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How to Measure Compliance Risk Using Online Assessments

We’re happy to have a guest blog today from Christopher Pappas, founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning Industry. Christopher holds an MBA and MEd (Learning Design) from BGSU. eLearning Blogger | EduTechpreneur | eLearning Analyst | Speaker | Social Media Addict

Compliance violations can take a big bite out of your bottom line. When your organization doesn’t uphold governmental standards, you may have to foot the hefty bill. It can also damage your reputation and lead to loss of business. Compliance covers everything from health and safety codes and industry regulations to company policies. But how do you know which areas to focus when creating your compliance online training strategy? In this article, I’ll explore 7 ways to measure your compliance risk using online assessments.

1. Identify Your Compliance Pain Points

The first step in measuring your compliance risk is determining what to assess. Every organization has unique pain points to address. One company many need to focus on identity theft protection while another must deal with containing hazardous waste spills. Identifying these pain points allows you to create targeted online assessments that gauge your level of risk.

Create a detailed list of all compliance issues that may arise and then prioritize them. For example, properly operating heavy machinery will be higher on the list than adhering to the company dress code. Issues that could endanger the safety of your employees or result in costly violations are a top priority. You can also determine if certain compliance points can be combined. For instance, you can group all of your health and safety issues into one online assessment.

Every organization has unique pain points to address.

2. Develop Assessment Criteria

Now that you know what you’re assessing, you must determine how you are going to evaluate each pain point. This involves detailed assessment criteria that focus on employee proficiency and individual risk. Assessment rubrics help you identify which staff members are vulnerable so you can bridge the compliance gaps. You are also able to determine how the issue will hinder workplace productivity and, ultimately, the success of your business.

As an example, you choose to conduct on-the-job observations to test compliance. Thus, you must specify how an employee should perform the task and how many errors they are allowed. You should create a detailed walkthrough of the process so that managers and supervisors can highlights areas for improvement. Assessment criteria enable you to uphold company standards and set the bar. As a result, employees know exactly how they are being graded and what they must do to adhere to compliance.

3. Create Personalized Compliance Assessments

There are certain compliance risks that are the same across the board. For instance, everyone in your organization must know about the company policies and sexual harassment protocols. However, there are other issues that are unique to every department, position, or geographical location. Your HR employees may require anti-discrimination assessments, because they deal with applicants and new hires on a regular basis, while your stockroom employees need to concentrate on equipment and safety compliance risks. Thus, it’s wise to create personalized compliance assessments based on individual employee needs and job responsibilities.

4. Use Online Scenarios and Simulations to Test Practical Knowledge

Online scenarios and simulations mimic real world situations, which makes them ideal compliance tools. Employees must use all of their compliance knowledge and skills to complete the task, which helps you identify their vulnerability. These interactive assessments are particularly useful for distributed workforce, as on-the-job observations are out of the question. For best results, make your online simulations and scenarios as realistic as you can to trigger real-world pressure. Many compliance points involve stress, and you must see how employees perform when it matters most.

5. Incorporate Case Studies

Case studies are yet another way to assess compliance risks. They typically involve real-world examples or stories that focus on a specific compliance issue. For example, fraudulent credit card transactions or a safety code violation. Employees read the study, draw their own conclusions, and then answer a series of questions. The answers they provide can help you gauge their compliance risk and workplace experience. This also emphasizes the real-world repercussions of not adhering to compliance. For example, the fees and penalties that the organization may incur if the employee violates local regulations.

6. Conduct Employee Ethics Surveys

Employee ethics surveys offer you the chance to explore the backgrounds and beliefs of your staff members. However, you must choose your questions carefully and target specific compliance points. The goal is obtaining honest and authentic answers from your employees so that you can assess your compliance risk levels. These surveys also give you the power to gauge their attitudes toward work and whether they are ready to comply. In some cases, employees may know the policies but don’t agree with them. As a result, they may not enforce the rules on-the-job and you may have to find new incentives or reinforcement methods.

7. Evaluate LMS Metrics to Identify Weaknesses

LMS metrics are one of your best resources for identifying compliance risks.

LMS metrics are one of your best resources for identifying compliance risks. They give you the ability to track online assessment scores, rates of completion, and employee proficiency online. For example, you can see how long it took for one of your staff members to complete the branching scenario and which areas they’re struggling with. LMS metrics also allow you to monitor your compliance certifications so that you can stay current with local regulations. Once you identify compliance weaknesses, you have the opportunity to create online training modules and activities that remedy the issue. In many respects, LMS analytics make your compliance risk online assessments more effective and cost efficient.

Online assessments can shed the spotlight on your compliance pain points so that you can remedy the situation. They are a cost-effective way to limit your risk and prevent costly violations. Use these 7 tips to ensure that your compliance strategy is up to par and identify weaknesses before it’s too late.