When it comes to running a successful business, there are many different factors to consider in the equation. One of those is Compliance Documentation.
You may be wondering what compliance documentation is. Compliance documentation consists of “specific records and reports of information required to verify the implementation of a compliance program.” So, to simplify, it is a record of what type of compliance program you have in place. In addition to what the program includes.
Why is Compliance Documentation Important?
There are many reasons why documentation is necessary. Nonetheless, one of the most important reasons is to secure your business. In addition, having a document that shows what compliance is and is not can help you avoid heavy fines and penalties from government agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Compliance documentation is essential. If you do not document your records and reports, you will have very inefficient compliance. Good documentation practices are critical to ensuring the stability and success of your business.
What Are The Different Types of Compliance?
Compliance is not one size fits all. Rather, compliance documents are tailored to the type of business you have. The following are some examples of the different types:
- Regulatory: This type of compliance is put in place by government agencies, such as regulations like Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
- Corporate: Corporate compliance includes all outside regulations. Also, compliance from inside the business makes operation seamless.What to include in a good compliance documentation
What Does Good Compliance Documentation Involve?
Good compliance documentation requires you to document all processes, procedures, and guidelines in the business. Beginning with those requirements are the building blocks that will provide good legal regulations and operate with little to no hiccups.
The seven factors every good compliance documentation for a program requires are:
- Establish and adopt written policies, procedures, and standards of conduct: Set a goal to achieve and create uniformity among your employees.
- Program Oversight: Assign a team to oversee, monitor, and enforce the compliance program. They are also called your company’s “watchdog(s).”
- Provide training and education: All employees require training regardless of their job title. Training and an annual refresher course will keep employees abreast of the company’s compliance policies.
- Two-Way Communication: Promptly communicating with the company’s compliance department and “watchdogs.” Communicate questions, report non-compliance behaviors, and ethical issues in the workplace.
- Monitoring and Auditing: You want to make sure your compliance program is effective, and you want to make sure that it is by monitoring and measuring how effective it is.
- Discipline: Make sure you enforce consistent discipline across all employees and do it in a timely manner. Do not hold employees to a different standard.
- Corrective Action: While disciplinary action is essential, you also need to ensure that you can correct employee actions. If they end up stepping out of the program, it will also serve as a reminder of the code of conduct.
How Do You Stay on Top of Compliance?
One big priority when it comes to a compliance program is making sure that you stay on top of it. Here are some ways to do that:
Stay current with laws and regulations: Compliance documentation and the programs that come from it is an ever-evolving process. Understanding and seeing when laws and regulations change in your area is important. You also need to be able to tell which ones apply to you and which ones don’t.
Consult specialists: You may be breaking the law whether you realize it or not. It is important to hire specialists and consultants to make sure you are not ignorant of what your actions might be doing. Some specialists may also be able to provide you with software to ensure compliance.
Ensure compliance: Compliance documentation is not worth doing if your employees do not follow and keep in compliance. Some changes you make to the policy and procedures may not be adopted by your workforce as ease as you expected. If this is the case, and some employees choose to not be in compliance, then you will need to involve your HR department. However, just make sure that you communicate policy and procedure changes effectively both physically and digitally after the fact.
Internal Audits: Internal audits and reviews are a great way to ensure that the compliance program is being followed. The internal audits can focus on areas such as finances, operations, and technology. The auditor or reviewer should be an independent party from your company and you should put in generally accepted auditing standards during this process.
Use Software: As mentioned earlier, a specialist can provide software that will assist you in staying compliance with the documentation. When you have the right compliance software, you are more likely to operate in compliance with the law and it helps reduce the risks of human error. Software will also help to be able to easily prove compliance to anybody who requires you to prove it such as any government agency.
Comply with Safety Regulations: There are many aspects that make a business successful, but being in compliance with safety regulations and laws is one of the most important.
Ensure Understanding: In order for workers to be able to follow compliance documents, they need to be able to understand what those documents say. Therefore, having someone such as a technical writer is necessary to ensure that compliance documentation is understandable and easy to follow.
Good compliance documentation leads to a good compliance program and ensures employees are not making mistakes.
No matter what industry you are in, or the size of your business, compliance documentation is critical to ensuring security in growth and success. When it comes to developing compliance documentation, picking the right collaborator is key to a good end result. Making sure that your documentation is clear and technically proficient, as well as engaging in internal audits, can be hugely beneficial in terms of maintaining employee engagement in compliance efforts.
How EDC Can Help
Whether you need a single technical writer for a brief project, or a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation, the quality of our work is guaranteed for you. Our clients’ work closely with an Engagement Manager from one of our 30 local offices for the entire length of your project at no additional cost. Contact us at (800) 221-0093 or firstname.lastname@example.org