Compliance Training

Discover:

What is compliance training?

Compliance training is a specific type of learning designed to inform employees of the organization’s regulations, policies or adherence to laws.

The term compliance refers to the notion of accepting and agreeing and is used to describe the training because of its mandatory nature.

Employees must typically complete compliance training in order to continue their employment.

It will often revolve around specific company policies or rules but can also be about laws or regulations that are applicable to the organization and the employee’s job.

Compliance training is usually always job and industry-specific and is time-sensitive.

Employees working in a warehouse will receive compliance training in relevant workplace safety, whereas an employee working in information technology may receive compliance training in data protection privacy.

Employees will often need to complete compliance training by certain deadlines in order for the organization and its employees to be in compliance.

What is the purpose of compliance training?

The main purpose of compliance training is to create awareness and prepare employees to confidently handle themselves in any relevant situation that could put their job, safety or well-being at risk.

In addition, compliance training is also a means to legally protect the organization and its reputation in the event of an incident.

What is HR compliance?

HR compliance is the term used to describe the employer-employee relationship that is regulated by law and legislation and upheld by the organization.

This duty often falls to the Human Resources (HR) department. Most of the activities conducted by HR are bound by law and legislation, including the hiring of employees, protecting worker rights, and ensuring that employees abide by policies and legislation, like health & safety.

To maintain HR compliance, HR professionals are required to be versed and trained in employment law. An employee handbook is often developed and distributed by HR in order to effectively communicate the policies upheld by the organization.

Compliance training examples

Common examples of compliance training include:

  • Information security
  • Workplace safety
  • Data protection & privacy
  • Diversity training
  • Workplace harassment
  • Anti-harassment training

Why compliance training is important?

Compliance training is often mandatory for employees because it serves to protect an organization’s values, policies and commitment to the law.

Disregarding the required rules, regulations or policies within an organization can have drastic consequences, including loss of employment, fines, criminal prosecution, audits or damage to the business’s reputation. Having employees meet a standard of compliance training ensures that an organization has secured legal accountability. 

For employees, compliance training offers critical information relevant to the job or industry and is meant to protect. Being empowered with knowledge and awareness about specific issues, policies or regulations enables employees to conduct themselves with integrity and recognize when a situation or behavior is in violation.

For employers, compliance training not only protects the organization from legal action, but it also fosters well-being, transparency and respect throughout the company. The need to prove that employees have been trained and signed-off on specific compliance issues can also be relevant for organizations that need it in order to obtain insurance.

How to make compliance training engaging

The content in a compliance training course can be highly technical and formal and is often written by specialists.

For most employees taking the course, this type of language and information is not normal every day reading material and can be difficult to understand.

The point of compliance training, however, is to ensure that employees understand and agree to this content.

With compliance training making up a large proportion of an organization’s training, how can compliance courses be developed to engage employees given the challenging type of content?

Below are some key strategies for developing engaging compliance training:

1. Keep it simple

  • Omit technical jargon where possible and opt for concise, simple sentences or activities that get the technical information across.
    To do this, first ensure that all the required content is covered in the training. The aim is not to gloss over the required information, but to break it down and make it easier to understand for a lay person.
  • Use examples, scenarios, or simple explanations to get each objective across.
  • Provide relevant snippets of policy or law text, not entire documents. Consider attaching the actual policy, law or legislation as a resource or link for additional reading and support.

2. Use real-life examples and scenarios

Keeping it simple also means using more real-life examples and scenarios.

Not only does it give life to the dry, technical content and make it easier for the employee to understand, but it gives the content real relevance to the employee in their everyday job.

Examples and scenarios can be presented as decision-based activities, where the learner can explore situations in a risk-free environment to understand the consequences of actions or behavior, or they can be presented as simulations, where story-based learning helps employees to visualize and relate the content to real life.

3. Consider microlearning

Taking the idea of short and concise even further, microlearning can help keep employees more actively engaged with compliance training by offering the content in bite-sized lessons.

A major complaint about compliance training is the length of time it takes to get through the course. For busy employees, taking a large chunk out of the workday for an e-learning is not appealing and can result in the lesson being hastily rushed. If the learner has not actually reading the content and is instead just clicking through it, the course has not done its job.

A microlearning lesson, on the other hand, takes one learning objective at a time and offers a bite-sized lesson that is around a few minutes long - a lot easier for a busy professional to take. If an entire course was broken up into microlessons that could be easily accessed at any time, employees would be in a better position to take the time to fully engage with the content without feeling overwhelmed.

4. Employ digital technology

Digital technology reflects the way people engage with information and makes it easy for compliance training to be accessible and engaging.

The proliferation of training apps, cloud-based learning, and mobile learning means that ideas like microlearning or a highly interactive scenario-based e-learning can be more easily created and accessed by employees.

The use of digital technology also makes updating training a lot simpler and quicker. This is an important factor for compliance training, which is often time-sensitive.

Making updates to a current course or using a cloud-based tool to quickly create a new one means that it will be pushed out to the employee immediately and also completed more quickly.