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One of the priority elements of risk management in an organization involves compliance training. This is the training that is required via regulation, policy or legislation for both employees and management. The training is education for everyone regarding the regulations and laws that are applicable to their job as it relates to their industry. Good compliance training helps to reduce and even prevent poor conduct and assists in maintaining proper organizational governance. Each step-in compliance training works towards the reduction of risk while maintaining a better work environment and company reputation.
Research by Brandon Hall Group indicated that compliance training is critical to 49% of the businesses that were surveyed. The study also showed that there were external compliance audits facing around 77% of the companies and yet only 49% of the companies surveyed felt that they were ready for the audits.
There are both legal and social responsibilities surrounding compliance training and each type of training addresses specific topics. The public and staff deserve to be able to be in a safe environment in a company without fear of harassment or danger. All client and customer information and data should be protected in privacy and free from the possibility of theft. The laws surrounding the level of compliancy are established to maintain security and safety. When a company doesn’t have proper compliancy training, they are at risk for legal actions, fines, and potential financial ruin. Compliancy training should be considered as a focus for every organization’s risk management strategy.
Compliance within a company can:
In the early 1900s compliance mostly involved regulations that were designed to protect the consumer. New laws and guidelines were slowly put in place ss various damaging situations occurred that blurred the lines between non-ethical and ethical practices. At the heart of many of these laws were methods to protect consumers and public safety and they eventually expanded in the 20th century to include employees and workers.
The emergence of organizations cultures that we see today began in the 1950s and 1960s and with them there appeared a more centralized government to oversee company actions and responsibilities as part of a societal structure. This was the time that HHS (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) was established. By the 1970s we saw the emergence of new government regulatory agencies such as the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), . As each new group was created, they used research to discover the necessity for additional laws and requirements to overcome areas that companies were using for less than ethical actions. 1991 brought the U.S. Sentencing Commission which established federal sentencing guidelines for any organization involved in non-compliance. This was an essential step in helping to ensure ethical behavior by organizations. As time has progressed new guidelines have been added to adjust to the changing conditions of doing business and compliance strategies are now part of risk management systems in a majority of organizations.
Penalties for companies that are noncompliant depend upon the type of violation(s), the state that the violation occurred in (for state guidelines), and the law(s) that it violated. While previously mentioned in general, there are several punishments that go beyond just legal ramifications.
In more recent years data security has been a main topic of compliancy as organizations haven’t taken severe enough steps to ensure patient data has been protected. A 2018 situation involving a medical care organization resulted in a $3.5 settlement to settle the many violations that occurred. When a publicly listed company is reported to have non-compliancy accusations and infractions, the stock market value can plummet to a point where it may never recover.
The lack of complying with laws can result in a litany of lawsuits that appear from many sources. These can occur from those that suffered due to the non-compliance action all the way to staff or the public that incurred injuries or deaths. The costs associated with lawsuits have been enough to bankrupt companies.
Another penalty has been jail time for the CEO and/or executive officers that knowingly created the condition of non-compliance.
The term “compliance training” is a kind of umbrella word that covers a variety of different areas. Different locations and industries require various types of compliance training and each one has specific guidelines for completion. Some of the compliance training in the U.S. includes courses on:
Requiring that employee’s complete compliance training is not only beneficial for the company but demonstrates that a business is professional and takes transparency and respect seriously. Having compliance training for staff also acts as an encouragement for those working in a company in knowing that they have a safe and responsible environment.
Good compliance training criteria involves many elements to ensure that the topics are covered in an appealing and educational way while giving valuable information that ensures safety and efficacy. Some of the benefits that should be included in effective compliance training are:
Having compliance training that is an effective learning solution is an important part of making sure that all employees not only understand applicable laws but follow internal company policies and legal regulations that involve their daily roles.
Trying to create an in-house compliance training program is almost a Herculean task. The best option is to look to those that have already created exceptional compliance training that matches your industry. There are a few important areas that you will want to focus on including:
Many organizations are turning to partner companies that have already established an efficient and credible compliance training program to accommodates their needs. These are much more cost-effective than trying to design their own and gives their company an air of good standing with their clients and customers.
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