One of the key challenges in compliance training is organising your training and interventions into a consistent framework which makes sense to both you, your organisation and your staff.
A consistent compliance training framework should allow you to start establishing compliance as a culture, rather than a ‘tick the box’ activity. It promotes compliance as an on-going exercise which requires a sustained focus. Managers come to appreciate that compliance covers a suite of critical topics and helps managers position the time spent on compliance with staff.
There are several compliance frameworks available on the internet, but many are complex and designed for organisations with significant resources to devote to the management and implementation of compliance.
For most organisations, ‘less is more’! This means a simple and easy to understand compliance training framework, which doesn’t require tremendous explanation or management, can be far more powerful. On that note, here’s a three-pillar compliance training framework which would suit almost any organisation.
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Compliance Framework: Values, Policies and Behaviours.
This pillar is about what your organisation does. What does it stand for, its principles, its mission and its goals. All of these values need to be clearly defined and known to all staff. Given that this knowledge exists at an organisational level, guiding principles in the form of the organisation’s core values and its code of conduct can be the basis for compliance in practice.
Whether it’s government-imposed regulations or legal/regulatory requirements, every organisation would benefit from having their own internal compliance measures in place in the form of internal policies and procedures. This can also incorporate unique internal policies around, say, data storage, service level agreements or similar Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Compliance programs, if designed and implemented from the standpoint of a “change in culture” or “change in behaviour” are directly beneficial to the employees of the organisation, as well as the leadership and management teams that help design and implement it. How employees behave and deal with their colleagues and customers directly impact themselves as well as the organisation. Behaviour-centric policies are, therefore, an inevitable component of compliance programs.
Values – Compliance Checklist
For the Values component, you need to communicate the organisation’s core values, code of conduct and culture. This training should occur immediately upon a new employee joining your organisation. However, it should also occur regularly for existing employees as your messaging, goals or values change.
In this case, your primary compliance tool is a Code of Conduct, including:
- Core values
- Mission and vision
- Substance abuse
- Environmental awareness
- Conflicts of interest
- Confidential information
- Health and safety
- First-aid and emergency information
Policies – Compliance checklist
In this aspect of the framework, you want to outline the policies applicable to job roles, including government-imposed requirements, legal/regulatory requirements, as well as internally-implemented best practices and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Once again, this information should be presented as part of a new employee induction process, but equally when people change job roles or when policies are updated.
- Applicable regulations (Industry-specific)
- Applicable legal requirements (Industry-specific)
- IT and Cybersecurity
- Social Media policy
- Phishing protection
- Hazards reporting
- Incident reporting
- Manual handling
- Record keeping
- Risk management
- Workplace safety
- Office ergonomics
Behaviours – Compliance Checklist
Finally, you should place people at the heart of the compliance program, emphasising their role as drivers of the cultural and behavioural change in the context of workplace scenarios. This information will form part of new employee induction, but may also be required when people are promoted or as part of workplace performance management.
- Personal conduct
- Sexual harassment
- Workplace violence
- Mental health awareness
- Stress management
- Managing poor performance
- Plus, Manager versions of most of these topics
Bonus: Compliance training delivery checklist
Compliance as a culture requires a continuous process that must be monitored and maintained once it has been implemented. It’s beneficial for organisations in the long-run to develop a culture of compliance rather than add to numbers of employees every year who simply ‘know’ the rules and policies.
Knowing the policies and principles is essential for employees so that they may apply the knowledge in their daily work, in turn embodying the cultural change.
An effective compliance framework, therefore, needs to tackle compliance in three ways.
- Compliance training and interventions that create awareness and share knowledge of compliant behaviour. This is a first step. It is, however, the step where most organisations are still struggling to implement!
- Compliance training and interventions that let employees demonstrate the acquired knowledge and behaviours. This is the second step and a step which can be difficult for organisations with out a digital learning platform to monitor activities.
- Compliance training and interventions that serve as reminders or ‘nudges’ to help sustain complaint behaviour. This is the third step. It’s the movement of compliance out of HR or the Compliance team and into the broader organisation.