Compliance Documentation Is Important for Success

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

‘What is compliance documentation?’ you may ask. Well, it is defined as “A specific record and reports of information required to verify the implementation of a compliance program.” To simplify, it means to record what type of compliance program you have in place and all that is included in the program.

Why is compliance documentation important?

There are many reasons as to why documentation is important, but one of the big ones is the ability to have security of your business. 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.

Another reason why it is important is the fact that not documenting it or having a process to document it will create a very inefficient process when the time comes that you have to. 

Different types of compliance

There is not just one size fits all when it comes to compliance documents and the type of business you have. The following are some examples of the different types:

  • Regulatory: These are what is put in place by government agencies such as regulations like Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Corporate: These can include all the outside regulations but also will include the ones from inside the business set in place to make operation seamless.

What needs to be included in compliance documentation to make a good document?

When it comes to making good compliance documentation, it takes a few things. To start, you will need to document all processes, procedures and guidelines in the business. Starting with those are the building blocks which will also provide good legal regulations and be able to operate with fewer hiccups. 

The seven things every good compliance documentation for a program has are:

  1. Establish and adopt written policies, procedures, and standard of conduct: If you can achieve this it will help create uniformity among your employees.
  2. Program Oversight: Make sure you pick who will oversee, monitor and enforce the compliance program. They may be called the “watchdog(s)” of your company.
  3. Provide training and education: It does not matter what level you are in the company, or your title, you will need training on the program. Having training along with an annual refresher for everyone will remind them what their conduct should be, and you will be able to make any changes.
  4. Two-Way communication: Make sure your employees know that they should communicate and do it in a timely manner. They should communicate any question, reporting non-compliance or even ethical issues that may come up in the workplace. 
  5. 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.
  6. Discipline: Make sure you enforce consistent discipline across all employees and do it in a timely manner. No employees should be held to a different standard to any others which can create drama in the workplace.
  7. Corrective Action: While disciplinary action is important, you also need to make sure that you can also correct employee actions. If they end up stepping out of the program, it will also serve as a reminder to what the code of conduct is.

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How to stay on top of compliance

One big thing 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 on top of the 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.
  • Specialist: 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 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 with ease like 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 or 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. 
  • Software: As mentioned earlier, a specialist can provide software that can help you keep in 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 being able to easily prove compliance to anybody who requires you to prove it such as any government agency. 

There are many aspects that make a business successful, but being in compliance with safety regulations and laws is one of the most important. Having good compliance documentation leads to having a good compliance program and ensuring your employees are not making mistakes.

Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is guaranteed. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or sales@edc.us

By Dylan Friebel

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