12 December 2014
Companies operate in an increasingly regulated world and need to comply with regulations across a broad range of areas from staffing to operations to finance. This can create a particular burden and risk for mid-size organizations. Whilst larger companies hire a dedicated compliance team to ensure compliance requirements are met, smaller companies have to find lower cost approaches. Online training offers a cost-effective approach to managing compliance requirements. Beyond the compliance elearning course, the Learning Management System (LMS) plays a key role in delivering results and personalising the experience.
The increasing compliance burden
The increase in regulations from PIPEDA in Canada, HIPPA in the US, to Dodd-Frank, FDA, OSHA, the Volcker rule and Sarbanes-Oxley require all companies to ensure their staff are aware of the regulations, understand them and act accordingly.As regulations grow workforces are also becoming more distributed increasing the complexity of staff training and assessment.
How online learning can help
There are a number of ways that online training will help your organization achieve compliance standards:
- it will ensure that training is consistent in content and delivery
- it can be made accessible to all staff across a distributed workforce
- training can be tracked to ensure all relevant staff undertake the training
- levels of understanding can be assessed through online tests
- certificates and badges can be issued and stored
- annual refresher training can be automatically scheduled
- reports can be cut to show specific results, e,g. completions or non-completions by businss area, role, geography. these can be shared with the regulator if needed
The good news for smaller companies is that the costs of an online learning platform, elearning and assessments have fallen making online training a viable solution. With the emergence of open source platforms, such as Totara, the costs of setting up and managing an online learning management system has significantly reduced.
The advent of SaaS or hosted systems also means that learning platforms can be deployed quickly and do not require internal IT resources to install or manage them.
Personalising compliance training and talent development
The time employees spend training is expensive so it is important to ensure that compliance training is tailored and relevant to the targeted group of employees. Equally important, staff do not want to spend time undertaking training that is not relevant to them.
One way to address this is to link training to an employee’s personal needs and their specific job role and region. A good learning and talent platform will allow you to monitor and assess each individual to tailor their training accordingly, ensuring learners only do what’s necessary for their role. Training courses can also be allocated to job roles and regions i.e. specific audiences. Thus a new compliance course can automatically be allocated to everyone whose job role involves say selling insurance. This course gets added to their training plan and can be monitored to track when it has been completed. Managers can be automatically notified and updated on progress and if staff have not completed or passed the training.
This personalisation and monitoring reduces the risk of non-compliance. It also ensures companies have accurate records and evidence of compliance training. And of course, it has an engagement benefit - learners don’t have the negative experience of being forced to complete irrelevant training.
The online learning system can deliver updates too, such as short videos, PDFs, refresher assessments, helping to move beyond the compliance course and provide a ‘little and often’ approach to ensuring messages are understood and applied.
The wider benefits of an online learning platform
Additional examples of training that learning platforms such as Totara support include:
- sales training
- management training
- product training
- technical training
Increasingly online platforms also offer social learning capabilities such as groups, discussions and chat which facilities, encourages and supports learning across companies. To create effective compliance training within learning platforms, follow the 5 step process below.
5 Steps To Effective Compliance Training
1. Assess the training need
- What are your compliance requirements?
- What are the key risk areas?
- How do they relate to job roles?
2. Determine the training solution required
- What needs to be done differently?
- What kinds of training materials do you need? Is online training the best or only way?
- Do you have content, is it available to buy or does it need to be developed?
- What blend works best for your need e.g. self-paced elearning, webinars, workshops
3. Design the training
- Compliance training is not simply about regulations and policies. It is about the actions individuals take to mitigate the risks and consequences of non-compliance
- Make sure the consequences to stakeholders effected by non-compliance are clear
- Use scenarios and stories, these are much more memorable than regulations
- make it engaging, compliance can be dry, try to inject some fun and interaction
4. Training delivery and application in the workplace
- Consider the best forms of delivery
- Is some content best delivered to mobile devices
- Consider checklists that can be used on the job
- Role of line managers in supporting learners
- make the assessment challenging and focus on application of behaviour not short term recall of facts
- Be clear how will you verify and assess the training
- Decide if you will issue certificates
- How frequently does refresher training need to be undertaken and by who
- Decide what forms of ongoing refresher training are needed, e.g. retaking the whole course on an annual or anniversary basis, short refresher assessment every 3 months, etc.
Find out more about compliance solutions from Lambda.