Corporate compliance refers to the policies and processes a company has in place to ensure that it is adhering to the laws and regulations that are relevant to their company and industry. The goals of compliance programs generally include the development, execution, and review of policies, training programs, and practices that support compliance efforts. The program helps to ensure the prevention of legal violations for the protection of the company and its officers. In the absence of corporate compliance programs, your company is vulnerable to serious legal consequences.
Eight Elements of Effective Corporate Compliance Programs
It is generally agreed that there are seven elements of an effective corporate compliance program, each falling into one of three buckets: Prevention, Detection, and Corrective Action.
Written policies serve to outline the goals and expectations of the compliance program. They are typically included in a code of conduct that applies to all company employees.
Appointment of Compliance Officer
The position of Compliance Officer should be a senior role reporting directly to the CEO or the Board of Directors. The Compliance Officer should not report to the legal group or through finance or operations to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
Compliance training programs should include employee training in general compliance issues as well as relevant, job specific, issues. Training should be part of the onboarding process and further supported with annual training sessions and programs. Many companies now leverage eLearning as the cornerstone for their compliance training (see below).
Provide a hotline that allows for the confidential and anonymous alerting of compliance issues. You should publicize reporting options to create awareness.
Monitoring and Internal Reporting
You should conduct an annual risk assessment that incorporates interviews with key staff members to detect compliance risks. The assessment should review any compliance challenges that emerged over the previous year and re-evaluate accountability and internal controls.
Nonretaliation and Nonintimidation
These are crucial elements for your compliance program as people will not come forward if they believe that reporting potential issues could cost them their jobs. The Human Resources department must ensure the enforcement of nonretaliation and nonintimidation policies.
Investigations and Remediation
You must have processes in place that allow your organization to respond quickly and thoroughly to compliance issues. It is important to note that the clock starts ticking the day an organization acknowledges an issue.
Clearly defined disciplinary policies must be developed and applied to those who have engaged in unlawful or unethical activities. The policies must be utilized consistently, regardless of employee level or position.
eLearning for Corporate Compliance Training
As mentioned above, employee training is a critical aspect of an organization’s compliance training program. And in recent years, as cloud-based technologies have continued to evolve, eLearning has emerged as a cornerstone for compliance training programs. eLearning eliminates many of the expenses associated with traditional, classroom-based training, such as travel, venue fees, catering, and the printing and distribution of learning materials. And eLearning provides and element of convenience (to both students and instructors) that classroom-based training cannot offer.
LMS Portals for eLearning and Corporate Compliance Training
LMS Portals offers a cloud-based, multi-tenant Learning Management System (LMS) that allows our clients and partners to launch and manage multiple, private eLearning environments to support corporate compliance training programs. Each portal can be branded and customized for a specific audience and the system include robust supporting tools for user onboarding, messaging and collaboration, analytics, and more.