Compliance Training versus Compliance Performance

London (UK), June 2017 - Towards Maturity and SAI Global’s recently released report entitled "Solving the compliance conundrum" lifts the lid on how global compliance programmes are evolving. The document focuses on the practices required to adequately protect organisations from threats related to increasing globalisation, technological advances and the evolving regulatory environment.

The findings show that while more time is spent on compliance training than on any other formal learning and development, there's a significant gap between the desired and actual outcomes: 95% of respondents want to change their workplace culture, and 81% of the workforce is involved in mandatory training each year. Despite this, only 27% of organisations seeking evidence of a change in behaviour in their workforce believe they are actually succeeding, and only 15% believed their current approach actually achieved this.

The survey results compare ethics and compliance_programme goals and performance from 2013 to 2017, identifying what's working and what the barriers to success are. Some of the key insights gained include

  • Targeted, position-based training to empower ethical decision making is essential. Respondent feedback indicated, on average, that 61% of employees in their companies receive the same learning content as everyone else in the company, despite the risk profile for each role being entirely unique with its own set of challenges.
  • Extending compliance training to third-party network significantly reduces business risk. Evidence suggests the provision of third-party ethics and compliance training to contractors, vendors and suppliers reduces an organisation's third-party risk by up to three times. Despite this, only 19% of organisations currently allow third parties access to their compliance training.
  • Mapping learning requirements to business process pays dividends. Mapping learning outcomes to business processes generates significant benefits, including enhanced compliance with regulator's requirements for training, reducing insurance premiums by 12% and, in the case of serious misconduct, reducing potential penalties a company faces by 16%.
  • Workplace technology needs to keep up with the rest of the world. While 91% of learners own a smartphone and/or tablet, use of such technology to access learning and support content is surprisingly low. Some 43% of survey respondents rated learning on mobile devices as having the greatest impact on behavioural change, but only 25% use mobile tablets and 7% use smartphone devices to access learning material.
  • Engaging content and delivery methods are essential. Around 46% of respondents report that a major barrier to learning is that content is dull and delivery is lacking in engagement.´
  • Securing and protecting data against cyber attacks is a top priority. A greater understanding of the exposure to risk from cyber crime and data loss or corruption has driven the largest increase (13%) in perceived risk between 2015 and 2017 compared to any other risk category. Precisely 81% of survey respondents rated cyber security as the number one priority.

"Comparing data from 2013 and 2015 with this year's results, it's clear that culture isn't shifting as fast as it needs to for organisations to be able to adequately respond to the new wave of technology-driven risks. This research brings new evidence to the table, new insights that will drive more effective changes to ethics and compliance learning programmes and ensure success," said Laura Overton, Towards Maturity.

SAI Global, an international leader in providing ethics and compliance training, sponsored this independent benchmark study by Towards Maturity to explore methodologies and practices for improving the impact and effectiveness of compliance training.

"There is no doubt that the field of ethics and compliance can be challenging, as there is nothing simple about influencing how people from different backgrounds and cultures behave. Our ability to come together as a community and collaborate on our collective journey to a future where ethical behaviour is instinctual and celebrated drives everything we do," said Peter Mullins, CEO SAI Global.