The business case for compliance reporting is fairly straightforward: If you’re required to provide compliance reports to the regulator, you must be able to create and provide those reports. And if you’re required to ensure learners complete compliance training, you also need to know who hasn’t finished it.
In this post, we explore the business case for bringing all your compliance training data into a learning analytics platform with configurable reporting so you can create and automate up-to-date reports.
If you’re new to our blog series on Building a Business Case for Learning Analytics, check out the introduction for an introduction and advice for getting the most out of this series.
What Is Compliance Reporting?
Most organizations have some mandatory training that needs to be completed—and often repeated— on a regular basis. This could apply to either everybody in the organization, or everybody in a particular job role. Sometimes this is content that has to be covered in order to comply with legal requirements to provide that training, while other times training is needed to ensure that employees’ actions are compliant with the rules.
In some job sectors, training compliance means completing a certain number of hours of certified training. This example dashboard tracks training credits earned by individual learners and by the organization as a whole.
It’s therefore essential that the organization is able to track who has—and has not—completed this required training. This can be reported to regulators, proving that measures of the effectiveness of training in leading to compliant behaviors are also tracked. Compliance reporting includes:
- Reports that show levels of completion of compliance training. These may be broken down into organizational units so that managers responsible for parts of the organization with lower compliance levels can address this.
- Reports that identify people who have not completed compliance training or whose compliance certification expires soon. These may be filtered to show an individual team so that line managers can follow up with their people.
- Reports that evaluate the impact of compliance training on compliant behaviors.
The example Watershed Program report in the following image shows progress through a compliance training program. Report users can drill down into individual milestones or groups to explore more granular data.
These program milestones are flexible to support complex compliance requirements. They can be configured to exempt certain groups from a step or set alternative requirements for different groups completing the same step (e.g. localized versions of a course on the same subject).
What Does Compliance Reporting Look Like in Practice?
Using observation checklists to monitor compliance in healthcare
In the world of healthcare, hand hygiene is critical to reduce the spread of infection, and there are strict regulations to ensure clinicians follow proper hygiene protocols. Furthermore, regular hand hygiene audits monitor compliance to these protocols and provide helpful feedback to the healthcare providers under observation.
For example, Nebraska Medicine moved from a paper-based compliance observation system to a mobile observation checklist app, xapimed, to perform observations. Observers also use the app during observation training, carrying out observations of simulation videos rather than real practitioners.
All of the data from the observation app—from both real observations and training simulations—is brought into a learning analytics platform for L&D reporting on alongside data from the observers-in-training and the healthcare providers learning hand hygiene protocols.
Our client can then use this data to monitor:
- Hand hygiene protocol compliance levels
- Hand hygiene training completion levels
- Observer accuracy during simulated observations
They also can use the data to compare hand hygiene compliance levels against learners who have:
- Completed the training recently
- Completed the training some time ago
- Never completed the training
Automating manager compliance reports to speed up operational workflow
A large manufacturing and retail company in a highly regulated industry uses Watershed to report on compliance status. Line managers are responsible for ensuring their people’s compliance certification, but the L&D team was struggling to provide managers with up-to-date reports to support this.
The team solved this challenge by creating automated data feeds into Watershed and using data permissions to ensure managers only see their respective team members’ information when accessing reports.
Now, managers can log into Watershed anytime they like and see current information on exactly who on their team is certified (or isn’t) and when certifications are due to expire. They no longer have to wait for the L&D team to generate reports, and the L&D team is freed up to work on other tasks and projects.
Comparing completions to compliance requirements
A financial software company uses Watershed to track the completion status of compliance courses hosted in Docebo and Litmos. Completion data from these LMSs is brought into Watershed along with HR data, which signifies the courses each learner is required to complete.
Based on HR data about which courses people are required to complete, learners are assigned into groups in Watershed, and reports are configured using these groups to compare required courses and completions. Specifically, the reports produce lists of people who have not completed required courses to inform managers and others about which learners need follow up.
These reports are updated automatically with the latest information, and data permissions can be used to filter reports so managers only see their people’s information. This allows managers to access these reports on demand without having to ask the L&D team to generate a report. Reports and permissions are set up in advance, allowing real-time updates to reports as learners complete courses, change compliance groups, or certifications expire.
Reduced training costs with more effective training
AT&T wanted to replace their ethics compliance training with a high-fidelity simulation that they hoped would be at least as effective as the previous training, but would take less time to complete.
They used Watershed to measure the effectiveness of both sets of training and prove the high-fidelity, but shorter duration content was actually more effective than the low-fidelity content that learners spent more time to complete.
As a result, AT&T saved 670,562 production hours and 160,380 employee course hours. Multiply the time saved per learner across the number of learners required to complete the training, and that translates into a huge cost saving in reduced training time for employees.
How Can Watershed Support Compliance Tracking and Reporting?
Watershed offers multiple benefits for compliance reporting compared to using a spreadsheet or built-in LMS reports. Specifically, Watershed can help you:
- save you time,
- better fit your reporting requirements,
- handle complex compliance requirements based on HR data (such as job role), and
- evaluate the impact of training on compliant practice.
Use email prompts to help line managers stay on top of their game.
When you implement Watershed, we work with you to set up automated data feeds from your learning and HR data. As a result, Watershed reports are always up to date with the latest compliance data, and data permissions remain current so managers only see data about the people they manage. And you can include learning data from multiple L&D platforms as needed.
So once your compliance reports are set up, managers can log in anytime to see up-to-date compliance training information for their people. They don’t need to contact you for the data, and you don’t need to take time producing it for them—it’s already there waiting for them.
You can also configure Watershed to regularly email managers with a link to compliance reports, so they can easily review reports and follow up their people.
Fulfill your exact requirements with configurable reports and dashboards.
Using built-in LMS compliance reports might not give you exactly what you need in terms of reporting. With Watershed, report visualizations and dashboards are flexible and configurable so they can match your requirements.
This includes branding, such as colors and logos, and the ability to size and position reports on the dashboard to prioritize and emphasize the data points that are most relevant to your organization.
Handle complex compliance requirements with HR data-informed compliance groups.
Compliance requirements are rarely straightforward. A person may be required to complete courses based on start date, job role, grade, location, or other attributes recorded in your HRIS.
You can set up Watershed to automatically import HRIS data and translate it into compliance requirements following the logic you define. Watershed can support the following complexities:
- Compliance requirements for people who are hired within a custom time period
- Compliance requirements for people with a particular job role or within a group of job roles that share a requirement
- Compliance requirements based on complex combinations of factors, such as ones for a particular job role that may vary by territory
Evaluate the impact of training on compliant practice.
It’s vital to understand training’s impact on compliance—especially when that training focuses on following the correct rules and processes.
By bringing together data about training and behavior in Watershed, you can see the extent to which training is successful and identify areas of weakness to improve upon.
Making the Case: Why the Business Needs Compliance Reporting
Compliance reporting is often a legal requirement. But even where it’s not, it’s still important to be able to see and address any gaps in both completion of compliance training and compliant behaviors.
Using Watershed helps save you time and puts up-to-date data in the hands of managers—which saves their time while also helping improve compliance levels in the organization. And because there are many managers in your organization who are responsible for ensuring compliance, saving every manager a little bit of time can add up quickly and be hugely valuable to the business.
How Can I Convince Stakeholders of the Value?
The most straightforward way to sell Watershed’s compliance reporting to stakeholders is to focus on time saved (i.e. time is money).
Look at the amount of time spent generating compliance data and the costs managers face for not having access to current compliance information. Remember, even if improved compliance reporting only saves each manager a small amount of time, that time can still add up to a significant savings as a whole
And other benefits of using Watershed for better compliance reporting include being able to configure reports, handle complex compliance requirements, and support the evaluation of training impact on behavior. More effective compliance training can potentially save huge amounts of money if it means people spend less time learning the same things, as in the AT&T case study.
There is, of course, the additional benefit of proving to regulators that you have effective systems in place to monitor, report, and remedy any compliance issues. The cost of regulatory fines for not having the appropriate safeguards in place can be massive, depending on your industry.Understand your stakeholders and how they will benefit from compliance reporting.
Meet your stakeholders.
|C-Suite (CLO, CEO, CFO)||Ensuring that the organization is compliant with relevant regulations.||Break down compliance reporting by organizational units in Watershed to ensure the whole organization is compliant.|
|Human Resources||Ensuring everybody has completed required training and is sufficiently competent to be compliant.||Use Watershed to generate lists of people who have not completed their required compliance training.|
|Learning Leaders||Ensuring that compliance training is completed and effective.||Use learning analytics to evaluate not just completions, but also the impact of compliance training on behavior and performance.|
|Instructional Designers||Identifying and addressing any issues with compliance training.||Real-time dashboards quickly identify and correct any issues with compliance training.|
|Compliance||Ensuring managers have the required information to ensure the compliance of their people.||Give managers access to a Watershed dashboard that is filtered to just their team. This empowers managers to check their team’s compliance without somebody else having to download and send that information to them.|
|Line Managers||Ensuring their teams have fulfilled their compliance obligations.||With Watershed, managers can monitor their team’s compliance in real-time using automatically updated dashboards. Live, automated reporting enables managers to review compliance statuses on demand.|
|Learners||Ensuring they have completed their compliance obligations.||Give learners their own Watershed dashboards filtered to only show their compliance data.|
Next Course: Platform Launch Analytics
Good compliance reporting is important, but there’s a lot more to learning and development than just compliant behavior. Many organizations are transitioning from a compliance-driven focus to a learner-driven focus that supports people in developing and progressing their careers.
This shift in focus often means investing in new platforms—which might include an LXP, video platform, and content libraries. But how do you ensure that the launch of a new platform is successful? How can you monitor and address issues in real-time before they derail the launch entirely? Our next post will explore platform launch analytics and the business case for insightful reporting at the most critical time of your new platform’s implementation.
About the author
As a co-author of xAPI, Andrew has been instrumental in revolutionizing the way we approach data-driven learning design. With his extensive background in instructional design and development, he’s an expert in crafting engaging learning experiences and a master at building robust learning platforms in both corporate and academic environments. Andrew’s journey began with a simple belief: learning should be meaningful, measurable, and, most importantly, enjoyable. This belief has led him to work with some of the industry’s most innovative organizations and thought leaders, helping them unlock the true potential of their learning strategies. Andrew has also shared his insights at conferences and workshops across the globe, empowering others to harness the power of data in their own learning initiatives.
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