Compliance Training Program
The compliance training program industry meets the need for companies to be aware of increased governmental oversight. With more state and federal regulations being imposed upon almost every industry, management teams run the risk of employees breaking rules that they don't even know exist. By contracting the services of a corporate compliance training firm, company managers can ensure that employees receive the knowledge they need so that the regulations are followed. Different companies may require different programs that are specific to their industry, but some issues have broad applications. For example, discrimination and harassment situations can occur in practically any office, retail store, or restaurant kitchen. Almost any business that is large enough to have a human resources department will be able to provide relevant instruction on discrimination and harassment to employees. This may be accomplished through periodic workshops, as part of the orientation process for new hires, and by establishing specific policies and procedures. An employee handbook that includes specific policies regarding discrimination and harassment may protect the company from potential lawsuits should such a situation occur between employees.
Consumers often worry about providing personal information to organizations and businesses. A variety of companies may be interested in a compliance training program that addresses privacy concerns and the scourge of identity theft. With good reason, shoppers want to know that the credit card information entered on the shopping cart page of a website store is protected. Video renters don't want the teenage clerk going on a shopping spree with a stolen credit card number. Patients want to be sure that the extremely personal health information contained in transcripts and files are kept confidential by the medical staff. In addition to these kinds of concerns, federal regulations govern specific industries. Perhaps one of the most far-reaching government entities when it comes to employees is the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). This agency has been charged by the federal government to protect practically every single employee in the nation by ensuring that workplaces are safe environments. To fulfill its mission, the administration publishes directives, schedules teaching workshops, and conducts inspections. OSHA also has the authority to set and enforce standards.
Certain government agencies focus on specific industries. For example, an accounting firm may contract for a corporate compliance training program to ensure that it meets standards set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Publicly-held corporations need to be in compliance with the rules and regulations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Federal and state environmental agencies impose numerous regulations on companies to fulfill their missions to protect the environment. Other agencies govern industries such as real estate, general contracting, restaurants, hospitality and travel, banking and credit unions, housing, the list goes on and on. Very few companies escape the finely-meshed net of federal and state government. Another important area of concern is business ethics. Company boards of directors can benefit from corporate compliance training that covers such areas as board responsibilities, conflict-of-interest issues, disclosure requirements, and other ethical concerns. Government agencies are often criticized, and sometimes justly, for the expensive burden placed on businesses by numerous regulations. But since the regulations probably are here to stay, the small business owner and management team need to see them in as positive a light as possible. Perhaps this Old Testament verse will help: "For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life" (Proverbs 6:23).
Once the need for a compliance training program is identified, a small business owner or a human resources manager needs to establish criteria for selecting the most cost-effective program that will meet the company's needs. In planning the training, the owner or manager will want to consider which employees need the instruction. Other questions may include: 1) What is the most appropriate way for these employees to receive the training? 2) When can the instruction be scheduled so that normal business operations aren't unduly disrupted? 3) How will the instruction be evaluated? Many resources are available to help answer these important questions. Some corporate compliance training firms offer a catalog of programs. Often the existing products can be modified to fit a client's specific needs or a custom program can created. It may be that the most appropriate training will consist of a self-paced software program that employees can go through individually. Or perhaps the instruction will be conducted for a group in a morning workshop at the client's location or a weekend retreat at an off-site location. The latter is especially popular when the client's board of directors needs to receive specialized instruction on business ethics. After the training is completed, the client will want to evaluate the firm's effectiveness in providing the instruction and any follow-up materials or tracking tools. The firm may assist in creating reference manuals that can be updated as new regulations are passed by the relevant government agencies. Ongoing training may be available online or through specially prepared DVDs or videos.
Almost every employee and almost every business is regulated by one or more government agencies at both the state and federal levels. Management teams are responsible for ensuring that companies comply with the rules and regulations that govern their industry as well as such broad issues as discrimination, harassment, and business ethics. Firms that offer pre-packaged and corporate compliance training programs provide an invaluable service to clients who need this important and valuable information.
Corporate Compliance TrainingThe need for corporate compliance training continues to grow with each passing year. Problems with employee behavior, coupled with growing government regulation has certainly contributed to this growth. Companies find that they need to take pains to train employees on subjects such as ethics and the treatment of fellow staff. In addition, there are many legal requirements that could require a corporation that violates such requirements to pay fines and penalties, or even face legal and criminal liabilities. To make sure that every staff member understands what is ethically required of them and that all company policies comply fully with the law, classes and workshops are scheduled by many organizations on a regular basis. In some cases, such corporate compliance training programs are obligated by law. There are many steps that a company can take to ensure that they are not in violation of any regulations or standards of conduct. A written code of ethics and conduct should be established and made available to all employees. Regularly scheduling educational opportunities for staff on such topics as workplace harassment or how the law applies to employees with disabilities is important. Continual monitoring of the ethics and conduct of employees can also protect a company from any liabilities in this area. Regulations that must be complied with could come from a variety of sources including state and federal laws, laws that have been established by government agencies or the standards in a particular industry.
There can be additional benefits to corporate compliance training. Some business experts believe that effective training in the area of ethics and standards of conduct can actually make an organization more competitive in the marketplace. In addition to educating employees on acceptable standards of conduct, companies need to make sure that staff members have a solid grasp on the kinds of legal risks that inappropriate behavior can bring for both the company and the individual employee. If there are areas of weakness that a company faces, those areas should be addressed quickly. Any employee who is in violation should receive some kind of disciplinary measure as soon as management has been made aware of the problem. Delays in handling an issue can mean serious problems for the company. Ethics in business can involve a number of areas including environmental issues, social responsibilities or public policies. In general, ethics in the business world deals with right and wrong behavior among employees and toward the community at large. While it is easy to assume that most individual employees will have a basic sense of right and wrong behavior and the fair treatment of others, this is frequently not the case. Colleges often include classes in ethics as they apply to business as part of various degree programs. There may be areas that pertain to a specific industry that require formal corporate compliance training. When this is the case, there are many professional organizations and resources that can help an organization put together a quality training program.
The Americans with Disabilities Act sets out specific regulations that can require corporate compliance training. This act sets out standards in the work place for those who have mental or physical disabilities. How ADA regulations relate to a specific situation can be challenging to interpret. Educational opportunities that allow companies to look at their own individual situations can make a big difference in helping an organization come into compliance. Disabled individuals will also become aware of their own rights in the work place through these educational opportunities. If special accommodations need to be made, quality information can help an organization accomplish this in a way that meets all legal requirements. Some laws can vary from state to state. For this reason, professional consultants could provide a very valuable service for companies that do not fully understand how to interpret the law. In addition, on line corporate compliance training is available and can provide a convenient alternative. The nature of this concern can mean that making training as easy to attain as possible is an important factor. Americans with Disabilities Act manuals and other resources are widely available and can be used by companies and organizations seeking ways to educate staff and management. Laws in this area can also change on a regular basis. Keeping up to date with any changes in regulations is important.
There are a variety of corporate compliance training classes that are available. Topics could include code of conduct development and training as well as ethics and conflict of interest training. Specific classes that apply to codes of conduct for government contractors may be offered as well. If these classes are effective, participants will come away with a healthy respect for one another and a desire to behave in an appropriate manner to each other. The Bible has a lot to say about how individuals should treat each other. "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." (Luke 6:31)
The issue of work place harassment can be a very important one. Attaining corporate compliance training in this sensitive area is extremely vital and is, in some cases, mandated by law. In some states, if a company has more than fifty employees, they must provide education on this topic. All employees must attend such courses, whether they are full or part time or even temporary staff. A sexual harassment suit can be very expensive. For this reason, adequate training on this topic is absolutely necessary. Making sure that employees at all levels are aware of issues pertaining to proper behavior in the work place is essential.