From reducing risk and protecting your organisation’s reputation in the event of malpractice, to ensuring staff are aware of their responsibilities and encouraging a better workplace culture – compliance training forms a crucial part of most modern organistion’s L&D, regardless of size.
No matter your industry, as a small-to-medium sized business, it’s likely that staying on top of your compliance training needs gives you a headache at the best of times.
Some industries are bound by more strict regulation than others (banking and pharmaceutical, for example), but in all cases, you’ll need to ensure you remain up-to-date with changing regulations. And doing so can take up quite a strain on your annual training budget.
So, when it comes to managing your compliance training budget, just how can you ensure you get the most bang for your buck?
5 Ways to Make Your Compliance Training Budget Go Further
1. Have a Plan
First of all, you need to have a plan to and to understand what your actual compliance budget needs to be.
If LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report is anything to go by, then it would seem L&D budgets and online learning investments in particular are on the rise and further shifting online:
“More than a third of L&D pros globally are expecting their budgets to grow year-over-year; 57% of talent developers plan to spend more on their online learning programs; and 38% expect to spend less on ILT.”
When planning how much of your total budget to apportion to compliance, you need to not only consider what training your employees need, but also the impact that a fully-compliant workforce can have on your overall training ROI.
To do this you also need to understand who you are targeting with your compliance training. By providing only the most relevant training to individual employees you can avoid wasting money paying for resources that may never be used
2. Embrace Automation
Human error is the biggest issue when it comes to data inaccuracies, and it’s easy to see why compliance training is often the first formal learning that an organisation will move online. Compliance is simply too great a risk not to automate.
Findings from Training Magazine’s 2019 Training Industry report support this, noting that:
“Mandatory or compliance training [is] done mostly online, with 80 percent of organisations doing at least some of it online and 29 percent entirely online.”
Not only does moving compliance training online reduce risk, it also massively reduces admin burden and enables employees to take more ownership of their learning too.
Simply put, moving compliance training online is one of the easiest ways to reduce costs associated with managing and reporting on compliance. If you’re not yet using a learning management system to automate and keep accurate records and reports, this is definitely the next step that you need to take.
If you already have an LMS, you need to ensure you’re using it effectively. Managing and reporting on compliance training should require as little effort as possible, but poor configuration and design can cause more problems than they solve.
A cloud-based LMS provides a simple-to-use interface and all the features you need to effectively manage and report on your compliance training activities. They are a great fixed-cost, quick-to-deploy solution that have no ongoing maintenance costs and don’t rely on you having in-house technical expertise.
Bespoke learning management systems will have a higher upfront cost and take longer to deploy, but can be configured to your exact requirements and be integrated with any other business software that you use.
Figure out what best fits in with your plan, and invest accordingly. Don’t forget you can always start with a SaaS solution and upgrade to a fully-bespoke enterprise platform at a later date.
3. Mix and Match Online Courses/Resources
Similar to deciding on what type of LMS investment to make, you’ve got a similar decision to make when it comes to learning content: Go for something ready made or build something bespoke. In most cases, you’ll likely find it best to opt for a mix of the two.
Keeping abreast of regulatory changes can be difficult – this is where ready made/ off-the-shelf sources can save a lot of time, effort and money.
Ready-to-go content libraries can integrate with your LMS providing click-of-a-button access to thousands of courses covering topics such as Equality & Diversity and Anti-Money Laundering, to Fire Safety and Food Hygiene – and everything in between!
Written by subject matter experts and refreshed dynamically in line with regulatory changes, content libraries offer a cost-effective way of covering your core compliance training needs without blowing your budget.
Where we’d recommend you invest a bit more of your compliance budget however, is on building bespoke courses that cover the systems/processes unique to your business and generic content isn’t enough.
Creating your own (or working with a content developer) allows you to build programmes and resources that fit within the context of your own organisation. Using your internal subject matter experts and on-brand design helps better engage employees, and can also improve long-term knowledge and skills retention.
4. Move Your Classroom Training Online
As we saw in the LinkedIn report earlier, instructor-led training (ILT) training is increasingly being phased out in favour of online solutions. So if you’ve relied on classroom-based compliance training delivery in the past, it’s time you consider moving it online.
Moving your classroom-based training (CBT) online in the form of virtual classrooms offers a whole host of benefits, not least in reducing costs associated with travel and time spent away from the office.
Converting classroom training programmes to online delivery is becoming increasingly common, and can be a more effective and efficient use of budget than building entirely new bespoke courses.
5. Utilise Blended Learning Approaches
Our last tip is to use a blended approach to your compliance training (which again is made all the more simple when using an LMS).
There is no specific ‘blend’ to aim for here as blended learning can take on many forms. But mixing online and face-to-face training components ensures that you get the most from your investment – particularly any CBT that you may still need – by using quizzes and other online resources to reinforce the key messages.
The use of short, online tests and quizzes, coupled with additional or supplementary learning materials is a simple way to introduce spaced repetition – a key factor in ensuring long-term knowledge transfer and behavioural change.
No matter what your compliance training budget looks like for the year ahead, there are some simple ways to make your budget go further. If you need a helping hand to figure out the most effective way to use your budget, get in touch to see how we can help.
What’s your biggest compliance training headache right now? Let us know in the comments section below.