What types of ethics and compliance training are there?

Isn’t it always best to teach people face-to-face?

Ethics and compliance training basically divides into:

Face-to-face training to individuals and small groups

Online training/elearning for larger groups or the whole company

It is important to recognise that both have a place within a company’s ethics and compliance programme.

We never say that one is better than the other – they actually complement each other. However, there are distinguishing features.

Face-to-face ethics and compliance training

is good for

The Board of Directors and senior management (who often consider online training beneath them, rarely get around to logging on for online training or just get their secretary to do it for them)

People who are at particular risk in a given area – such as the procurement team who may be exposed to bribery, the sales team who may be tempted to discuss prices with the competition

Making sure that a subject is well understood by allowing for questions and exchanges of views

There is always a place for face-to-face training.

Online ethics and compliance training

…is good for

Reaching parts of the business it is difficult for the training people to get to

Saving travel costs

Saving the legal or compliance department’s time – lawyers are usually too busy to spend much time training people

Making sure education about how to behave properly in certain situations gets out to everybody at the same time – quickly and in their own language

Delivering policies – such as a company’s code of conduct, its competition law compliance policy, its anti-corruption policy – either as attachments or through a link to the intranet

Ensuring – through testing – that a basic level of knowledge has been acquired

Driving people to the training through reminder emails

Tracking and monitoring everybody’s attendance – something which is tricky to do with face-to-face training

Obtaining an employee certificate of compliance

Face-to-face training very often follows the roll-out of on-line training, targeting specific groups who are at particular risk and providing a convenient forum for questions and discussion.

Whatever the relative merits of each form of training, there is a place for both.

In my next commentary, we’ll look at who should receive the training and when it should be deployed.