Compliance with industry standards and regulatory requirements cuts across all aspects of business and covers the conduct of all employees.
Acting and remaining compliant can be a real burden to an organisation and can have a detrimental impact on its reputation, balance sheet and productivity. Making sure you have the right training and processes in place to stay compliant is a considerable overhead.
E-learning courses provide a quick and ready solution to meet the multifaceted challenge of providing compliance training. They are created by experts and can be customised to reflect an organisation’s needs. E-learning modules with their innovative use of learning strategies and visually appealing format make compliance training more engaging for learners and more likely to be applied in practice. They provide a handy remedy to the constant headache of compliance training.
Let’s look at 6 key areas of compliance that apply across organisations and industries and see where e-learning modules can make a real difference.
Most people’s inboxes have been deluged by emails informing them of changes to accounts necessitated by GDPR. For private individuals, this presents a minor irritation, easily removed by clicking ‘I agree’. For organisations, however, GDPR can mean major changes to the way they interact with clients, promote their products and services, and conduct their day-to-day business.
E-learning modules on GDPR can bring your organisation swiftly up to date on the background and implications in this complex legal and administrative area. With courses created by specialists you can be sure that the information you’re receiving forms part of best practice. Any changes or specific requirements can be easily included and the modules modified to suit your organisation’s needs.
Learners will get practical information on what they need to record and when to undertake a Data Protection Impact Assessment. They will learn about what to do if a data breach occurs and find out about the new data handling regulations and the organisation’s responsibilities.
2. Cyber security
Cyber security is not simply the stuff of Hollywood thrillers. It impacts all businesses, big and small. Just as GDPR is about securing individual’s personal data, the broader field of cyber security covers the way data is handled by organisations for their clients and their own businesses.
Cyber security is also vital to protect your organisation’s assets from cyber crime by securing your data and implementing IT systems and processes that promote safe use and recording of data and reduce vulnerability to cyber attacks in an increasingly interconnected, mobile and online environment.
Cyber security e-learning modules focus on the role of network administrators in protecting systems. They also show you how to implement secure passwords and instil safe and secure behaviours in all employees across the organisation. Learners are shown the potential consequences of their own unsafe practices and to recognise signs of cyber-crime.
3. Health and Safety
Health and Safety is a vast and complex area of compliance. Responsibility for a healthy and safe working environment extends from the organisational right down to the individual level and encompasses the entire working space from factory floor, to the desk-top and to off-site working. The health and safety of employees is a paramount concern to the entire organisation and not just the preserve of Human Resources.
E-learning modules can help employees understand the legal framework and regulations that cover Health and Safety in the workplace and what you as an organisation need to have in place in terms of processes, policies, and physical environment to ensure you’re Health and Safety compliant. They offer tips on creating a safety culture where employees themselves police and promote good practice. They give details of the specific responsibilities for managers, HR staff, Health and Safety officers or advisers and other specialist roles to maintain a compliant workplace. Modules may also cover specific areas of Health and Safety, such as employee Mental Health.
4. Diversity in the workplace
Increasingly there’s been an emphasis on the question of equality and diversity in the workplace. Think of the recent debate over the gender pay gap in major industries.
It’s becoming widely recognised that compliance with equality and diversity regulation is not only legally mandated, but that employing a policy of diversity can improve employee well-being and encourage better participation and engagement to the benefit of the entire organisation. Treating employees in a fair, equal and transparent manner, regardless of their background, gender, beliefs, disability and so on, is best business practice.
The dilemmas of diversity and offer practical solutions to resolving matters of unequal treatment can be explored through e-learning. Learners are challenged to understand the legal implications of not being compliant and encouraged to see the benefits of creating a positive workplace environment. They also learn how to resolve differences arising from different values and how to promote equality and diversity in their dealings with fellow employees and clients.
5. Sustainability and environmental issues
We tend to think of environmental issues on a grand scale: pollution, destruction of the natural habitat, climate change. But these big, global themes have their roots in some of our day-to-day working behaviours. Creating and running a sustainable and environmentally-aware organisation is a growing area of compliance regulation and is increasingly seen as vital good practice. Many organisations now have offices of Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS).
Using e-learning you can show how sustainability and environmental awareness can become integral to working practices and procedures. The modules cover relevant legislation and show how this needs to be adhered to in practice. The training promotes sustainable actions both across the organisation and for individual employees, making sure the environmental and social impact of business activities is considered, as well as the financial. Energy saving, recycling, reducing your carbon footprint, and making other ethical choices are shown to be part of improving the working environment for all.
6. Financial issues
Financial irregularities and bad practice are common areas of compliance and require detailed and specialised training to keep your organisation abreast of ever-more complex legislation. These can be on a global level or involve specific measures aimed at a particular industry. It’s hard to be an expert in such a vast area so specialised knowledge and training are required to make sure your organisation keeps up to date.
Financial e-learning modules cover topics like money laundering, fraud awareness, anti-competitive behaviour, insider dealing, consumer credit regulations and so on. In each case, the module will explain the regulatory environment and how the legislation relates to their business. Using scenarios involving specific job roles, the modules explain how this legislation works in practice. By gaining an understanding of what they need to do and how regulation affects their work, employees can take responsibility for the way they act and help promote a culture of compliance within the organisation.
The benefits of e-learning in compliance training
This is just a selection of the topics that are covered by compliance e-learning modules. What unites them is their suitability for an e-learning approach.
Compliance e-learning courses offer advantages over traditional, one-off classroom training sessions. They can present the material in a more attractive and attention-grabbing manner through use of multimedia elements such as images, animations, and videos. Use of role-playing scenarios adds credibility and effectiveness and helps learners understand how Compliance legislation applies to them in the own daily jobs. Learning strategies like the use of games allow learners to demonstrate what they know and involve themselves in challenges that mimic those they face in their jobs.
Gamification of learning also offers the potential to reward learners and for them to take control of their own learning path, making learning more personalised and reinforcing the sense of personal responsibility that is vital to acting compliantly. E-learning modules encourage self-motivation. Engaged learners are more likely to apply what they have learned in their work.
Digital content can be made available across devices meaning training can be accessed while employees are on the go, inside and outside their usual working environment. Training then becomes a continuous process and not a singular, isolated event.
E-learning modules can be customised to reflect the culture and needs of a particular organisation. They can also be easily and quickly updated as regulations and requirements change. Many of them are approved by industry and regulatory bodies so you can be sure they represent best-in-class content and training.
Training in the increasingly complex area of compliance is a necessity, not an optional extra. The engagement, versatility and accessibility of e-learning make it an obvious solution for compliance training.