Why Compliance Regulations are Important for Smaller Businesses
For many of us, training is a necessary evil that offers an opportunity to build on our capabilities and keep skills current; a task to be completed and just part of the job role. For employers, there is a swathe of training that must be provided to staff to ensure compliance and minimise the risk of prosecution in the event of an incident. From health and safety to industry level compliance, employers need to be able to prove that their people received appropriate training, at the right frequency and that staff competency can be proven.
What Can Happen if you Don’t Meet Compliance Regulations?
For a lot of businesses, compliance regulations don’t get the attention they need. Because it feels safe or we believe we are doing the right things, training can be seen as a ‘nice to have’ or something we talk about once a year during performance reviews. As a result, many employers are failing to meet their statutory obligations; an issue which can have serious consequences. Bigger companies have the systems and teams in place to manage it but the risk is the same for smaller companies.
In the UK, the corporate manslaughter act came into force on the 6th April 2008 and this put a heavier burden of responsibility on the Directors of companies to ensure that their health and safety systems are adequate, appropriate and regularly reviewed. Any failings that result in injury or death can lead to individuals being prosecuted under the law (in addition to the company itself) with significant fines or custodial sentences imposed. Training is seen as a key component of meeting health and safety obligations and proving that it was delivered in a timely way, to the right standard, to those that needed it goes a long way towards mitigating this risk.
And that’s just for health and safety; most industries, trade associations or even insurers have minimum standards that have to be adhered to and proven. It is not enough just to be doing the right things – you need to be able to prove that you are as well.
How Can you Ensure that you Meet Compliance Regulations?
Thankfully, in the last few years, a whole range of powerful but affordable tools have become available that will help to minimise the risk to the company (and you) while making it easier for your people to keep on top of their own development. The key things we think you should remember are:
1. Make a Plan
Establish what training is required as a minimum in your business and identify how the training will be completed. Whether it’s classroom or online; you’ll need to be sure your people have the time and resources they need. An online LMS will allow you to quickly assign training to new starters and existing staff alike as well as allowing you to track progress
2. Ensure Everyone Completes the Training
If it’s classroom based you’ll probably need a rota or schedule to minimise any impact on productivity and you’ll need some kind of proof of attendance. If you elect to use cloud-based software, your people can complete any necessary training at a time that suits them best, avoiding a glut of staff heading off together for training.
3. Collect the Proof
If your staff received a certificate, take a copy and either file it (manually) or get your staff to upload a digital copy into your LMS to act as a permanent record of attainment.
4. Regularly Refresh their Knowledge
This is something many fall down on, as completing the training once ten years ago does not mean an individual is still “compliant”. To discharge your duty of care, consider sending them on a regular refresher course and send through changes to legislation etc to the staff that need to know. A good online LMS will allow you to share documents, videos and other learning resources instantly to keep your people up-to-date.
5. Maintain your Records
It is also essential that, if the regulator comes calling, you can quickly provide the proof they need. An online LMS makes it easy to call up all the information and is a cost-effective way of dealing with all 5 of the requirements. If you do go with paper records, spreadsheets etc, ensure they are checked and updated regularly to keep on top of the admin.
If you’re looking for a compliance solution, look no further. At Cloudtrainer, we have developed a range of cloud-based learning management systems perfect for all industries ranging from hospitality to construction. Find out how our LMS can benefit your organisation today by registering for a free 30-day trial.