COVID-19 has impacted businesses across the world and new business practices are necessary. For organizations subject to environmental compliance requirements, this can present new challenges. Shifting responsibilities due to down-sizing and re-assignments, particularly in roles like International Material Database System (IMDS) specialists, may require many organizations to continuously retrain new staff. This is often accomplished with in-person training, either in a group or one-on-one, but in 2020 that is unlikely to be feasible.

Trainings are necessary for even the most experienced team members. Regulatory requirements necessitate that subject matter experts be immersed in the daily information flow of changing regulations. This requires periodic refresher trainings, which are no longer available in the classroom environment.

Doing nothing is not an option. Compliance requirements must still be met and reporting must continue. Staff must continue to be trained, and it is clear that any solution must involve an online component. This might entail web-based one-on-one mentoring or a fully automated training program. Whatever solution you choose for your organization, the most effective ones will be those that do not attempt to replace the trainer-student relationship but rather find a way to successfully enhance it.

What should you be looking for in an effective online compliance training solution? Here are some principles to guide your selection process:

People Power

Online training should harness the potential of human connections rather than attempt to substitute automation for subject matter expertise. An experienced trainer is the engine that drives an exceptional training program. The best training solutions will use technology to augment the talents of the trainer by allowing them to showcase the clearest and most engaging presentation of the subject. Using technology to keep the trainer and trainees connected one-on-one through forums and helplines will enhance the experience for everyone.

Productivity

Using the right technology will help the trainer be highly effective at reaching trainees. Good technology will increase the scale and efficiency of instruction so that the trainer can reach larger numbers. Game-changing technology breaks free from the constraints of space and time by allowing users to learn anytime and anywhere and provides them the option to repeat course information as necessary, giving trainees the flexibility they need to most effectively learn.

Pliability

In the manufacturing world, the highest quality products are crafted, not mass-produced. This same standard applies to training products. A premium training solution should be designed with the end-user in mind, with the flexibility to adapt to their needs. For example: purchasing, IT, management and quality control may all have different needs and duties with respect to the course’s subject matter. Trainings should target users so each group gets what they need, while also ensuring they do not have to study materials that may be irrelevant to their individual role in the organization.

Compliance training also needs to be adaptable to the changing regulations and customer requirements. Does your training solution allow users to be constantly updated on new developments? Or is it a static presentation that will have fading relevance and require you to invest in additional courses in the future?

Proof of Effectiveness

One of the most overlooked aspects of corporate training programs is the question of whether or not they are effective. It can be difficult to obtain a meaningful measurement of each individual student’s grasp of the subject matter. Bringing training into the online world makes this easier, as well-designed standardized evaluations can be easily conducted without the additional time and expense such evaluations would require during in-person trainings. Understanding whether your training is working is key to creating an effective solution.


The world of compliance regulations doesn’t stop, even during times of crisis. In fact, maintaining compliance is more important than ever with changing supply chains and a market disrupted by COVID-19. Training keeps your compliance department competent, and using the right online tools means you can do this even more effectively.

Tetra Tech has used these important principles to guide the development of our newly released compliance trainings in IMDS, CDX and SPCC. We are enthusiastic about the powerful possibilities that technology, along with exceptional training personnel, offer for transforming the way compliance training is done. We are interested in hearing from you about your training experiences and how we can support you in your compliance training needs.

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