Regulatory compliance means sticking to the laws and regulations that govern a company’s operations. Compliance is critical for companies as non-compliance can lead to severe consequences like fines, legal trouble, and harm to the company’s image. Showing compliance with regulations indicates the company is committed to ethical and responsible business practices.
Companies must have a robust compliance program in today’s heavily regulated business world. This program should include all relevant regulations such as privacy, data protection, labor laws, health and safety, and environmental protection. A compliance program helps minimize the risk of non-compliance, keeping the company’s operations in line with legal and ethical standards.
One way to help maintain compliance is with specific tools. For instance, organizing documents can be a time-consuming process. But with specific tools, eliminating repetition with document automation can help you streamline your process, reduce manual errors, and ensure anyone in your team has access to the most up-to-date information.
This article discusses ways to keep your company operating ethically and legally. Keep reading to learn more.
Identify Relevant Regulations
To ensure regulatory compliance, identify the relevant industry regulations and your company’s operations. Knowing what your company does is crucial, as industries have specific rules that govern them.
Once you know your company’s operations, look into relevant regulations in your industry. Resources such as government websites, industry associations, and legal databases can help you find information on the law. Note that these can change, so staying updated keeps yourself up-to-date with your industry’s standards.
Researching regulations may seem time-consuming, but it’s necessary for compliance. Taking the time to understand the rules that apply to your company creates a solid foundation for your compliance program.
Develop Policies and Procedures
Policies and procedures are critical components of a company’s compliance strategy. They’re the cornerstone for meeting regulatory compliance and guide team members on how to conduct themselves and carry out their duties in a manner that complies with applicable regulations.
To establish effective policies and procedures, you must determine the regulations your company is subject to and the specific requirements that apply to its operations. From that point, you can draft and put into practice policies and procedures that adhere to these requirements. It’s essential to continually assess and refresh these policies to ensure they’re up-to-date and in compliance.
Examples of policies and procedures necessary for regulatory compliance include data privacy and security protocols, health and safety practices, and financial reporting standards. Remember to communicate and frequently evaluate these policies clearly to all team members to ensure everyone on your team follows them.
Train Team Members
Team member training is critical to achieving regulatory compliance in your company. Ensuring your employees understand the regulations that apply to your business promotes a culture of compliance within your organization.
To create an effective team member training program, you should start by defining the specific regulations that apply to your company and the policies and procedures you’ve developed. This information is valuable when creating training materials and programs that educate your employees about these regulations and their role in maintaining compliance.
There are several methods for delivering training, including in-person, online, or a combination of both. In-person training allows employees to interact with trainers and ask questions. In contrast, online training is convenient, cost-effective, and allows your team to learn at their pace.
Whichever method you choose, make training modules engaging and interactive. Utilize real-world scenarios and hands-on activities to reinforce important ideas and make the learning experience more memorable.
Monitoring your company’s compliance with regulations is crucial to maintaining a successful and responsible business. Regularly checking this aspect ensures all operations are in line with legal and ethical standards and minimize the risk of facing severe consequences for non-compliance.
One effective way to monitor compliance is through internal audits. Your team or an outside professional can perform these audits, and they identify any areas your company may need to catch up in regulatory compliance. Another option is to engage in external assessments, where a regulatory expert will assess your company’s compliance and make recommendations for improvement.
Records provide evidence of compliance and demonstrate a company’s commitment to ethical and responsible business practices. The types of records your company should keep depend on the regulations that apply to your industry. Generally, you should keep records of all relevant business activities, training records, personnel records, and financial records. Keep records of your audits or assessments to monitor your compliance.
Furthermore, keeping records in an organized and accessible manner is critical to ensuring that your company can easily retrieve the information it needs for regulatory compliance. Consider using a digital system, such as a cloud-based platform, to store and manage your records.
Keeping your company compliant with industry standards and the law can take much work. Still, with the right approach, it can be manageable and even become an advantage for your company. Follow the steps to minimize the risk of penalties and ensure your company operates within the confines of the law.
Jason is the Marketing Manager at a local advertising company in Australia. He moved to Australia 10 years back for his passion for advertising. Jason recently joined BFA as a volunteer writer and contributes by sharing his valuable experience and knowledge.