Compliance and legislation are always being updated to keep up with societal changes, such as ethics, technology, social values, morality and events. The law needs to change to ensure it protects everyone against basic human injustices, regulates behaviour, keeps up with technological advances to reduce harm or exploitation, and remains flexible enough to anticipate the future needs and protection of society.
According to this report by NAVEX Global, 47% of the 1,000 ethics and compliance professionals they surveyed said one of their top three policy management challenges was to keep policies up-to-date with new and changing regulations. Failure to prepare for changes in legislation comes with a whole range of consequences – from fines and loss of business to detrimental impacts on supplier relationships and brand reputation.
A great example of this is the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into force May 2018 and builds upon the Data Protection Act 1998 in the UK. Failure to prove you comply with the new framework can result in fines of up to €20m or 4% of global turnover – whichever is the larger amount.
Preparing for these changes in compliance and legislation requires a full information audit and a change in culture. In fact, this study by PwC found that companies need to embed a culture of compliance as part of their business strategy, in order for successful company-wide compliance.
In order to embed a culture of compliance in a world where compliance and legislation is always changing, your organisation needs an automated process – the report by NAVEX Global shows that organisations who used and automated system were nearly twice as likely to say they were effective at policy compliance (37%) than those who used manual processes (20%). This is where a learning management system (LMS) can be utilised in full.
LMSs are powerful tools, allowing organisations to track employee personal development and training, whilst also enabling the creation and distribution of learning materials. In essence, they allow you to invest in your staff – giving your organisation a simple and accessible way to ensure the entire workforce is trained for their role and has access to everything they need, for example company policies.
Policies are often not in a centralised location with easy access for staff, however, to ensure entire workforces are compliant, these policies need to be made readily available. Randy Stephens, Vice President of Advisory Services at NAVEX Global, said that:
"When employees have a question, they need to be able to look at the policy. If they can't find it, they can't be trained. That's where automated solutions are the hands-down winners because those policies are housed in a central location. If you can't make that policy readily available and understandable to the bulk of users, you're not going to have good compliance."
However, 40% of ethics and compliance professionals believed that training employees on policies was one of their top three policy management challenges. Despite this, the survey found that online training was the most effective way to ensure policy comprehension, with 57% of respondents using this form of training. Stephens believes "it's about tying policies and training together in a seamless way. Doing this with an automated system, it's easy to track who saw the policy email or training on a new or updated policy, who read it, who acknowledged it, and who completed the certification."
Sometimes, even if everyone in a company has gone through rigorous compliance training, a breach still occurs, however, effective compliance processes have been shown to reduce legal costs and resolution time. In fact, more than 63 percent of organisations believe their policy management program reduced legal costs and the time it takes to resolve regulatory issues and fines. That’s why LMSs are perfectly suited to being used as a policy management system – automated systems which tie together policies, resources, training, tracking, messaging and reporting.
So what makes a good LMS? All LMSs are different and all have their own special features. Make a note of exactly what you need for your business in terms of compliance training, tracking, reporting and analysing. The basic qualities you should be looking for are scalability, ongoing support and future updates. Always ask for a live demo or a trial period, so you can check usability and whether the features are in line with your requirements.
Virtual College’s LMS, Enable, is an easy-to-use cloud-based LMS which can be accessed on any device, transforming how your organisation provides training, development and compliance. It can be used to support from 2 up to 2 million learners, depending on how many people are in your workforce.
With robust security and minimal set-up, your organisation can get started straight away – creating your own staff compliance training programme via our bespoke services or choosing from over 300 off-the-shelf e-learning courses we have available.
As you can upload and store various resources on the LMS – from SCORM packages and video files to a range of document file formats – your staff will be able to access their compliance training and organisational policies all from one centralised dashboard. You can even set up pre- and post-learning assessments so you can determine your workforce’s knowledge retention and how effective your learning is. Custom reports can help you track and document the compliance of your organisation.
If at any point you need help, Virtual College offer a UK-based 24-hour service to ensure you continue getting the most out of Enable. We also have a software development life cycle, so we can stay up to date with changing technologies and always bring you the latest features. These are just a few of the fundamental features of Virtual College’s LMS, Enable, so why not click here to get in touch with Virtual College and receive a free demonstration to see how an LMS can help with your organisational compliance requirements.