Compliance means following rules and regulations set by government agencies or organisations. It’s about making sure companies and people do what is expected of them, according to the laws and policies that apply to their industry.
There are non-statutory compliances which means that they are not mandatory and then there is statutory compliance. Statutory compliances are legal obligations that a company/ organisation must adhere to, as per the laws and regulations set by the government or governing bodies. Failure to stay compliant on Statutory compliances can result in fines, penalties and even legal action.
An example of a statutory compliance is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this sets out the rules for the collection, processing and storage of personal data. Organisations that process personal data of EU citizens must comply with GDPR standards, failure to do so can result in significant fines.
A non- Statutory compliance is more of a best practice, although there won’t be any legal ramifications for not remaining compliant, it can significantly impact a company’s reputation and credibility.
A good compliance plan helps companies stay out of trouble and do what is expected of them. With new policies coming in such as the Building Safety Act, now is the time to make sure you are doing everything you can to stay on top of both your statutory and non- statutory compliances.
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Keep up to date with the latest laws, regulations, and industry standards that apply to your business. This includes keeping track of any changes or updates to existing regulations. There are a few different ways you can keep up to date with the latest compliance changes, some of these include the following;
Barbour Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) – Barbour EHS can help you “ensure your business and property is fully compliant to the latest legislative updates by receiving immediate alerts when policies you have flagged as important are updated.” (source:https://www.barbour-ehs.com/). Legislation and policies are constantly getting changed and updated, instead of worrying about having to dig around to find out a piece of information, Barbour EHS can give you the most up to date industry news alongside a catalogue of policy and legislation documents.
Monitor regulatory agency websites – A straightforward approach to staying informed about regulatory updates is to access the information directly from the governing bodies. Organisations such as the Health and Safety Executive consistently update their website with any changes in policy. By frequently visiting their website, you can ensure that you are aware of any alterations that may impact you.
Follow agencies on social media – As well as their websites, regulating bodies will more often than not, share information on social media platforms. Following them on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook can give you a quick snapshot of upcoming policy changes without leaving your favourite social platform.
Blogs and newsletters – There several agencies that have blogs and newsletters you can subscribe to, by doing so you can get all of the latest information sent straight to your email. These may vary on frequency so if you are looking for daily updates it may not be the best option for you. Some good options are FMJ, EHS today and SHP.
Attend industry specific conferences – Attending shows and conferences is a great way to not only stay up to date with the latest tech in your industry, but a good way of getting insight that you may not have had access to otherwise. At these industry shows there is usually speakers and time for 1-1 networking, this is a key part of keeping up to date with the latest laws and regulations as your peers may be across different elements of the trade than you and can offer some really key information to help you stay compliant.
One of the best ways to ensure that your organisation is compliant is to regularly assess your compliance risks. This helps you identify potential areas of non-compliance, which can then be addressed and resolved before they lead to legal action.
There are several methods you can use to assess your compliance risks, including:
Internal Audits – An internal audit is a self-examination of your organisation’s compliance policies, procedures, and practices. This can help you identify any gaps or weaknesses in your compliance program and make necessary improvements. It is important that if you are conducting an internal audit that you are thorough and don’t miss anything out. Something that you feel isn’t important could land you with a hefty fine.
Self-Assessments – A self-assessment involves reviewing your organisation’s policies, procedures, and practices against relevant laws and regulations. This can help you identify any areas of non-compliance and take steps to resolve them. Self assessments are a good way of making sure you are compliant and saving yourself some money, external audits can be costly.
External Assessments – Hiring compliance experts to conduct an external assessment can provide an objective perspective on your organisation’s compliance risks. These experts have extensive knowledge of the laws and regulations that apply to your organisation and can provide recommendations for improvement. This can be the most effective way to asses your compliance risks as the external body will leave no stone unturned, getting this done by an external expert does however come at a monetary cost.
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In conclusion, staying up to date with compliances is crucial for the success of your organisation. Regularly reviewing and updating your compliance management program can help to protect your business, maintain public trust, promote a culture of compliance, and improve efficiency. Don’t wait until it’s too late – make compliance management a top priority in your organisation today.
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