Navigating the (ever-changing) compliance landscape

A compliance survey carried out by the Brandon Hall Group a few years ago showed that demonstrating learning compliance to an external agency was important for 90% of the respondents. About 50% of all the organizations surveyed said it was actually critically important to their business. And in specific industries, the number that said it was critical was much higher — more than 70% for “high consequence” industries.

For organizations in the high consequence category, a learning management system may not be optional. These organizations may need their LMS — and all their other enterprise systems for that matter — to help them prove compliance to whatever rules are applied to their road.

But even for organizations in low or medium consequence industries, regulations still apply. No one in today’s business world operates without rules. In fact, today’s business environment is an increasingly complex maze of rules and regulations.

Legislation and standards are in place or being proposed for almost all aspects of business and industry. Throughout the world, regulations govern the manufacturing and handling of a variety of products for health and safety reasons. Other policies are designed to provide privacy and security or prevent fraud. These regulations are administered by government agencies, international organizations and industry associations, and compliance is sometimes voluntary but often mandatory.

Many of these laws and guidelines focus on the maintenance, security and auditing of records, and most were originally designed for printed documents. But with electronic data replacing printed documentation, new strategies are needed for dealing with regulatory compliance.

Some legislation has specified that requirements apply to all records regardless of their physical form. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), an electronic record can be “any combination of text, graphics, data, audio, pictorial, or other information representation in digital form that is created, modified, maintained, archived, retrieved, or distributed by a computer system.”

Certain compliance standards, however, still require printed records, and for many organizations this means keeping both electronic and printed copies of data. For those regulations that permit the use of electronic data for compliance, strict guidelines are in place to ensure the security, confidentiality and authentication of those electronic records.

To help you understand compliance and how it related to LMSs, we’ve developed a guide for using learning management systems to meet regulatory compliance. Our ebooklet provides information on regulations, regulatory bodies, electronic records management, and how to use an LMS to help meet compliance.

Click here to read the ebooklet in PDF.