The art of crafting effective regulatory compliance training programs


In a recent post, Saas firm Diligent detailed that regulatory compliance teams can build better training programs. 

Many organisations view regulatory compliance training merely as an obligatory task. However, in reality, it offers a golden opportunity to foster a dynamic, risk-conscious culture that can guard against expensive errors.

Michael Volkov, CEO and Founder of Volkov Law Group, emphasised, “Creating — and maintaining — a culture of compliance, where concerns are voiced, countenanced and addressed, engenders employee trust and creates an atmosphere that largely prevents both ethical and legal infractions.”

The foundational purpose of regulatory compliance training is to enlighten employees about pivotal regulations. But at its pinnacle, this training motivates employees to be proactive in championing compliance.

A well-structured regulatory compliance training encompasses pivotal risk areas governed by local, state, and federal rules. The efficiency of compliance training in mitigating an organisation’s risk depends on how adeptly it educates employees about potential risk zones. Topics should span industry standards, privacy regulations like HIPAA, anti-bribery, corruption, workplace harassment, discrimination, and ethics. Although this isn’t exhaustive, it serves as a primer for businesses to evaluate their inherent risks.

Notably, as Volkov articulates, “Generally speaking, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But in a compliance context, an ounce of prevention is now worth a treasure trove of gold.” Ignoring the importance of training can be detrimental, with disengaged employees costing companies up to $550bn in productivity losses.

There’s no single figurehead for regulatory compliance training. A collaborative effort is required from various individuals across hierarchical levels. The board of directors lays down the framework of regulations to abide by, setting the foundation for training. Meanwhile, the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), in collaboration with compliance specialists, plays an instrumental role in designing and promulgating the training. Moreover, departmental management acts as a model for compliance, reinforcing its significance.

The updated Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs by the Department of Justice, March 2023, offers insight into the characteristics of a well-designed compliance training program. Companies are mandated by laws and regulations, which vary by location. In addition to adhering to state or country-specific laws, firms often have their own set of codes and conduct policies.

Volkov underlines that mere adoption of regulatory compliance training for its namesake is fruitless. He states, “Simply adopting training for its own sake is an ineffective strategy that will not satisfy regulatory expectations.” A strategic approach entails focussed training material, a well-thought-out execution plan, availability in diverse formats, and phased rollouts.

Constructing an impactful regulatory compliance training course demands substantial resources. But the returns in terms of mitigated regulatory fines and a reinforced culture of compliance are invaluable.

Read the full post here.

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