Compliance Training and Education: Make It More than an Annual Requirement

Robbi-Lynn Watnik | June 2024

Compliance training refers to the process of educating employees on laws, regulations and company policies that apply to their day-to-day job responsibilities. An effective compliance program must ensure their workforce members understand what it takes for them to meet their compliance-related responsibilities. This is stressed by regulatory agencies.

  • The United States Sentencing Commission’s Guidelines state that an organization must “take reasonable steps to communicate periodically and in a practical manner its standards and procedures, and other aspects of the compliance and ethics program…by conducting effective training programs and otherwise disseminating information.”1
  • The Department of Justice’s 2023 Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs advises prosecutors that “Another hallmark of a well-designed compliance program is appropriately tailored training and communications.”2
  • The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG’s) updated General Compliance Program Guidance states “providing appropriate education and training is a vital component of an effective compliance program.”3

It is an accepted best practice for organizations to begin compliance education as part of new employee orientation to present the organization’s compliance program, written organizational guidance beginning with the Code of Conduct and key policies, as well as laws applicable to their organization. However, this training is not a one-time effort, it must be followed by mandatory compliance training. Often this training is presented annually without additional educational opportunities throughout the year.

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Reprinted from Journal of Health Care Compliance, May / June 2024, with permission from CCH and Wolters Kluwer.

About the Author

Robbi-Lynn Watnik is an attorney, Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC). She has over 35 years of experience in health care policy, with a special focus on health care compliance and privacy over the last 25 years. Ms. Watnik conducts research and analysis of, and provides guidance on federal regulations around privacy, security, and government health care programs. She has been engaged several times to serve as a Designated Compliance Officer.