5 Essential Tips To Evaluate Your Existing Compliance Training Program

5 Essential Tips To Evaluate Your Existing Compliance Training Program
Summary: To evaluate your existing compliance training program, try these 5 tips: Make sure your training is up to date, conduct mock audits, quiz employees to check retention, survey employees about the appropriateness of the training, and perform a risk analysis.

How To Evaluate Your Existing Compliance Training Program

Corporate training comes in a variety of flavors. Systems training is essential for improving employee performance, sales training is key to boosting revenue to the next level; and in certain tightly-regulated industries, compliance training protects a company from the existential threats posed by legal restrictions and massive fines.

Since compliance training can be so critical to a company’s survival, it’s crucial to get it right. Employees who are misguided by out-of-date or poorly designed training can do serious damage. Here are 5 things you can do to evaluate your compliance training program and make sure it’s on track:

1. Make Sure Your Training Is Up To Date

In many industries, regulations can be updated faster than a company’s compliance training is—and in some sad cases, new training development takes so long that key regulations have changed before it’s even used. This creates an obvious problem: if existing requirements are stricter than those referenced in the training, employee behavior is likely to be noncompliant.

Depending on the complexity of your training, a quick review might suffice or a thorough audit may be required. Either way, your Subject Matter Experts should evaluate its accuracy on a regular schedule. And, to future-proof your training, make sure it’s easy to update in-house or verify that your vendor is responsive to ongoing maintenance requests.

2. Conduct Mock Audits

The ultimate test for compliance training comes when an external audit catches something wrong and penalties are imposed. This is a terrible way to test your training, of course—it’s like starting a fire in the office and seeing how people react instead of having a normal fire drill.

Like a well-designed fire drill, a mock audit will reveal problem areas and weaknesses in the compliance training program. The level of intensity of your audit should correspond to the seriousness of the consequences of noncompliance.

3. Quiz Employees To Check Retention

If you have plenty of confidence in your training and in your employees, a comprehensive mock audit might be more trouble than it’s worth. But, brief quizzes on a critical subject matter can indicate how well the program is working, for a low investment in time and effort.

One global pharmaceutical company incorporates this strategy into its overall compliance training program. Their scientists and technicians are guided by hundreds of pages of SOP documents, which they need to know inside and out. It’s a requirement to periodically take eLearning courses on each of these documents, but in between these scheduled courses, simple quizzes on the subject matter satisfy the requirement. If one individual fails a quiz, they may need to retake the training course for that document. If many individuals fail the quiz, that’s a sign that something needs to change in the training.

4. Survey Employees

By surveying employees, you can make sure their job duties are aligned with the training they are taking. Compliance training can miss the mark for several reasons, and one is that an employee’s set of responsibilities can drift or change in scope over time. This means that individuals might not be training on all the regulations they need in their current situation or may be wasting time learning things they don’t need to know.

Web-based training courses typically include a brief survey at the end to assess the overall value of the training. Consider updating this survey to assess the course’s applicability to each employee’s role, or create a survey if one doesn’t already exist.

5. Perform A Risk Management Evaluation

In this way, you can see if the training focuses on the company’s key risk areas. Regulations aren’t created equal—some are considered ‘common knowledge’ and unlikely to pose a problem for average employees; others are tricky to keep track of and hold severe consequences when violated. It’s critical to know the difference. In highly regulated fields like healthcare, medical malpractice training is a good example of training that needs to put a little extra weight on areas that threaten a company’s livelihood.

When you can make a thorough analysis of your company’s compliance-related risks, and then map them to the areas covered in your compliance training, you’ll improve security against noncompliance. This can dramatically improve the return on your training investment.

A compliance training program needs to function like a well-maintained helicopter: all the parts need to work properly, and if one doesn’t, the whole thing can crash. By performing consistent evaluations like these 5 procedures, you can feel confident that a crash isn’t something to worry about.