Compliance-heavy industries such as banking, auto manufacturers, commercial construction, aerospace, and healthcare require up to date training records and compliance documents.
These protocols provide a safe place to work for the employees, protect the public and the environment, and support a fair and competitive marketplace. Keeping strict records that prove your company is compliant with respect to employee training, operating regulations, and equipment safety ensures that adherence to industry or governmental mandates can be proven.
Failing to keep adequate training and compliance records can result in serious problems for a business. From warnings and fines to loss of operating licences and sanctions, companies who let their compliance tracking slip face serious repercussions.
It’s not for just any reason that these compliance-heavy industries have strict guidelines. Workplace compliance regulation is proven to be a major factor in workplace accident prevention.
We’ve put together a guide to help managers, HR professionals, and team leaders optimize training and compliance record keeping and how to keep this business-critical documentation up to date.
We’ll highlight best practices, common pitfalls, and handy tools to help your company and your employees navigate the often complex web of compliance related paperwork.
Managing Compliance and Training Records
Depending on your industry, the types of compliance documents and mandatory training records can vary significantly. From a compliance standpoint, industries like banking, manufacturing, and healthcare have extremely strict guidelines from both professional associations and governmental agencies.
Compliance to regulations is used by governing bodies for a few important reasons:
- Protects the health and safety of employees and the public (e.g., mandatory and up-to-date machine operator licenses)
- Protects the environment (e.g., manufacturing wastewater treatment
- Supports a fair and competitive marketplace (e.g., antitrust legislation)
In terms of employee skilling and certification, most companies have their own training programs, but there certainly exist some mandatory industry standards. Take the hospitality sector for instance. To serve alcohol in Ontario, every server needs to have up-to-date Smart Serve training. In manufacturing, operator licenses and equipment certifications need to be kept up to date to ensure all processes are being performed safely.
Employee training is tracked for several purposes:
- Certification tracking (e.g., forklift license)
- Employee development, upskilling and reskilling
- Healthy and safety (e.g., COVID protocols or cleaning requirements)
- Security (e.g., email security, passwords, and anti-phishing)
- Resource management (e.g., choosing the right team for a project or taskforce)
For mid-size to large companies, keeping these training and regulatory compliance records up to date and easily accessible can be a complex task. Changing regulations, new hires, equipment upgrades, and expiring licenses add layers of complexities and potentially overwhelming amounts of paperwork.
So, what’s the best way to manage training and compliance records?
Luckily for employers, comprehensive software packages - like an employee app - make managing these important records straightforward and hassle-free.
Using reminders, flags, personal and targeted employee prompts, and digital forms and checklists, digital compliance tracking is a streamlined process that can be implemented into any business.
Digital Forms and Checklists
Using an LMS and/or employee app to track and manage compliance and training records is the most intuitive solution. A comprehensive digital platform can consolidate regulatory compliance documents, as well as training records. The right platform can even directly provide training courses, videos, tests, and evaluation to employees.
Digital forms and checklists take most of the burden off compliance tracking by:
- Setting reminders for employees to finish mandatory training
- Notifying when regulatory, worker or equipment compliance has expired
- Easily dispatching training to individuals or groups
- Consolidating documentation into one place for quick access and review by managers
Regulatory compliance protects workers and businesses from physical harm and potential legal issues. Following strict regulations can be a financial burden on a company; however, not following those regulations can pose far greater risk.
To make sure all regulations are followed and kept up-to-date, companies in industries with strict regulatory compliance require systems in place to streamline record keeping. Allowing the red tape to bog down business activity costs time, money, and resources.
Digital tracking solutions greatly help in minimizing the costs associated with compliance record keeping.
Using an LMS, you can efficiently distribute mandatory courses to make sure your employees are up to date on necessary training.
Not only that, with an employee app, tracking training completeness is automatic and easy to check. For employers, that means identifying gaps in training and ensuring staff is compliant in all business-critical personnel certificates.
The responsibility for compliance training lies both with the employee and the employer. Firstly, the employer needs to give employees enough time to complete trainings. For the employee, finishing in a timely manner ensures no unnecessary stoppages of work.
Notifications within an LMS, along with status updates and direct communication with management, keep everyone on track to complete compliance training. Along with tracking and reminders, an LMS can be used to provide the training materials, tests, as well as a content library for quick and easy reference.
In addition to staff, equipment, tools, and products are required to have compliance records, as well.
Instead of relying on Excel files - or worse, paper - to keep track of equipment compliance, many companies have shifted to a compliance tracking software.
Things as seemingly basic as company car registration can often be overlooked unless the record is properly filed, with reminders to review when the expiration dates near.
Use flags and automated reminds within an employee app to make sure compliance is always up to date and all related documentation is stored for instant access at your fingertips.
Establishing Efficient Compliance Record Keeping
What’s the best way to go about setting up your tracking system?
We’ve put together a list of checklist highlights that you can use to develop your company’s compliance record keeping:
- Name of Person / Equipment / Regulation
- Serial Number / Employee ID / Regulatory Code
- Frequency of Compliance
- Expiration Date
- External Certification Required?
- Training Required?
- Flag set on documentation 1 month before expiration?
- Reminders set for your LMS' content for staff?
- Reminders set for your LMS' content for managers?
- Include line managers and direct reports in reminders
Of course, for each industry, you’ll need professional expertise - either in house or external - to make sure that all operations are in-line regulatory compliance. For new and growing businesses, establishing these best practices from the get-go is the most effective means to ensure efficient tracking.
Choosing the Right Tools
Managing complex compliance and/or training records requires a systematic and well-defined procedure. An employee app can take care of the majority of the work. For compliance-heavy industries, a digital tracking platform is highly recommended.
Using a consolidated employee app provides a bulletproof solution for all documentation needs. From filing to general administration and upkeep, to tracking employees and equipment, an app makes compliance adherence straightforward and hassle-free.
As iTacit's Business Development & Solutions Expert, Ben has years of learning delivery and leadership experience. He focuses on keeping up with the latest best practices and growing his understanding of them to help iTacit's clients and professionals.