Planning Your Compliance Training Checklist – A quick to-do list

Planning a Compliance training checklist isn’t a matter of choice for most employers.  The rules are clear; compliance training is a legal requirement in many contexts, and the risks involved in having an untrained workforce are great. But treating compliance training as a necessary chore is a mistake.  It should be seen as an opportunity to engage and inspire, and to remind employees of the ethical framework of their workplace. Staff who are aware of their compliance responsibilities are likely also to gain in confidence and productivity; a work environment which has reduced the possibility of anti-social behaviours such as harassment and discrimination is going to benefit from stability and reduce absenteeism.  So, there is everything to be gained from getting compliance training checklist right.

The following list is of points to consider when planning your compliance training checklist. Download the list here

1. Tailor the course to the context

No two workplaces are alike, and every business will present its own challenges with regard to compliance.  The training programme needs to take local conditions into account.  Remember too that the audience will quickly become restless and inattentive if the training material seems irrelevant to their own working lives.  The training needs to be practical as well as theoretical; learners need to come away with a clear idea of what to do if they encounter non-compliance.

2. Involve higher levels of the organisation

Compliance training, if it is to be effective, must be supported by management at every level.  If a culture of compliance is to permeate the organisation, staff need to know that the subject is being taken seriously and that they will not be left unsupported if they challenge non-compliance.  Complaining and whistleblowing are difficult steps for individual employees to take, and training needs to demonstrate that they will be heeded.  Ideally, training should include real evidence of management support.

3. Be interactive

Employees are already experienced and knowledgeable about their own working environment, and they do not take kindly to being talked at.  The training needs to provide plenty of opportunities for learners to relate the material to their own experiences and offer examples from their own successes and failures.  Role-play and quizzes can keep learners engaged and allow them to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

4. Include multimedia content

In the 21st century, employees are used to getting information from a wide variety of sources, and too much reliance on a single medium, whether Powerpoint slides or handouts, will quickly seem tedious.  A good mixture of techniques, such as video and dramatizations, will hold people’s attention and avoid fatigue.  Video clips are most effective when they are not too long, and raise points which can trigger discussion.

5. A variety of platforms

Online training is a valuable resource which allows employers to deliver compliance training with minimal disruption to work schedules.  People can fit training around their working day and can learn at their own pace.  Another advantage in providing training online is that the material can remain available for future reference.  However, it’s important that online training takes account of the different devices used by employees, and the imperfect conditions (such as outdated software, mobile devices, or poor bandwidth) which may be available to them.

6. Narratives and Personalities

Learners retain information much better when it is delivered in the form of a real-life story.  Real or imaginary cases in lifelike situations will stick in peoples’ minds; a good training course lets learners imagine themselves in the scenarios presented to them.

7. Opportunities for continued learning

Compliance training is far-reaching in its scope and in the responsibilities it places on its audience.  No-one should finish the training feeling that there is nothing more to learn or that they are now on their own.  It is helpful if information from the course is available in a quick ‘ready reference’ format for future use.

8. Give clear feedback 

The training needs to incorporate frequent opportunities for trainers and learners to monitor progress and check to understand.  Confidence in their ability to handle non-compliance is one of the most important benefits that learners will derive from the training, and this needs to be reinforced by honest and accurate feedback.  Equally, the need for further study may need to be clearly identified.

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