Compliance is complex because it comes at an organization from all directions. New regulations result from changes to state laws or industry standards. International agreements and trade deals can require organizations to adjust how they do business. Technological advances, adjustments in working practices, economic forces and social changes may all lead to more regulation. To compound matters, compliance needs to be tackled at both the organizational and at the level of individual employees.
Picture compliance as a multi-headed beast coming at you from all directions, all the time.
There’s no endpoint to staying compliant. It’s a continuous process requiring constant evaluation and response. In fact, the biggest challenge to operating compliantly is to be prepared for the changes that will inevitably come and to be proactive in your response. Compliance is both the present and the future: act compliantly and continue to do so, always.
To get an idea of the bigger picture let’s look at the areas that provide the top current and persistent challenges to operating compliantly:
Compliance presents a constant but shifting target. You can’t avoid compliance (or not without serious consequences), so the question is how to stay compliant and how to make staying compliant easier.
Too often compliance has been seen as a passive, tick-the-box exercise that certifies compliance up to a point but no further. That approach treats compliance as a step to be completed before work moves on. Yet to deal with the sheer weight of the challenges it presents, compliance needs to be seen as continuous. Staying compliant needs to be regarded as part of working and training and not separate from them. That attitude then prepares people to regard compliance and its evolution as the norm and be ready to respond.
Training rather than certification must be the focus. The nature of compliance means that training needs to be easily updatable with the latest information. It has to be accessible wherever people are working and whenever they need it. This is particularly true in the age of remote working. Compliance training needs to be flexible and adaptable to take account of different local conditions or circumstances. It must also be supported by robust monitoring and reporting so that managers are alerted when someone is not meeting the standard and is operating non-compliantly.
Compliance training should be engaging and relevant. You need to motivate your people and make them aware of their responsibility to treat compliance as a necessary condition for effective performance. Compliance should be central to the company’s ethos and an essential element in career progression. It needs to reach and reach out to people. Compliance is everybody’s business.
Compliance training can be supported by digital training solutions delivered via learning platforms. These extend the provision of compliance training and ease the administrative and cost burden of traditional training programs.
Learning Management Systems support learning in a variety of formats and facilitate access to training while providing the back-end functions that monitor and evaluate the progress of learners. They also have an array of features that make the compliance training experience more memorable and impactful improving retention and motivating learners to take compliance seriously. You can use an LMS to build and sustain a culture of compliance.
Compliance certification shows you’ve reached a certain standard. Unfortunately, it’s no guarantee that you will maintain that standard into the future, and it doesn’t indemnify you against future regulation. To move from being regarded as compliant to operating compliance requires a continuous, proactive program of training and validation. It also requires full engagement from employees at all levels in the organization.
Compliance must become part of normal working practices so you can ensure your business is operating safely and legally. Get in touch to find out how Learning Pool can help you with this process.
Rob is Learning Pool’s Head of Marketing, providing marketing leadership across all facets of Learning Pool’s brand, products and technologies.
He started his marketing career in the late ’90s, with significant time spent working in the media sector and is particularly skilled in Marketing Management, Digital Strategy, Research and Market Planning.
Rob holds a Master’s Degree (MSc) in Marketing Management from Manchester Metropolitan University. He now spends most of his time working out how to clearly communicate our ever-growing range of learning technology solutions to interested audiences in Europe and across the US.
Away from the office, Rob tries to balance family life with a passion for cycling, hiking, travelling and all things outdoors.
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