Compliance deals with rules, regulations, and laws of the company, industry, country, region, etc. Compliance training covers a range of policies employees should be aware of and follow at work. We’ll discuss the types of compliance training and their importance for a business.
Training is a part of various organizations. However, the first thought that comes to mind when we say training is about skills, knowledge, and soft skills. We have been reading about different training-related processes, such as workplace ethical training, the culture of training, mapping the learner’s journey, etc.
There’s another type of training you need to consider. We are talking about compliance training for employees. It is an important training program that creates awareness about the rules, regulations, policies, etc., within the organization and in the industry. This training is considered mandatory (similar to ethical training) as it reduces the risk of getting into legal complications due to a lack of awareness or knowledge.
But how is compliance training different from other types of training?
Before we answer this question, you should understand what compliance training is. In this blog, we’ll read about compliance training, its objectives, requirements, and types.
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Compliance is where you agree with the terms and conditions defined by an entity. Compliance training is the process of making employees aware of the said rules and laws to ensure that they adhere to them and don’t violate the terms. Each enterprise has its set of laws. It also has to be compliant with the laws and regulations of the industry and country. Furthermore, the business should be compliant with global regulations if it is a multinational company or wants to join international trade.
It can be confusing and overwhelming for employees to learn so many laws and rules and remember them too. A compliance training program simplifies the process.
Workplace compliance training also includes ethical training as the themes overlap. The training program can create a clear picture in the employees’ minds and help them understand the boundaries. It also empowers employees to make the right decisions in tricky situations. Team leaders, managers, and supervisors will have to spend less time steering employees and can focus more on productivity.
However, all this is possible when your compliance training aligns with the organization’s ethics and industry standards. Determine the objectives before planning the training modules. In general, the following are the objectives of compliance training in most businesses:
The types are also known as compliance training examples. Compliance training is extensive as it includes a range of topics and laws. For example, safety training deals with handling workplace hazards while cybersecurity training handles cyber laws, hacking, phishing, online protection, etc.
Safety compliance management training focuses on making the workplace a physically safe place. It is not limited to factories, mines, or laboratories. Every office has potential safety concerns which need to be addressed to make it a safer space for employees.
For example, employees should be trained in fire safety. They should know which doors to use to escape, where the fire extinguishers are located, and which numbers to call to report the accident. Similarly, they should know where the first aid boxes are kept and how to treat minor injuries.
Issues like being locked inside the cabins, sustaining injuries from machines, breathing hazardous chemicals, being exposed to the wrong light (that affects eyesight), etc., are a part of safety compliance training. Also, employees should be aware of potential risks in case of allergies and personal health history. When employees know the risk associated with items they use at work, they will be more responsible and take the necessary steps to prevent/ minimize the side effects.
Ethics training deals with workplace ethics, employee behavior, and professional code of conduct. Ethical standards are different from legal regulations and are often tricky. However, unethical practices result in lawsuits that harm the company’s reputation.
From establishing the ground rules about what to do and not do at work to defining ways for crisis management and conflict resolution, ethics training includes several aspects of employee behavior and reaction to events that occur at work.
Employees who undergo ethics training are better equipped to handle moral issues and can help others. Ethics training also creates a space for employees to look at issues from multiple perspectives and come up with creative solutions.
This is one of the most required compliance training for employees in today’s world. With a majority of businesses working with computers and using the internet/ intranet for everything, employees have to be aware of data and information security regulations.
Handling sensitive and confidential data, identifying phishing attacks, safeguarding customer information, and knowing what to do when data is compromised in a breach are some topics of cybersecurity training. Employees should know about the EU’s GDPR regulations. They should also be aware of the data governance and compliance procedures within the organization.
The training also deals with how employees can avoid data breaches and fortify their accounts using unique usernames, strong passwords, etc. Businesses also rely on data security training modules and conduct drills and mock tests to help employees correctly identify phishing attacks and malicious links/ files/ emails.
Anti-harassment training has become vital, with more employees sharing their workplace experiences. Bullying, sexual harassment, and other unruly behavioral issues have to be tackled with strict rules. Employees should not only know that your organization has a setup to deal with such incidents, but they should also have the confidence that the victim will get justice.
There should be a clear distinction between what’s appropriate and what’s not. There should also be a system to deal with borderline cases where things aren’t always clearly defined. Anti-harassment training will make the workplace safer for employees and reduce the risk of the company’s reputation being damaged due to lawsuits by victims.
This is another crucial training program to include in your compliance training policy. It focuses on educating employees about different cultures, beliefs, and health conditions to prevent bias, discrimination, and ill-treatment at work. Though this training program can be a part of ethics training, it will be more effective when you have a separate module for it.
Diverse and inclusive teams are the buzzwords in recent times. Remote working and collaborations have resulted in teams with people of different ethnicities, cultures, backgrounds, races, religions, etc. Some teams have employees with physical limitations and special abilities.
Employees should know how to work with diverse team members and respect them. Using racial slurs, joking about physical disabilities, and being biased can result in toxic work environments. This can be avoided by educating employees about cultural sensitivity, equity, and fairness. Dismantling stereotypes will help employees bond with diverse colleagues and build a positive team atmosphere.
HR (Human Resource) compliance training deals with the relationship and interaction between employees and employers in an organization. The training is conducted for employees from the HR department to help them correctly understand the company’s policies and maintain error-free communication with employees.
Since the HR department is responsible for recruitment, training, performance appraisal, compensation management, and grievances the HR teams need to have a clear picture of the organization’s code of ethics, internal policies, legal implications, and more. The HR teams should be efficient in handling grievances with fairness and transparency.
Apart from the standard compliance training programs every enterprise has to conduct, there are industry-specific training programs that deal with the aspects specific to the industry. For example, Pharma companies have to educate their employees about the various regulations exclusive to the drug and medicine industry. It can also include trade compliance if the drugs are exported to other countries.
FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the US, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK, and Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), and the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) in India are the regulatory boards that handle the rules and governing processes in the Pharma industry.
Employees should be aware of the regulations to avoid violating them when researching, manufacturing, packaging, and marketing drugs/ medicines. Similarly, the healthcare industry has its own set of regulations, while the insurance industry has another, and so on.
The company leadership and top management should have in-depth knowledge of the various regulations the employees have to adhere to. This makes it easier to plan and implement compliance training programs in the enterprise. The L&D team has to work with the leadership to ensure that all important aspects are included in the training. The top management should directly be involved in developing compliance training programs.
Random training sessions are effective in the short term. For long-term results, you should make compliance-related material easily available to employees. Make sure the content is simplified and presented in easy sentences and snippets. Internal and external laws have to be included in the training material. Also, make it a point to keep the material up to date and edit to include the latest changes/ additions.
How you conduct compliance training will also impact the extent to which employees learn the laws and retain the information. Divide the training program into smaller topic-based modules. Make resources available round the clock for employees to refer to whenever necessary. Online training is more effective as it allows employees to plan their work schedules accordingly. Several enterprises are also offering mobile-friendly training modules to enable employees to access/ complete compliance training when away from work.
Conducting assessments should be an integral part of training and development. Even when you make the material easily accessible to employees, you need to know if they are reading the information. PrepAI is an AI test generator that can be integrated into training and LMS systems in an organization. The tool allows trainers to create test papers and quizzes in seconds.
PrepAI automates the process of creating a question paper by processing input data and converting it into a variety of questions. It accepts text, video, and documents as input and compiles questions in multiple choice, fillups, true/ false, and descriptive types. The test paper can be edited and sent to employees to assess their knowledge and retention skills.
The data from assessments and appraisals can be used to analyze the efficiency of compliance training in the enterprise. This helps in making changes to the training programs and improving their effectiveness. You should monitor compliance training in your organization and fine-tune it whenever necessary. Establishing the training process is not a one-time task. The more resources you spend on monitoring compliance training and making improvements, the lesser the risk of violating laws or facing lawsuits/ criminal action.
Compliance training provides protection for employees and the organization by reducing the risk of violating industry/ government rules and regulations. It’s vital to determine the types of compliance training programs necessary for your business and set up a system to conduct the training sessions as a part of L&D. Additionally, it is essential to invest in assessment tools to determine if employees are benefitting from the training programs and how you can make the sessions more effective. Conduct periodic assessments to ensure that employees remember the rules correctly and will follow them at work.