Returning to work in the new year is a great time to reflect on your compliance activities and start planning for the year ahead. Getting back on track with internal audits, training staff, reviewing customer feedback, updating the risk register or preparing for that important regulatory or certification audit; may just be some of the many tasks on the ‘to-do’ list!
If you haven’t got a plan yet, no worries. Now is the time to start creating one. If there’s one thing 2020 has kindly shown us, change is a certainty and as the vast majority of us have experienced last year, the compliance goal posts keep shifting in this dynamic environment.
Managing compliance in any business, regardless of the industry, can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing. Many people know there are laws and regulations that govern important matters such as privacy and work, health and safety; yet there are still businesses who fail to make compliance a priority. Not only can this lead to deaths or serious injuries in the workplace, it can lead to legal action, damage to reputation and loss of clients.
The first step to effectively manage compliance in any organisation, is to identify what the compliance obligations are specific to your business and industry.
According to AS/ISO 19600:2015 Compliance Management System Guidelines, compliance obligations are the sum of requirements + commitments. Essentially, requirements that an organisation must comply with are generally derived from the law, regulations, industry codes or standards. Compliance commitments are what an organisation chooses to comply with and will generally centre on meeting the expectations of customers, clients and other important stakeholders.
From here, it’s important to document these obligations to effectively manage, monitor and review compliance. It is important to note that there are many methods to effectively document this information. Regardless of whether you are using a software package or an excel spreadsheet, it should be fit for purpose and appropriate to the size and nature of the business.
Next step is to set some goals. Other than the obvious (to be compliant!), what are the organisation’s compliance objectives for 2021? Some great questions to ask that can really assist in identifying purposeful objectives are as follows:
- How can your compliance objectives drive and compliment other strategic business goals?
- How can we increase client satisfaction?
- How can we strive for and ensure a safer workplace?
- How can we thrive, not just survive in 2021?
- What changes are on the horizon?
- How could the landscape shift?
- What are the values of our organisation?
- Are our values still current considering the current climate and expectations of clients/ community/ stakeholders?
Once your compliance objectives are clear, this will assist in updating existing or creating a new plan for effectively managing compliance in 2021.
If you would like to learn more about effectively managing compliance in your business course which is launching in May 2021, Loren Gray will be hosting a free webinar session on Wednesday 10 March 2021 at 12pm AEDT. Click here to register now. Spots are limited.
*ISO19600 is soon to be replaced with ISO 37301, estimated date to be published June 2021.