How Compliance Training Differs from Other Training

what is compliance training

In any organization, there are multiple types of mandatory staff training. These training fall on a continuum from how to perform specific job functions to a certification course in CPR. One of the most critical types of training in any business or organization is compliance training.

What is Compliance Training?

Compliance training provides employees with the overall essence of the company. Not only do employees learn about the philosophies and operating principles of the organization, but also legal and ethical issues that go along with the job. Some of these topics may be generalized and apply to nearly any organization, while others are very specific based on the job or company.

Topics commonly addressed may include:

  • Americans With Disabilities Act
  • Workplace Violence
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Family Medical Leave Act

Why is Compliance Training Important?

Violations of any of these regulations are serious and may result in fines, loss of business, and criminal prosecution. When employees are fully trained and following the mandates outlined in compliance training, the company is less likely to have legal issues or an unsafe work environment.

How is Compliance Training Different?

Unlike regular staff training where you teach someone how to perform the basic functions of their job or how to use an updated software program, topics for compliance training are often repeated on an annual basis. Because of the repetition and legal language involved, it can be quite boring.Some agencies pass out the same memo every single year, without even bothering to change the date on the top. With less effort going into preparation and delivery, employees tend to dismiss it as not important or say “I already know this”.

Can Compliance Training Be More Effective?

Compliance training doesn’t have to be a snooze-fest. With some creativity and a little bit of preparation, it can be fun.

Here are some recommendations for updating your compliance training plan of attack:

  • Present the legal language in short incremental bursts. No one enjoys reading pages of that stuff.
  • Use lots of examples. Start with one or two that are simply obvious, then move to a few that really make people think.
  • Consider your method of presentation. Do you want an interactive session where people get together and talk about these topics? If not, consider an eLearning course with interactivity built into the course. More interactivity increases the likelihood your staff will retain the message you are trying to deliver.
  • Avoid using the same examples and material year after year. You can use the shell and key concepts, but don’t make it always look the same. Otherwise, employees will lose interest right at the beginning.

Compliance training isn’t about teaching employees which buttons to push on a machine or how to navigate through solving a complex case. You’ll accomplish that in your job specific training. Compliance training gives you an opportunity to ensure employees understand your company’s philosophies, policies, and procedures. It teaches employees that you value them and want to protect their rights, just as you expect them to do for each other and “their” company.