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Five tips for better compliance

Compliance can be a very complex and daunting process for an organisation, particularly when there is no clear context, sound guidance or defined objectives. Continuity and Compliance Management Services provides a few tips for improving your organisation’s approach to compliance.

The word “˜compliance’ invokes many different emotions throughout an organisation, from the welcoming embrace of motivation to the fear of loss of credibility and retribution. In a recent examination of the oil and gas industry, it was found that the word “˜compliance’ was daunting, unclear and very emotive.

Below are a few tips to help your organisation stop complaining about compliance and start seeing the benefits of a complaint workplace, including improved safety, productivity, accountability, traceability, cost savings, better relationships with stakeholders, and more.

1. Know what you are complying to, and why

It’s imperative that there is clarity in your compliance measures. You need to clearly articulate what compliance means to the business, what specific areas of legislation/standards etc. you are complying to, and why. It isn’t simply legislation, with diverse areas like Occupational Health and Safety, environment, finance/taxation etc., and therefore you need to know and focus on the areas and jurisdictions that matter most. Risk rating of all obligations is the most effective and aligned way of determination and articulation.

2. It starts with a policy and ends with the Policy

Documenting what your compliance measures refer to and, just as importantly, what they don’t is paramount to ensuring that there is traceability all the way through to verification. This is particularly beneficial in areas like joint ventures where there are many stakeholders and variable areas of accountability.

3. Speak the same language

Each professional discipline has its own acronyms, so it is important that you use the same language when documenting and communicating compliance measures throughout the organisation. Your stakeholders are important so you need to be able to speak in the same language and ensure that they understand the content and context of all policies and reports.

4. Know your place and get into line

Like it or loathe it, with compliance comes accountability and “˜plausible deniability’ is not a defence anymore. It is imperative that areas of action, responsibility and accountability are clear, integrated and not overlapping. Knowing where you and others fit, and the levels of expectations within, helps to provide linked collaboration rather than duplicated and disparate outputs.

5. Attitude is infectious

In recent experience, attitudes towards compliance at the management level ranged from highly supportive, all the way to dragging one’s feet towards issues of compliance. A supportive mindset towards compliance ensures effective communication and transparent collaboration that is adaptive to change.

Whether you like compliance or not, it is here to stay and we all play an important part within the myriad maze of it. Compliance should be about ensuring we meet certain conditions, good governance and practices, with the ability to provide seamless traceability.

For more information, visit www.continuityandcompliance.com

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