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How to Measure the Success of a Compliance Program

Written by LAUREN EDMONDS on Nov 10, 2015

The ultimate goal of a compliance program is not only to make sure your organization meets the requirements for compliance, but to also ensure employees do the right thing. But it can be difficult to determine the success of your organization’s compliance. What do you measure? How often do you measure? What do you focus on?

Many corporations focus the number of calls to their whistleblower hotline to determine whether their compliance program is successful, but there’s more to program success than the number of whistleblower calls. Research shows less than 10 percent of incident reporting occurs through these hotlines. Instead, employees are approaching their managers with reports of violations. With all these factors at play, how can you be sure your compliance program is working?

Here’s what you need to know to determine if your company’s compliance program is successful:

Look at Your Training Programs and Campaigns

Take a look at your data to see if there is any correlation between your company’s training programs or campaigns and the number of incidents being reported. For example, if your company just completed a session on bribery, you may notice an uptick in bribery reports or inquiries.

Utilize Surveys

Your employees are your most important asset when it comes to compliance program success. If they don’t understand what they need to do or why it is important, it’s unlikely your program will be successful. By using surveys, you’ll be able to know how compliance messages are received and understood. Using annual behavioral risk surveys also can be a good way to ask employees if they’ve seen any misconduct among their coworkers.

Take an Integrated Look at Your Entire Program

It’s important to look at all the aspects of your compliance programs. You should look at all metrics—including policy, code of conduct and training. Going over as many data points as you can helps create a clearer picture of how your program is performing. For even more insight, decide which metrics you’ll measure every year, analyze that data annually for trends and make improvements as necessary.

Need help determining the success of your compliance program or need compliance services? Schellman for a readiness assessment.

Topics: Compliance and Certification





Lauren is a Principal at Schellman with over 10 years of attestation and compliance experience. Lauren has evaluated risks and controls for a number of industries including financial services, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and service-based organizations.