The Impact of Training and Education on an Effective Compliance Program
Why is Training and Education Important?
With respect to an effective compliance program (ECP), the training and education element is particularly noteworthy for several key reasons. By having a meaningful training and education program, compliance professionals are in a position to strengthen the effectiveness of other elements within their ECPs.
There are many reasons that people may offer to support the overall development of a training and education program within an ECP. At the same time, there are also several important aspects that training and education programs need to take into account. Here are three worth considering.
Expression of Expectations
First off, training and education raises the awareness and understanding of a fundamental document that organizations use as a cornerstone to their ECPs: Code of Conduct. A code of conduct can be viewed, to borrow a phrase from the Office of Inspector General, “an expression of expectations” by the organization to its workforce. This not only expresses how workforce members are expected to conduct themselves while performing their roles but also what they can expect should they act in a manner that is contrary to what is expressed in the organization’s Code of Conduct.
Secondly, training and education supports an ECP by establishing processes and procedures that help mitigate identified risks by the organization so as to reduce such risks to an acceptable level. This is done in combination with the compliance program element of establishing policies and procedures. Essentially, an organization can have very well designed policies and procedures, but if these are not known by the workforce in a manner that allows them to be familiar with and apply them, these policies are little more than printed words on paper. In addition, training and education can help promote the idea how the organization will audit and monitor how well these policies are producing the desired outcomes. This can raise the commitment of the workforce, because it realizes how everyone is contributing to supporting the goals and mission of the organization.
Lastly, training and education can help drive a level of consistency with respect to operations. An organization’s workforce is often comprised of workforce members that come from varied backgrounds and a wide range of experience. Training and education can help inform workforce members on the “how to” perform various functions or processes so that these are done in a manner that is consistent with policy and procedure which in the end one main objective is to minimize the risks associated with an inconsistent process.