Trust and reputation are essential for any organisation, which is why corporate compliance training is important. Clients, consumers, employees and stakeholders expect transparency and ethical conduct. It is for these reasons why companies should have a compliance training program in place. Compliance training reduces risks, maintains trust, keeps everyone updated, and minimises the risk of anyone violating the law.
Here's everything to know about compliance and essential training.
What is Compliance?
Compliance must not be confused with the other workplace rules. If you own a company, you have probably set some rules for your employees to follow, but these are not generally compliance. Compliance refers to the practice of following regulations set by the authorities. Authorities can refer to the government, industry organisations, or any regulatory bodies.
Every organisation has a set of regulations that they need to follow, which may include basic health and safety laws, as well as industry-specific laws. Therefore, in practice, compliance consists of two elements:
- 1.Compliance to rules and regulations that were externally set.
- 2.Complying with policies that have been imposed to adhere to these external rules and regulations.
What Happens if We Don't Comply?
The consequences resulting from non-compliance will depend on the situation and the type of industry. For instance, if your business is part of an accredited body, and you fail the compliance test, you could lose your accreditation. Losing an accreditation can be damaging for the company, although not necessarily catastrophic. However, failure to comply with regulations that can lead to a loss of life, such as regulations concerning fire safety could lead to criminal prosecution, not to mention significant penalties. For example, if it concerns the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the penalty for non-compliance can reach tens of millions of euros.
Remember that these regulations are put in place to keep people and money safe. Thus, the consequences of not complying with these regulations can be harsh. You may not care much about compliance, but this is essential, regardless of your type of business.
Who Is Responsible for This?
In most cases, large organisations have a Compliance Department. This is especially the case for those in the financial services industry where there are plenty of regulations set by the FCA, government, and even the EU commission. The Compliance Department is responsible for making sure that everyone within the organisation understands and follows the regulations.
For some smaller companies, there will be a compliance officer, although, in some instances, the role is spread to various people within the organisation. But in most companies, it is usually the HR department that is responsible for providing accessible compliance training courses to the companies’ employees. The department must make sure that the company complies with the outside regulatory requirements as well as the internal policies.
Health and Safety
Compliance in the workplace is very common. But among the main areas covered by workplace compliance are Health and Safety as well as Fire Safety.
When it comes to Fire Safety, companies should have fire safety signage all over the premises, such as fire escape sights as well as escape route maps. These are the main components of fire safety compliance, which all businesses are required to comply.
All companies in the UK must comply with health and safety at work regulations. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 also known as the HSWA, the HSW Act, the 1974 Act or HASAWA covers occupational health and safety in the workplace. Below are some of the guiding points for Health and Safety Compliance:
- Evaluate any risks that could harm the employees, clients, customers, and anyone who could be affected by certain activities conducted in the workplace.
- Implement effective planning, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures that were put in place.
- Come up with a written health and safety policy to demonstrate to everyone that the organisation is committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment.
- Ensure that all employees will have access to health and safety advice as well as adequate first aid and welfare facilities.
- Check with employees about any workplace risk and teach them the proper preventative measures.
- There should be a fire escape plan in place.
Take note that failure to comply with the Laws on Health and Safety can be harmful to your business. As an employer, you could be persecuted if you will be caught violating the law.
GDPR & Data Protection
Data Protection is another important component of workplace compliance. Compliance teams must make sure that the organisation adheres to the GDPR. GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation is a regulation that requires businesses to protect the privacy and personal data of consumers. It sets a new standard for companies that handle consumer data to safeguard the processing and movement of the consumer's personal information. Some of the key requirements of the GDPR include the following:
- 1.Anonymising the collection of data to protect the user's privacy.
- 2.Asking for the consent of the customers for data processing.
- 3.Providing notifications in case of a data breach.
- 4.Ensuring safe handling of the transfer of data.
- 5.Requiring companies to appoint a data protection officer who can oversee GDPR compliance.
The main purpose of the GDPR is to impose a uniform law on data security on all EU member states. That way, each member state will no longer need to come up with its own data protection laws and to ensure that the laws are consistent across eat region. But GDPR compliance does not only apply to companies based in the EU. This applies to all companies that distribute and offer their goods and services to EU consumers.
GDPR infringements can lead to serious consequences, with a maximum fine of about £18 million or 4% of the annual global turnover, whichever is greater. This is why providing GDPR compliance training is important for every organization. If you haven’t already recruited qualified human resources personnel, who are up to date with the latest GDPR, who can give the training themselves, then the usually online training provides an in-depth understanding of the General Data Protection Regulation and which of these rules are relevant for your business. It also teaches employees about their responsibilities in protecting the consumer’s data and personal information.