Compliance training refers to the process of delivering educational programs to employees on the rules, regulations, policies and procedures that apply to their role within the organisation. As such, compliance training can cover a range of areas, including privacy, bribery, bullying, day-to-day procedures, record management, anti-competitive behaviour, and much more.

Applying Code of Conduct Training

Compliance training typically includes organisational values or standards that may be covered in the code of conduct. From private to public sector organisations, any compliance training program will establish the types of procedures, behaviours, and responses that are acceptable. Effective training programs allow employees to better understand code of conduct and ethical standards and apply them to specific situations to meet organisational goals.

Understanding Obligations

While code of conduct training and inductions may cover some aspects of employee obligations, too often these sources or training programs are general in nature. In many cases organizations, whether private or governmental, operate in complex or highly specialised regulatory environments. Employees may be challenged as to what is appropriate procedure and behaviour on a daily basis.

Code of conduct and an overview of the rules don’t necessary allow employees to understand how to deal with specific issues in a real life context. There may be situations where more than one compliance issue is in conflict with another. For this reason, a growing number of organisations have found it useful to introduce formal compliance programs, often delivered for flexibility via a learning management system, to help employees understand their obligations.

Avoid Violations

A major aim of compliance training is usually to avoid any violations of the law and policy to mitigate finanical and reputational risk. Further, compliance training programs will usually be aimed at allowing staff members to know and detect any situations where potential violations could occur long before they do. Providing employees with sufficient knowledge to support them in avoiding violations is an obligation for the company and could help the organisation discharge liability in the case of serious violations.

Setting Standards

Compliance training often plays an important part in helping the staff member understand expected standards of behaviour. This is especially true for organisations that deal with sensitive information, in particular those governed by specific laws, such as financial institutions. In this way, compliance has a strong role in transparency and setting standards and expectations.

Workplace Behaviour

A significant aspect of compliance training is setting standards for the workplace and educating senior managers on their obligations toward staff and to be consistent with employment law. Equal opportunity, harassment, bullying, grievance issues and discrimination are some common areas that may be covered. Clarifying these issues can have an impact on both the organisation’s and managers’ obligations towards staff as well as enforcing appropriate behaviour among staff.

Unique Compliance Requirements

Some, if not most, industries will have specific and unique compliance training requirements. This could be due to the nature of their industry or the particular laws and regulations that pertain to their organisation or type of work. For example, occupational health and safety issues are difficult to ignore in the manufacturing industry while the finance sector is subject to strict and complex legal requirements in all their client and internal procedures. Other areas will be important to any private organisation, such as trade practices law and directors’ duties.