Compliance training is mandatory across nearly every industry; including healthcare, life sciences, banking, and hospitality to name but a few. Compliance-driven organizations are required to demonstrate not only that their employees are trained in the laws and regulations unique to their industries, but also that they’ve been trained on internal policies and procedures specific to their roles within the organization. Compliance training can be as simple as an employee handbook or as complex as understanding challenging legal requirements. The fact remains that no matter how large or small an organization is they are affected in some way by compliance training obligations.
If developing and implementing a training program isn’t challenging enough, developing and implementing compliance training programs has its own unique set of challenges. For many employees, compliance training seems to be synonymous with boring, dull, and a waste of time, while many employers are frustrated with the costs and time commitment necessary to meet these annual compliance requirements. Furthermore, employers can struggle to see the return on investment for such training programs.
According to the Harvard Business Review, “Many executives are rightly frustrated about paying immense and growing compliance costs without seeing clear benefits. And yet they continue to invest—not because they think it’s necessarily productive but because they fear exposing their organizations to greater liability should they fail to spend enough. Employees, too, often resent compliance programs, seeing them as a series of box-checking routines and mindless training exercises.”[i]
Any organization experiencing similar challenges might look to technology, in particular, a compliance training LMS, as an essential tool to help overcome these objections. Transitioning even a portion of your compliance training online is a step in the right direction to gain much bigger benefits.
Why transition your compliance training online?
There are many benefits you’ll receive by transitioning even a portion of your compliance training online. These are namely time savings, cost savings, training content flexibility and overall improved employee engagement.
- Time savings: Transitioning compliance training online means that your employees spend less time in a classroom environment and more time performing their jobs. Even if you transition only a portion of your compliance training online, this can add up to great time savings. Now, factor in the time spent by your training staff to coordinate the classroom training, compile the training materials, conduct the training, manually grade the required tests or assessments by hand, and finally, transfer all pertinent information to a spreadsheet for record keeping. It’s easy to understand how transitioning compliance training online can reduce the time spent preparing for and conducting compliance training from days to mere hours.
- Cost savings: Any reduction in administrative time spent on compliance training activities will result in a reduction of overhead costs. Furthermore, the lesser the amount of time your employees spend in a classroom, the more they can contribute to your organization’s productivity.
- Training content flexibility: Having the freedom to develop interactive and engaging content for compliance training is a great benefit when transitioning your compliance training online. Compliance trainings that are simple PowerPoint presentations or pdfs traditionally aren’t very exciting. When providing training online, you have many more options to make your content effective and appealing. Incorporating real-life scenarios will engage employees in the learning process. Video-based training, consolidating training concepts into micro-learning, and virtual reality type training delivered through a compliance training LMS offer many more advantages for your modern day learners.
- Improved employee engagement: When you incorporate interactive and engaging content into your training mix, you’ll provide positive learning experiences that result in higher levels of employee engagement and knowledge retention. Also, when you transition your compliance training online, your employees have greater flexibility and control over when they take their courses; therefore you’re creating a greater sense of ownership and accountability with your employees. As an added bonus, if your compliance training LMS supports mobile learning, your employees can take their training when and where it’s most convenient for them, thus reinforcing their active engagement and participation.
What is a compliance training LMS?
A compliance training LMS is a learning management system that has unique features that support compliance focused initiatives. These features include blended learning support, notifications/reminders, flexible reporting, tests and assessments, and grouping to name but a few. For some organizations in the healthcare and life sciences industries, a compliance LMS must also support 21 CFR Part 11 requirements including version control, audit trails, electronic signatures, in addition to meeting specific software validation requirements.
- Blended learning support: Not all compliance training is created equal. Quite often, online courses can successfully deliver your compliance training; however, offering a diverse mix of learning modalities can help your organization to further reinforce your compliance training requirements. Having the ability to organize and track instructor-led trainings, webinars, and access to standard operating procedures and policy-type documents, etc. within your LMS provides a secure centralized repository and a single source of record.
- Notifications/Reminders: Notifications and reminders help to ensure that your employees complete their required training on time.
- Flexible reporting: Flexible reporting allows you to gain up-to-the-minute insights on employee training requirements, completion rates, certifications, and invaluable test scores.
- Tests and assessments: Just knowing that your employees have completed their training shouldn’t be good enough. Providing tests and assessments with your compliance training activities will help you determine if your employees understood their training objectives or if perhaps they require additional training opportunities.
- Grouping: Compliance training requirements may vary across job roles, titles, departments and even physical location. A compliance training LMS with grouping features ensures that the right employees get the right training at the right time based on their unique employment criteria.
- 21 CFR Part 11 requirements: 21 CFR Part 11 sets the criteria by which electronic records and electronic signatures are considered as reliable and safe as their paper record alternatives. As such, version control and auto archiving ensures accurate document management and control while audit trails and audit reports support electronic record integrity. eSignatures are recorded within a compliance training LMS and are recognized as trustworthy and reliable equivalents to handwritten signatures. Organizations have mixed requests for software validation; therefore validation package offerings vary among compliance training LMS providers.
Providing effective compliance training is difficult for many organizations, but transitioning even a portion of your compliance training online enables you to save valuable time and money while delivering an interactive and engaging learning experience for your employees.
Susan Distasio | eLearning Industry Crusader | ePath Learning, Inc.
About the Author: Susan Distasio is an eLearning Industry Crusader focused on advocating for advancement and change in the eLearning and professional development industry. An avid seeker of knowledge and continuous improvement, Susan is happy to share her research, observations, and thoughts regarding “all things related to learning and development.” When she’s not out on the learning crusade, Susan can be found with the wind in her hair riding her Harley or simply enjoying life with her husband, Steve, and her Siamese cat, Elvis, and with family and friends.