Business Ethics 

Each organization must create a code of ethics that outlines the guidelines for potential disciplinary action. It needs to describe what cheating and corruption look like for the company and cover any conflicts, interests, or grey areas. Essentially, your business's ethics and compliance training programs need to include risk assessment training, accountability structures, methods to encourage whistleblowing, and a system to address any conflicts of interest or grey areas. 

Occupational Safety

While some environments, job titles, and industries pose additional risks regarding physical safety, even standard offices need to ensure basic workplace safety standards are complied with. 

It may include training for the proper first aid procedures or cautions regarding bloodborne pathogens. The bottom line is that employees need to know the proper behaviors and responses to different situations. It's also important to include emergency preparedness and fire safety training. No businesses are immune to these types of risks. 

Benefits of Compliance Training 

The potential consequences of non-compliance can impact your organization significantly. Chances are you have read stories of regulatory and ethical violations made by governmental agencies, companies, and high-powered executives, that result in fines, reduced revenue, reputation issues, and sometimes criminal charges and arrests. 

As mentioned above, you can't just provide your employees with a list of rules to follow or just any online training. Compliance must be part of your organization's culture, and compliance training programs ensure this happens. 

Usually, employees don't break the law intentionally. Their goal is not to break it; however, a violation occurs because the employee was unaware of a rule or did not understand how it applied to their work or department. In some instances, employees may have not known they had training to complete in the first place.

With ethics and compliance training, your employees learn about compliance requirements and why following these rules is essential. It also helps them find and report violations they may encounter in the future. This also helps ensure that compliance issues are recognized and dealt with before violations occur, helping others avoid a problem, too. 

All these things help aid in protecting employees and ensures your organization remains compliant. When everyone is on board and shares the responsibility, compliance is something that occurs naturally. 

Creating a Compliance Training Program 

Now that you know what compliance training is and some of the existing programs, you need to figure out how to deliver this to your employees. While some companies are using pen and paper, this isn't the most effective option. 

A better solution is providing employee training through online compliance training courses.

Create Your Compliance Program 

If you have provided compliance training in the past, you likely have the information needed. You can use this previous knowledge to find the right employee training solution. While this can be a lengthy process and requires a lot of planning and researching, finding the right security awareness training company is the first step to becoming compliant and keeping your business and employees safe.

Not all programs are created equal

It's crucial compliance courses stay up to date with regulatory changes.  Laws and regulations are changing on a periodic basis and it's vital compliance topics covered reflect this. Your organization's compliance could become at risk if these regulations aren't met.

It's also vital for the organization that will train your employees to offer a vast online training library. This training library should include a wide variety of compliance courses covering regulations applicable to your organization. Not all training is created equal and it's essential the training content your employees will be participating in is not only educational but entertaining. Your employee's learning experience should be enjoyable. Passive learning isn't the most effective way for employees to learn. As a result, you need to ensure courses provide interactive elements such as quizzes and videos. This makes the process of attending these training courses less about completion and more about learning.

All employees are different and develop skills in diverse ways. Providing training content with your entire organization in mind can help aid in workplace safety and overall organizational culture.

 

Ensuring your employees are offered good training and courses that keep up with new regulations is essential and guarantees they are given the skills they need to ensure safety within the workplace.

 

The Importance of Compliance Training for Your Organization 

As you can see, compliance training goes beyond laws and regulations. It is necessary to help ensure individual employees understand what regulations and rules must be followed. This teaches them how to identify issues or non-compliance that may lead to consequences for the business and who to contact. 

Compliance training is something businesses in all industries need to include in their day-to-day affairs. Along with providing initial compliance training for new employees, it's essential to maintain ongoing compliance training. By doing this, you can have the best chance of avoiding issues related to non-compliance. Since compliance issues change regularly, you must keep your team updated and aware of the laws and regulations in place.


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