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November 2017
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TD Magazine
Planning to Comply

Companies are developing long-term strategies for ethics and compliance.

If you're in charge of making sure your company does business the right way, don't be surprised if you bump into some of your peers at the local palm reader, because keeping an eye toward the future is on the rise in ethics and compliance training. According to a NAVEX Global survey, which gathered data from 929 respondents, 40 percent of organizations reported developing multiyear compliance training plans, an increase from 34 percent in 2016.

In the report, ethics and compliance training programs fell into four main categories:

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  • reactive—addressing issues as they arise with no formal plan
  • basic—offering training on basic topics only
  • maturing—having a basic plan for the year, covering a handful of topics with limited risk- and role-based assignments
  • advanced—having a sophisticated multiyear training plan covering many topics, which are assigned to learners based on need and risk profile and delivered in a variety of formats.
    About 10 percent of the study's respondents consider their ethics and compliance training programs advanced, and 59 percent have multiyear training plans. Meanwhile, 48 percent of respondents identify themselves as mature, 32 percent basic, and 10 percent as reactive. Companies in these groups were all less likely than their advanced peers to have multiyear plans.

Of companies with formal ethics and compliance training plans, just half of them have plans that cover more than one year. Half reported that their plan covered one year, 27 percent said their plan covered two years, and 23 percent reported that their plan covered three years or more.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents have no formal ethics and compliance training program at all, and 17 percent only offer a formal training plan for some employees.

Organizations interested in developing their ethics and compliance programs further should consider creating a formal compliance training plan. Although a one-year plan can give organizations a good start, the study recommends that organizations create a training plan that covers three to four years.

About the Author
Shauna Robinson is a junior research analyst at the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Her previous positions at ATD include human capital specialist and communities of practice coordinator.

Prior to working for ATD, Shauna was a senior editorial assistant at Wiley in San Francisco, California. Shauna received a bachelor’s degree in English from UC Berkeley.
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