Keeping Up with Compliance: The Business Case for Enhanced Mandatory Training Reporting

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 training reporting?

Most organizations are required to implement mandatory compliance training, which employees must complete—and often repeat— regularly. This process applies to everyone in the organization or those within a specific job role.

At times, this mandatory compliance training is essential to meet legal requirements, while in other instances, it’s crucial for ensuring that employees’ actions remain compliant with internal rules.

In some job sectors, compliance training means completing a certain number of hours of certified training. This example Watershed dashboard tracks training credits earned by individual learners and the organization as a whole.

It’s, therefore, essential for the organization to track who has—and has not—completed this required compliance training.

You can use compliance report examples to demonstrate to regulators that the organization tracks completion and measures training effectiveness in leading to compliant behaviors.

What are compliance reports?

Compliance reporting includes:

  • Reports that show levels of completion of compliance training. These may be broken down into organizational units so 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. You can filter these to show an individual team so 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 L&D program milestones are flexible to support complex compliance requirements. You can configure them 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 tracking and 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 training courses hosted in Docebo and Litmos. Completion data from these LMSs is brought into Watershed along with HR data, which signifies the eLearning courses each learner is required to complete.

Based on HR data about training requirements:

  • 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 you can use data permissions to filter reports so managers only see their people’s information—enhancing the learning management process.

This process 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 training sets and prove their high fidelity.

However, shorter-duration content was actually more effective than the low-fidelity content that learners spent more time completing, highlighting the benefits of microlearning.

As a result, AT&T saved 670,562 production hours and 160,380 employee course hours through efficient training programs.

Multiply the time saved per learner across the number of learners required to complete the training, and that translates into a considerable cost saving in reduced training time for employees.

How does Watershed support compliance tracking and reporting?

Watershed offers multiple benefits for compliance training reporting compared to using a spreadsheet, built-in LMS reports, or standalone compliance tracking software. Specifically, Watershed can help you:

  • streamline corporate compliance training processes,
  • save time,
  • better fit your L&D 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 collaborate with you to establish automated data feeds from your learning systems and HR data. As a result, Watershed reports are always up to date with the latest compliance training data.

Data permissions also remain current, so managers only see data about the people they manage. And you can integrate L&D data from various training platforms as needed.

So, once you’ve set up your compliance reports, managers can log in anytime to see up-to-date compliance training information for their teams. They don’t need to contact you for the data, and you don’t need to spend time producing it for them—it’s already there waiting for them.

You can also configure Watershed to email managers regularly with a link to their compliance training reports. That way, they can quickly review reports and follow up with 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 regarding L&D reporting. With Watershed, report visualizations and dashboards are flexible and configurable to match your specific requirements.

This includes branding, such as colors and logos, and the ability to size and position training reports on the dashboard to prioritize and emphasize the data points that are most relevant to your organization.

This example compliance dashboard shows how you can configure and organize reports in Watershed.

Handle complex compliance training 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 configure Watershed to import HRIS data automatically 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

Understanding training’s impact on compliance is vital—especially when it 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 see and address any gaps in completing compliance training and compliant behaviors.

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.

Suppose there are many managers in your organization responsible for ensuring compliance. In that case, saving each manager a little time can add up quickly and be hugely valuable to the business.

How can I convince stakeholders of the value of compliance reporting?

The most effective strategy when advocating for Watershed’s compliance training reporting is emphasizing the efficiency gains and time savings (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 training 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 data protection and 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.

StakeholdersPain PointsBenefits
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 ResourcesEnsuring 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 LeadersEnsuring 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 DesignersIdentifying and addressing any issues with compliance training.Real-time dashboards quickly identify and correct any issues with compliance training.
ComplianceEnsuring 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 ManagersEnsuring 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.
LearnersEnsuring 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.

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