Understanding compliance training requirements

Let’s talk about mandatory compliance training and what is required to implement it  in your workplace.

It is important to ensure that your employees understand what is expected of them, in the workplace and in their roles, when they start with your business and also at regular intervals throughout their employment.

The best way to achieve this is through mandatory compliance training. 

What is Compliance Training?

Compliance training is employee training mandated by legislation, regulation or policy. It educates your employees on the laws or regulations applicable to their job function or industry.

These laws are predominantly in place to maintain the safety of the workplace and the respect of the employee. 

By running compliance training it provides businesses with the ability to minimise risk, maintain the reputation of the business and provide a better environment for your employees to work in.

Why does compliance training matter?

The benefits of compliance training are often ignored because the type of information covered can be seen as not very interesting or hard to link back to the role, the frequency of refresher training can seem too quick and the requirement to track completion can be onerous. 

It is important to focus on the big picture and the benefits that arise from compliance training. These benefits include:

  • Safer workplaces for customers and employees
  • More productive workplace
  • Protection of business reputation
  • Minimised risk of legal action
  • Reduced absenteeism due to injury or illness

What compliance topics should be covered?

No matter what business you have, compliance training should be high on the list of your priorities. The variety of courses is huge and will be influenced by the industry, activities, and location.

Examples of some legislative and industry-specific compliance policies include:

    • Anti-harassment – administer guidance and measures for responding to incidents of bullying, harassment, and sexual harassment. They should clearly define what harassment is and outline any associated behaviors. Plus, training should cover effective strategies for responding to bullying and harassment.
    • Diversity – outlines the strength of diversity and addresses how to work with people of different backgrounds, genders, sexual orientation, age and mental or physical abilities. They should learn how to effectively embrace the valuable inputs and perspectives that a diverse workplace can bring to the table. 
    • Privacy – your employees should know how to safely collect, use and disclose personal or health information, data quality and security as well as how to handle complaints about breaches.
    • Occupational Health and Safety – While certain industries, job titles, and environments pose extra risks in terms of physical safety, even your standard office setting needs to comply with basic workplace safety standards. 
    • Child Safe Standards – employees in Victorian businesses that provide services or facilities to children are required by law to comply with the Child Safe Standards to take measures towards protecting children from abuse and reporting requirements.

How to implement compliance training?

To meet the mandatory compliance training requirements in your business there are three things that you need to determine:

  • Course content: Determine which topics your employees need to undertake to meet the legislation, regulation and/or policy requirements of your business and associated industry.
  • Timelines/Deadline: Compliance training usually needs to be completed within a certain time of commencing with the business and has to be done on a periodic basis to keep up with changes in regulation.
  • Records: You need to have a record of your employee’s individual training completions. Data on each employee’s current training status shows you exactly who is and who is not compliant. In some roles, non compliance may mean an employee is unable to work.

How to Make Your Compliance Training More Engaging?

There are a few important things you definitely need to take into account when developing any training program. 

  • Relevant content – Only select content that is relevant to your employees’ positions. The more relevant you make your content, the more your employees will be able to understand how each topic is relevant to their role. It can also be really helpful to provide examples that are specific to the role.
  • Different kinds of learning materials – By providing the content in various formats, you’re catering to different learning styles. Involving as many learning styles as possible per course will make it easier for you to deeply embed knowledge, as it’ll be administered through multiple sensory channels.
  • Short modules – Keeps your courses engaging by providing small amounts of very specific and easy-to-retain knowledge. It does not take too much time away from employees’ workloads and allows them to focus on the training.

Mandatory compliance training is necessary, and is also a benefit for your business and your employees. For assistance with determining the right training topics or refreshing your programs contact Small Business Society Small Business Society .

The information provided in this document is for your guidance only and is general in nature. It does not constitute as legal advice. It is the responsibility of the individual to seek legal advice where required.


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About Kate Tongue

Kate Tongue is the founding Director of Small Business Society.

She is a qualified and experienced Human Resources professional with more than 10 years of experience across the private and public sectors.

Her particular interest and experience is in managing the employee life cycle, delivering process improvements, and Human Resource strategy.


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