Compliance training is a critical issue for many organizations. When a law or regulatory agency requires your organization to provide training, you’d better do it, as there are possible fines and penalties awaiting organizations that do not.
Of course, the fines and penalties aren’t the only reason to provide compliance training to the workers in your organization. Even if we admit that not all compliance training requirements are perfect, most of us would also admit they’re there typically in place for a good reason—to try to mitigate a particular workplace risk of one sort or the other, whether it’s related to occupational safety and health; HR and other interpersonal issues, such as diversity, equity and inclusion; data storage, access, and privacy, or other significant issues at the workplace.
We recently conducted a webinar on creating better compliance training to address real risks and real worker behaviors (and the reasons for them), and you can listen to that webinar in recorded, on-demand format now or you can read our compliance training webinar overview for a lot more detail on creating better compliance training.
In this article, we’re going to continue providing some helpful information by giving you some tips on what to look for when you’re partnering with a training provider to help design and develop compliance training courses. In a future blog post, we’ll discuss things to look for in an LMS from your training provider for training compliance, so stay tuned for that.
Let’s review some of the things your organization should be looking for if you’re considering partnering with a training provider to help with your compliance training.
If a regulator or government agency such as OSHA or the EEOC says you need to provide compliance training on topics X, Y, or Z (examples: sex harassment, Hazard Communication, or wastewater treatment), then you’ll need a training provider who can get you courses on those topics (be they off-the-shelf or custom-made for your organization).
Designing & developing compliance training is difficult for a number of reasons, but one is simply that organizations need to provide their workers with so much compliance training. Who has time to design and deliver it all in-house, and which organizations have the subject matter expertise on such a wide range of topics?
Thing about this in terms of breadth of topics: does your organization have experts in occupational safety and health; cybersecurity; sex harassment; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and all the other compliance training topics you may be responsible for? And even if you do, can you afford to pull them away from their “day jobs” for an extended period to create training materials for compliance training?
Or think about this in terms of depth of topics. How much training might your organization have to design and develop just for one slide of the compliance-training pie, such as OSHA-based occupational safety and health training? Can you afford to have your safety manager spend that much time developing training instead of conducting other safety management tasks and responsibilities?
You’ll also benefit if the training provider has a long history of providing training, including compliance training, to organizations in your industry. Training intended for IT workers at a software company in California isn’t necessarily going to work as well for production workers at a manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania.
It’s not only important to have compliance training intended for your industry, it’s also important to have compliance training that is intended for and matches the authentic work environment your employees work in and the authentic job tasks they perform. After all, compliance training is intended to influence the real behaviors of real workers while they’re really engaged on the job.
When you’re partnering with a training provider, you want to know you’re working with people who have real expertise. First and foremost, that means expertise in terms of subject matter experts on the compliance training topic and expertise in terms of instructional designers who can create engaging compliance training courses that gain and hold worker’s attention and that contribute to successful training outcomes when training is done and workers are back on the job.
Likewise, you want to work with a host training provider whose employee base includes additional experts, such as elearning course developers, graphic designers, and writers.
Regulations, standards, and laws don’t stand still—they change over time. New ones are added, old ones are dropped, and existing ones are modified.
Even if your organization CAN perform the daunting task of creating an entire slate of compliance training activities, do you have the bandwidth to keep up with everything and make sure you’re up to date every year from that point on? Wouldn’t it be easier to allow a training provider who’s in the business of keeping up with compliance training requirements do that so you and your organization can focus on your real business?
Your employees will no-doubt need information in order to complete the compliance training and work in a compliant manner when they’re back on the job, but information alone won’t be enough. So don’t settle for compliance-training courses that focus purely on knowledge (so-called “information dumps”). Instead, make sure the course has unscored practice exercises or quizzes that allow the worker to develop stronger memories of the information and learn to utilize the information while practicing and acquiring skills.
You’ll also want to be sure the compliance training courses include a scored, pass/fail test or assessment within the course. This will allow you to prove to a regulator that not only did an employee launch and complete the course, they demonstrated sufficient mastery in terms of knowledge and skill acquisition to match the goals of the compliance training requirement.
Finally, you’ll want compliance training courses that are compatible with and communicate training information back to a learning management system (LMS) or a similar software system, such as an LRS, LXP, and/or LCMS. Information to be communicated to the LMS and stored by the LMS include when the employee launched the course, how long the employee took to complete the course, what the employee answered or did in the practice exercises, what the employee answers or did in each question within the final, scored assessment, the employee’s final grade on the assessment, whether the employee passed the test or not, and how many times the employee had to try the best before passing.
You can learn more about this in our Features to Look for in a Compliance-Based LMS article.
At Vector Solutions, we offer hundreds of elearning courses for compliance training (along with a learning management system to administer all that training).
Our elearning courses include libraries for the education sector, the public service sector (firefighters and police officers), and the commercial sector (most especially manufacturing/industrial; facilities management and maintenance; and the architecture, engineering & construction, or AEC, industry.
And, of course, we’ve got learning management systems fit for all your training needs—compliance and beyond.
Contact us today to find out how easy it is to improve your organization’s compliance training with Vector Solutions as your partner.