Third party compliance training. Not your job?

Marlene Liontis is the Director of Lion Global HR Pty Ltd and one of the team of eWorks’ Accredited Consultants. Have you ever considered your responsibility when it comes to third party compliance training? Fortunately for all of us, Marlene has.

The third party trend

Workplace third party use has been steadily increasing and shows no signs of abating. One survey suggests that up to 30% of Australians are doing some form of freelance work. Take a moment to look around your office or workplace right now. How many of your colleagues are permanent employees? I’m guessing there are quite a few contractors, temporary staff members, consultants, casuals and so on. That’s just the way things are these days. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, with many employees now choosing freelance or casual work. But what does that mean when it comes to risk management and compliance training and, most importantly, your responsibilities surrounding these activities?

[Credit: Risk, by Got Credit]

Yes it’s your responsibility

As the use of contractors and agents in the workplace becomes more prolific, so do the potential risks if they are not adequately trained. Do you know where lines would be drawn should one of your contractors or third parties be accused of misconduct? Perhaps you’re thinking to yourself, ‘that’s not my responsibility, my contractors are from an agency that should take care of all of that’. You have a point, but what if the actions of your contract staff have an impact on the permanent staff for which you are clearly responsible? Third party risk management and compliance training should be as much of a consideration as compliance training for permanent staff. Training on subjects such as bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination and ICT acceptable use is one of the most effective ways to mitigate workplace misconduct by third parties and provide a key defence strategy when misconduct does occur. It also makes you a good employer, more likely to attract top candidates and realise business goals.

How to get started

In order to make third party compliance training normal practice in your organisation, start by conducting a risk assessment, then develop a business model that includes the implementation of best practises. Try following these five steps:

  1. Provide third parties with clear codes of conduct and policies on behaviour, ethics and so on.
  2. Identify the risks associated with third parties and rank in priority.
  3. Complete all due diligence checks before engaging third parties.
  4. Continuously monitor third parties based on each individual risk level.
  5. Ensure all third parties undertake compliance courses (see more below).

It doesn’t have to be difficult

Quite simply, there needn’t be any additional risk if you ensure that everyone has been trained, and making this happen doesn’t need to be costly or time consuming. Yes agents and contractors can be hard to track down and identify, but a comprehensive delivery platform with trackable user history reports will ensure that you have precise records of all training undertaken by your staff. Failing to train your staff, contractors or otherwise, is a missed opportunity to significantly reduce risk and liability for your organisation.

Still getting your head around compliance training? Not sure how to deliver and monitor it smoothly? Contact eWorks for advice.