Developing and implementing regular, effective education and compliance training programs is one of the seven elements of an effective compliance program. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) states, “at a minimum, comprehensive compliance programs should include…the development and implementation of regular, effective education and training programs for all affected employees…the compliance officer’s primary responsibilities should include…developing, coordinating, and participating in a multifaceted educational and training program that focuses on the elements of the compliance program, and seeks to ensure that all appropriate employees and management are knowledgeable of, and comply with, pertinent Federal and State standards.” The OIG acknowledges that a variety of teaching methods can be used effectively, including the use of live trainers as well as computer-assisted training programs. Evidencing compliance education and training effectiveness requires addressing two issues: (1) the means of delivering effective programs, and (2) proving that participants participated, accepted, and understood the training.
5 Common Compliance Training Methods
- Facilitated Training Using Case Studies. This requires a live, qualified facilitator using case studies to illustrate lessons. The success of the training depends on audience participation. Although it is the most effective method of training, it is also the most costly. Consequently, this method is frequently limited to the initial rollout of the compliance program.
- PowerPoint Lectures. Although this is among the most common methods of delivering compliance training, it is among the least effective. Yielding useful results using PowerPoints will require having a knowledgeable and skilled presenter. This approach is best suited for relaying more limited information, such as updating staff on changes in law or regulations.
- Computer-Based or Assisted Training. This method is growing in popularity, especially when professional programs offer superlative scheduling flexibility and reproducibility. These trainings can also be periodically updated, which is a significant benefit. It is important to shop for the right program at the right price, else this method could prove to be expensive or ineffective. Also, any such program should include quizzes or testing to evidence that participants understood the lessons.
- Talking Head Videos. Video presentations are among the least effective means for training and can also be expensive to produce. Ideally, these videos are best reserved for introducing the training program, preferably by the CEO in a personal message. Other than that, it can be counter-productive. If providers elect to use this method, the video should be limited to 8-12 minutes. Evidence suggests that the attention span of participants declines sharply after that.
- Written Self-Study. Another method of training is a written self-study program. It is most often used for specialized training. Benefits of this approach include using professionally prepared material, scheduling flexibility, and high reproducibility (which is important for new hire training). In addition, these materials tend to be update-friendly.
Regardless of the training method selected, the question still remains as to how effective the training program was in delivering the messages. This has nothing to do with how many people have been trained, but rather how much they learned from the training. There are two recognized ways providers can evidence training effectiveness: (1) immediate post-training testing, or (2) surveys taken at a later date to test compliance knowledge retained from the training. The latter is recognized by the OIG as a means of evidencing Compliance Program effectiveness.Subscribe to blog