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Supporting Compliance Programs with Learning and Assessment Technology

/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/compliance_training_539156.jpgIn my recent blog post Learning, Training and Assessments in Regulatory Compliance, I highlighted why compliance training and assessments are important and what the different application areas are. In this second blog post, I would like to describe how learning technology can support compliance programs.

Many compliance learning programs today are still partially handled manually. This does not need to be the case. Many tasks can be automated: from  managing learning and assessment processes to the creation of learning content. Please find below some best practices of our customers:

1. How a learning management system (LMS) can help

Technology to support the practices of compliance learning is essential for two reasons. First, the administrative effort required to manage compliance learning is high and thus, for efficiency reasons, is best supported by powerful technology. Second, the speed required for information dissemination (the delivery side of learning) as well as for reporting (that is, the production of high-quality, valid, and reliable auditing information that is immediately reproducible upon auditor request) are hardly imaginable without the support of technology.

This being said, an LMS that provides a variety of out-of the box functions needed for compliance learning should be seen as a technology of choice. Also, deploying an enterprise-class LMS should be a top priority for any enterprise in a regulated industry.

An LMS is the technology of choice for managing key processes in compliance learning. Next to standard features like managing registrations, reporting &
monitoring, delivering e-learning or user notifications it needs to support compliance specific processes:

  • Retaining records about completion and attendance based on regulations
  • Controlling the versions of content, pushing out revised versions for retake by learners, and reporting which version a learner has been trained on
  • Providing automatic reassignment of courses to learners to make them retake a course at predefined intervals
  • Maintaining audit trails (what was changed, when, by whom, previous value, new value and so on) and electronic records incl. providing electronic signatures
  • Certifying an implementation with a regulatory agency (for example, FDA CFR Part 11)

2. How learning content and documentation authoring tools can help

For effective and efficient training on compliance topics, learning content is usually created by using authoring tools. In recent years it has become
increasingly popular to use e-learning courses because these are more trackable and also easier to update, faster to roll out, and cheaper to deploy to larger
audiences. There are different options for providing employees with learning materials when and where the materials are needed. Requirements for such authoring tools are for example:

  • Coverage of different learning methods and outputs – from documentation and handbooks to e-learning and mobile learning.
  • It is best handled using a single-source approach. Typical standards such as SCORM or AICC need to be supported so that content can also be managed by a LMS.
  • Performance support, so that learning and guidance can be integrated into systems and processes used by employees when working

3. How Assessment Management Systems can help 

  • Assessments are used for example:
  • Before and during – but especially after compliance training, to confirm competence, knowledge, or skills
  • To measure practical skills in the workplace – where an observer watches how an employee performs a task and rates performance against a checklist

A typical LMS includes basic assessment capabilities. When you are making decisions about people (whether to promote, hire, fire, or confirm competence for compliance or certification purposes), the more robust functionality of an assessment management system allows you to create more reliable and valid assessments.

Assessment management systems and LMSs work together, and test-takers will often be directed to take assessments by using a single sign-on from the LMS. The latest trends in compliance training are further detailed in the blog-post of John Kleeman.

You can find out more about best practices on how to use learning technology, the latest trends and how SAP and related partners can help you in the following webinars which will be delivered by Simone Buchwald Global Solution Principal for Learning and Talent at EPI-USE, John Kleeman Founder and Chairman of Questionmark, and myself, Thomas Jenewein Business Development Manager at SAP Education.

  • German-speaking webinar replay available now: Replay
  • English-speaking webinar replay available now: Replay

You also can download a whitepaper with in-depth information on this topic. If you are interested in further news, please follow this blog post, which I will update over time. Also your thoughts or feedback regarding compliance training would be highly appreciated – please use the comments section below.

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