Meeting compliance requirements is a key concern for many organizations, especially in highly-regulated industries. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the key features you can leverage in your LMS to help with compliance management.
These days most organizations face compliance requirements of some description. Whether you’re in finance or pharma, manufacturing or aviation, non-compliance with industry and government regulations can result in considerable penalties.
This doesn’t just mean fines.
Reputational damage, site shutdowns and loss of revenue are just a few of the repercussions of poor compliance management.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can use an LMS to improve your organization’s compliance management. Here’s our rundown of the most useful features any robust LMS should have to reduce the risks of non-compliance.
Compliance Management #1: Security Matters First
As a data center, your LMS is a compliance risk area.
Regulations around data protection may include specific requirements on how data centers host and share information. In addition to this, your learning content may well contain proprietary or confidential information you do not want to risk leaking into the public sphere.
Your LMS should be as safe and secure as possible.
For example, if your LMS is cloud-based then a single-tenant SaaS implementation is likely to be the safest option. You may also consider an on-premise implementation if a cloud-based LMS does not meet your organization’ specific security needs.
ISO 27001 is a rigorous security standard which very few LMSes have achieved. This standard requires a comprehensive framework of security controls, as well as regular external audits.
Compliance Management #2: Reminders and Alerts
Many compliance training programs are mandatory, but getting learners to complete your learning can sometimes be a challenge.
Sending emails and reminders to learners is a tedious task for many managers.
Luckily many LMSes can now automate this process for you, sending out a series of reminders to learners to complete training which, if ignored, eventually result in a manager being alerted.
A robust, feature-rich LMS like NetDimensions LMS can go one step further by flagging course completion reminders when learners log into the LMS, and can even block access to other learning programs until the outstanding learning is completed.
Compliance training is often conducted on an annual basis. Instead of re-enrolling learners each year, utilize certification features in your LMS instead. These certificates expire and then automatically re-enroll your learner for the next year’s course.
Boost completion rates with a ‘test-out’ feature.
With this tool, learners don’t have to complete a course from scratch if they can pass an upfront assessment. This is an especially valuable way to keep learners compliant when they may be faced with proving compliance with a variety of regulations each year.
Compliance Management #3: Content Approvals and Controls
Maintaining strict controls and permissions on documentation and learning content is vital for good compliance management.
For example, utilizing strict versioning controls will make it far easier to track which versions of content your learners have accessed. This is particularly valuable for auditing purposes.
Permission features are essential to maintaining the integrity of your compliance content.
Content should only be updated by authorized people in your organization to ensure it remains relevant and up-to-date. A good LMS should allow you to easily set up access permissions and design rigorous procedures to authorize updates to content.
Compliance Management #4: Rigorous Exam Requirements
Passing an assessment is usually the last stage of proving compliance for your learners. They need to be able to demonstrate they have understood the learning and how to apply it in context.
Use an inbuilt exam engine to set rigorous examinations straight from your LMS.
This type of feature will provide you with various different options to assess your learners, such as randomization of answer options and question pooling.
Some LMSes also allow you to set exam access conditions that drastically reduce the risk of cheating. LMS administrators can use an LMS exam engine to build assessments that can only be accessed within certain IP ranges or with individual access codes. This allows organizations to set up specific exam centers within their sites featuring locked down PCs.
Compliance Management #5: Robust Record Tracking
One of the biggest benefits you can leverage from your LMS is to make the move to electronically storing training records.
In certain sectors, there are specific regulations around the upkeep of electronic records. Regulations such as 21 CFR Part 11 require organizations to maintain electronic records and signatures that are legal equivalents to paper records and handwritten signatures.
If your LMS can demonstrate compliance with 21 CFR Part 11, then moving to electronic storing training records is an efficient way to save time—both on ongoing administrative duties and audit-related tasks.
NetDimensions LMS is validated for 21 CFR Part 11 use and allows organizations to be ready for an audit at a moment’s notice with real-time record tracking and electronic signature features.