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Compliance in the education sector is a big deal!

Compliance failures can be incredibly damaging for the numerous universities and colleges throughout the world, especially with increasing media vigilance. There have been many high-profile examples of costly fails.

Code of Ethics

Universities use great resources to ensure high standards of operations in education, research, preservation of knowledge and other significant activities. Each and every member of an institution has their responsibility
in management of the resources (time, budget, attention, personnel and other resources). Business and ethical practices and processes serve as control mechanisms throughout every operation. Compliance management supports responsible operations ranging from admission processes to quality control by focusing on compliance with laws and
regulations.

The most obvious penalties of major compliance failures are monetary fines and expenses. But, there are other negative outcomes, including restrictions on programs & student resources. Moreover, there are problems of potential lawsuits, and damage to the reputation and financial stability of your institution. Consider grants for a moment.

5 Tips for Implementing an Effective Compliance Program

Create Rock-solid Policies and Procedures –

A well-defined code of conduct, along with your organization’s policies and procedures are the foundation of your compliance program.  Their ultimate purpose should be to protect your organization from risk – both external, legal risks as well as internal ones.

Train and Educate Your Staff –

Policies and procedures won’t do much unless your staff is familiar with them. Education and training are also an essential part of an effective compliance program. Remember that new employees aren’t the only ones who need training. Ongoing training and education based on areas of risk are important. They are a part of maintaining an active culture of compliance.

Communicate Effectively –

Maintain open lines of communication between employees and management, between students and teachers & management and partner organizations.  It’s vital to create an environment where people feel safe bringing up concerns or mistakes.

Carryout Internal Audits –

By conducting regular audits, you can identify areas of risk before they become a problem. Then,  prioritize areas for improvement, and gain a deeper understanding of processes and procedures. Since, they currently exist at your facility.

Stop managing compliance in silos

To be effective at managing compliance, higher education institutions need to implement a culture that prevents compliance failures. An effective compliance program is comprised of a culture that encourages ethical conduct and a commitment to compliance activities. This is achieved through coordination and collaboration among the various business areas and divisions, with the key stakeholders (e.g., internal audit, compliance, general counsel, human resources, etc.) all involved.

Document and Record

Documentation and record keeping is an important part of an effective compliance program and this means having effective technology in place. Spreadsheets can only go so far in effectively tracking compliance before the struggle with scalability and reliability becomes too difficult to manage. With a system in place, you can easily track and report out on the errors in compliance so that you can remedy risk areas with targeted education.

So Where Do We Begin?

VComply is here to help! Creating a culture of compliance is a dynamic process with a foundation in training and awareness. We’ve developed a perfect tool targeted towards ensuring that you and others at your facility have the tools and information to remain compliant, assess risks, and focus on what you love: providing quality education!

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