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When it comes to running a successful business, there are many different factors to consider in the equation. One of those is developing Compliance Documentation.

What is compliance documentation? 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, and also documents what the program includes.

Why is Compliance Documentation Important?

There are many reasons why compliance documentation is both necessary and important. One of the most important reasons is to secure your business by mitigating the risks of a noncompliance by the business or an employee. In addition, having a document that shows what compliance is and how to remain compliant can help you avoid heavy fines and penalties from government agencies such as the OSHA, 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 protocols which are likely to fail. 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. There are two primary types of compliance, both of which are listed below:

What Does Good Compliance Documentation Involve?

Good compliance documentation requires you to document all processes, procedures, and guidelines in a business. Beginning with the most basic requirements, the building blocks, will promote legal compliance and help your company operate with minimal issues.

Seven Factors of Good Compliance Documentation Programs:

  1. Establish and Adopt Written Policies, Procedures, and Standards of Conduct: Set a goal to achieve and create uniformity among your employees.
  2. Program Oversight: Assign a team to oversee, monitor, and enforce the compliance program. This team is sometimes also called your company’s “watchdog(s).”
  3. Provide Training and Education: All employees require training, regardless of their job title. Initial training and annual refresher courses will keep employees attuned to the company’s compliance policies.
  4. Two-Way Communication: Promptly communicating with the company’s compliance department and “watchdogs” is critical. Communicate questions, and report non-compliance behaviors and ethical issues in the workplace to maintain the effectiveness of the compliance documentation.
  5. Monitoring and Auditing: You want to make sure your compliance program is effective. To make sure that it is effective, monitoring and measuring employee response and the frequency of compliance infractions is critical.
  6. Discipline: Make sure you enforce consistent discipline across all employees promptly. Do not hold employees of a higher title to a lesser standard.
  7. Corrective Action: While disciplinary action is essential, you also need to ensure that you can correct employee actions. If employees end up stepping out of the program, their absence 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 with it is an ever-evolving process. Monitoring and understanding when laws and regulations change in your industry is important. It is also critical to be able to discern which laws and regulations apply to your business and which do not.

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 employee or company actions might be doing inadvertently. Specialists may also be able to provide you with software to ensure data privacy and security compliance.

Ensure Compliance: Compliance documentation is not worth doing if your employees do not follow it. Changes made to the policy and procedures may not be adopted by your workforce as easily as initially expected. If this is the case, noncompliant employees will need to become connected to your HR department to determine a future course of action. However, making sure that you communicate policy and procedure changes effectively, both physically and digitally, is crucial to minimizing these incidents.

Internal Audits: Internal audits and reviews are a great way to ensure that your compliance program is being followed. These 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 should utilize industry auditing standards during this process.

Use Software: As mentioned earlier, a specialist can provide software that will assist you in staying compliant with the regulations outlined in your compliance documentation. When you have the right compliance software, you are more likely to operate in compliance with the law, as it helps reduce the risks of human error. The software will also help prove compliance to anybody to auditors or government agencies.

Comply with Safety Regulations: There are many aspects that make a business successful, but complying with safety regulations and laws is one of the most important to protect both your employees and your business.

Ensure Understanding: For workers to be able to follow compliance documents, they need to be able to understand what those documents say. Therefore, having a technical writer develop the documentation 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 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 to get started.