Compliance & Ethics
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Tom Fox
Founder of The Compliance Podcast Network

The crucial role of board oversight in compliance training and communications

December 15, 2023
0 min read
a compliance training session with board members present

I recently sat down with several folks from Diligent as part of a special podcast series, titled “Compliance professionals adapting to change: Industries, regulations, and beyond,” where we looked ahead to key issues in 2024.

Throughout the series, I visited with industry experts, including Nicholas Latham, Renee Murphy, Jessica Czeczuga, Yee Chow, and Alexander Cotoia. We covered various compliance-related topics, such as communication in regulated industries, managing conflicts of interest, ESG, and mentorship. For this third post, I sat down with Jessica Czeczuga, Principal Instructional Designer at Diligent, to discuss the critical role that Boards of Directors play in compliance training and communication.

The board’s role in compliance training and communication

Czeczuga, Principal Instructional Designer at Diligent, emphasized the need for the board to underscore the importance of compliance, communication and training, and to provide messaging to employees that reinforces the significance of completing training. One of the key takeaways from the episode was the idea that the board sets the tone at the top. The priorities of the board are then seen as priorities by the rest of the organization. By making compliance, communication and training a priority, the board can foster a culture of compliance and ensure that employees understand the importance of these initiatives.

Czeczuga also suggested that boards should consider providing messaging directly to the general population of their organization, highlighting the importance of completing training. This can help drive the messaging deeper into the organization and ensure that employees understand the significance of their training obligations.

We also discussed the need for boards to assess the effectiveness of training programs, particularly in multinational corporations. Factors such as computer access and language barriers should be taken into consideration when evaluating training effectiveness. By understanding the challenges faced by employees in different regions, the board can make informed decisions about training programs and ensure that they are effective and accessible to all employees.

When it comes to board oversight of training, there are tradeoffs and challenges to consider. On one hand, the board needs to have a clear understanding of the compliance program and what is required to support it. This may involve requesting additional metrics and information from the individuals responsible for training. By having a deeper understanding of the program, the board can provide better oversight and support.

On the other hand, it is important for the board to strike a balance between oversight and micromanagement. Boards should trust the individuals responsible for training and compliance to do their jobs effectively. Micromanaging can hinder the effectiveness of training programs and create unnecessary bureaucracy.

Balancing oversight and trust

The board plays a crucial role in driving compliance and training messaging throughout the organization. By setting the tone at the top and emphasizing the importance of compliance, communication, and training, the board can foster a culture of compliance.

Additionally, the board should assess the effectiveness of training programs, considering factors such as computer access and language barriers. Balancing oversight and trust is essential for effective board oversight of training and compliance.

Ready for purpose-driven compliance? Diligent equips leaders with the tools to build, monitor, and maintain an open and transparent ethics and compliance culture. Learn more about our comprehensive compliance training solution.

Be sure to check out our next post in this series, where we’ll discuss how to navigate the current ESG landscape.


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