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How will GDPR affect your company's approach to compliance training?

schedule 1 week, 3 days ago by Emma Brook in Virtual College

employees in business meeting

The forthcoming introduction of the European GDPR laws will have a major impact on learning and development strategies, so it's important that your organisation invests in the right technology to help manage this transition.

One of the key components of developing a learning and development strategy that's fit for purpose is making sure to adapt it accordingly when a major new piece of legislation creates significant changes to the way businesses operate.

The new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a prime example of this kind of major legislative paradigm shift, with the new law set to fundamentally alter the way organisation across Europe handle data management issues when it comes into effect on May 25th 2018.

With this deadline fast approaching, it's vital for organisations of all shapes and sizes to consider how GDPR is likely to affect their approach to compliance training, and to make sure they have the tools and processes in place to guarantee a smooth transition.

A summary of GDPR

Representing the most significant shake-up of data protection legislation since 1995, GDPR is designed to provide EU citizens with enhanced control over their personal data, and the way that businesses and other organisations are allowed to use that information.

Key stipulations will see consumers offered additional protection from data breaches and greater say over issues concerning their personal privacy, meaning they will be able to withdraw their consent for companies to use their private data, and to ask holders of that data to erase it on request.

Additionally, all organisations will have to ask for specific permission when processing sensitive information and to get in touch proactively when any breaches occur. The penalty for falling foul of these new rules is considerable, with firms facing fines of up to four per cent of their annual global turnover, or €20 million (£17 million).

How will this affect your learning and development strategy?

With the British government having confirmed that GDPR will continue to apply regardless of Brexit, it's important for bosses to understand that these regulations represent the new legislative status quo - and to adjust their learning and development approach to accommodate this.

Compliance training courses on key topics such as data protection, customer consent and cyber security are likely to be significantly changed as a result of GDPR, as the old rules will no longer apply. This will need to happen as soon as possible, as it's essential that everyone within your organisation is up to speed on this change before it comes into effect.

It's also going to be necessary to carry out a complete audit of your current databases, policies and processes to ensure total compliance with the new rules, a task that will involve the entire company, from board members through to compliance, legal, IT, security and HR teams. This may be a one-time process, but the complexities involved mean that specific training is likely to be needed to ensure it goes as smoothly as it needs to.

Investing in the right technology

Adapting to a legislative shift as significant as GDPR is a monumental and challenging task, but it's also one that can be made much easier by investing in the right technology to empower your learning and development teams.

An audit management tool, for example, can help your business to gain greater transparency when dealing with the auditing process, creating team-by-team risk assessments and grading criteria before analysing them using comparative reports. This can make it easier to get a sense of how the work is progressing, and to deal with efficiency bottlenecks as and when they arise.

Learning management systems, meanwhile, can also be invaluable, as these allow organisations to use a single unified interface to plan and oversee the training process, with results collated in the same place for ease of tracking and comparison. Not only do their digital nature make them accessible wherever the learner requires, but they can also give an unparalleled insight into which interventions are proving effective, which staff members are absorbing the lessons and which individuals may need additional support.

By taking full advantage of the benefits offered by such technology, you can make sure your organisation is ready for GDPR well before the May deadline, and that you're able to retain your status as a trusted steward of sensitive personal data.


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Emma Brook - Virtual College

Author: Emma Brook

Emma works in the marketing design team at Virtual College and works on a variety of print and digital design projects. In her spare time she enjoys going to gigs and the theatre.

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