If you think compliance is expensive, try non-compliance.

Former Deputy US Attorney General Paul McNulty

Compliance can mean a multitude of different things. Whilst in one scenario it may require absolute adherence to a regulation, another scenario may be sticking to a team or organisation’s way of doing something. One simple and clear definition is “the act of being in accordance with established standards, guidelines, or legislation.”

Irrespective of the scenario, being non-compliant generally comes at a cost, often significant.

Becoming compliant is not an easy process, but to break it down into simple steps it generally looks like;

  1. Understand the reason why you need to compliant. Quite often the reason why is not answered correctly, which then allows for people to deviate – without a clear understanding of the consequences of non-compliance
  2. Review and ensure there’s a clear comprehension of what you need to comply with. How can a clear set of instructions be detailed without a comprehensive understanding of what is being complied with?
  3. Within your organisation or team, decide who is going to be accountable for being compliant. This may or may not be the person actually performing the task, but it ensures a single person or role is in charge of making sure it happens.
  4. Understand the timings (or when) you need to be compliant. Is it an annual safety inspection, or an activity that is triggered by a customer complaint? Perhaps it’s when an employee leaves your organisation and there’s data security concerns?

The question of how to be compliant remains. It’s often the least considered, but could be the most important. If you haven’t determined how you will be compliant, then everything else doesn’t really matter…and you may discover the cost of non-compliance sooner than you think!

To help, we’ve broken down the how to be compliant into three simple steps;

  1. Have a clear outline of what needs to be done (ambiguous or imprecise instructions will often lead to incomplete tasks, or tasks performed incorrectly)
  2. Have a clear method or tool for recording results (otherwise how do you know you’re actually being compliant?)
  3. Have a clear record of who, did what, when (this is your evidence trail which is critical for a well governed compliance program)

If you don’t’ stray from these 3 simple steps, you’re well on your way to avoiding an expensive course of corrective action – far better to be proactive than reactive!

To learn more about how Proceeda can support your team or organisation in these three simple steps, get in touch and we can provide a demonstration or register for free here

And if you’re trying to figure out what needs documenting, we can also help you with that! We’ve recently launched a range of services to support our customers, as outlined here