Published: Feb 4, 2019Time to read: 6mins Category: Learning
How a Compliance Training Solution Helps You Avoid Common Audit Errors
With auditors demanding adherence to hundreds of new regulations every year, you need to be able to steer clear of the pitfalls that can pervade learning strategies. Here are three sure-fire ways a best-of-breed compliance training solution can help.
Technology has made meticulous compliance tracking a lot easier to achieve in recent years. Most companies across all sectors used to really struggle to achieve full compliance, and only four out of 10 organizations now say they’re thoroughly prepared for an external audit. Learning Management Systems play a major role in the training success of compliant organizations. And the overall situation is likely to continue to improve as more and more companies adopt sophisticated digital compliance tools.
However, the number of organizations who say they aren’t inspection-ready still suggests there’s a lot of work to be done. This is especially urgent given the severe financial penalties, loss of reputation, and other consequences suffered by companies in high-consequence industries who fail to achieve and demonstrate full compliance.
In this blog post, we will look at some typically problematic areas, as well as a few ways in which the right compliance training solution is a critical part of addressing them.
Recommended related reading: 'The 13 Must-Have Features of a Learning Management'
Compliance Training Solution Tip #1: Go Automatic to Improve Your Processes
In the past, organizations tended to rely on paper-based, predominantly manual methods of managing compliance. However, this approach is massively inefficient, complicated to manage, and typically results in compliance issues.
Automated compliance training has played a big role in alleviating traditional compliance headaches. As part of training processes that are managed and controlled centrally through a robust LMS, automation can be a perfect fit for the highly scheduled nature of regulatory requirements.
With automatic processes, training gaps can be monitored and organized much more efficiently. As an obvious example, think of a manager trying to keep track of compliance training completions by several hundred learners. Prior to using a compliance-focussed LMS, they’d spent hours cross-checking all of their learner records once a week, and then lose valuable time nudging learners who have failed to complete or pass the training.
A compliance LMS provides with them a simple answer. Every Monday morning, the manager receives an alert if there are members of their team who are yet to take their compliance training. They then receive what we call an exemption report—a list of learners who need to take this training. This removes all of the guesswork and automates a large chunk of the process—managers can easily see who’s falling behind and act accordingly.
You might also like: '5 Ways to Use Your LMS for Compliance Management'
Compliance Training Solution #2: Setting Up Reminders
Knowing who needs to take training is an important initial step, but ensuring they do so—as L&D teams know—is the real challenge. Before we begin to work with them, some organizations find that a worrying number of learners slip through the net and fail to complete training within set timeframes. This is a common problem among companies who don’t have the right tools at their disposal—not only is it frustrating for management, but it also raises difficult questions when inspections take place.
LMS reminders are an extremely effective way of solving this problem through a compliance training solution. Let’s say you have a piece of training that all employees need to complete within a month. You could use your LMS to set a weekly reminder for learners, and customize the reminders so that they escalate in tone and come from different senders.
In this instance:
- The reminder after one week arrives from the respective line manager of each non-completing employee, emphasizing the timescale and importance of taking the training.
- The reminder after a fortnight comes from the company Compliance Officer and urges users who haven’t taken the training to do so before the imminent deadline.
- The reminder after three weeks is from a member of senior management and warns forgetful learners of the consequences if this imperative training isn’t completed in time.
This is just one way you can use reminders within an LMS. Here’s another: log-in reminders can tell learners about training deadlines as soon as they enter the system. In addition, learners can be prevented from accessing courses or other areas of the system until they have started or completed specific training.
In the example we mentioned above, the need to take training ahead of a looming deadline for completion could be easily enforced by blocking off access to other parts of the system until the learner has taken the required course.
Compliance Training Solution #3: Use Analytics to Improve Your Learners’ Experience
Ultimately, one of the smartest ways we as learning professionals can make our compliance efforts more rigorous is to create a better user experience. But we can only do this when we have highly accurate data to help us build a full picture of learning and see what can be improved.
The right compliance LMS helps organizations to do this by providing highly accessible, detailed data and analytics. As well as all the reports and figures you might expect—such as completion rates — LMS analytics tools help organizations on a deeper strategic level.
For example, as standard your LMS analytics should help you to see whether compliance rates have improved following targeted learning interventions or the completion of training programs. You can then drill down to examine departmental and individual results. And you can identify whether your learning is helping to produce fewer wrong answers to individual questions that had been problematic.
Learning Technologies Are Key to Compliance
With well over half of all firms expecting to spend more time liaising with regulators in the 12 months from mid-2018, the importance of reducing risk and deploying an LMS that takes the hassle out of compliance has never been more pressing.
Before you choose a compliance LMS, make sure you carefully explore the features it offers to identify and address any existing issues across your organization. Because no matter how tough regulatory requirements become, finding the right compliance solution should make it easier than ever to deal with them effectively.