Whether it’s staying on track with your health and safety duties or adhering to industry regulations, compliance training can help to protect your business and ensure a safe workplace for all. As a business owner, there are often training requirements that you need to meet on a regular basis to stay on the right side of the law and minimise the risk of fines or penalties. Some areas of compliance are specific to your sector, like construction, manufacturing, or health and social care. However, there are many areas of compliance that will apply to all small businesses, such as workplace health and safety, first aid, fire safety or data protection.
What is compliance training?
Compliance training for small businesses is the process of making sure that you and your team are up-to-date with the latest regulations. For example, to abide by health and safety laws, your business is required to have a competent person who is responsible for managing risks and hazards. If you only have a small team, you may be responsible as the business owner.
Regular and effective training and development is crucial for educating your employees so that they are equipped with the knowledge required to carry out their role. In some cases, industry recognised certifications with ROSPA or CPD certification are essential to ensure your business has the right skills. There are a range of certified courses available that are tailored to small businesses.
What are the benefits?
There are many reasons why keeping on top of compliance training is important.
- Certification proves that you’re complying with your legal responsibilities as a small business
- It gives your employees the skills and knowledge they need to do their job safely, competently and productively
- Reduces risk in your business by minimising accidents and improving the quality of your work
- Associated reputational benefits of being a well-run business – and in some cases, completing compliance training may impact your insurance premiums
- Increase confidence and trust with your customers and clients
- Track and record the training your team has undertaken for auditing purposes
What compliance training does my small business need?
The type of mandatory courses that your business needs to take on will vary based on your sector. For example, if you’re running a takeaway business, food safety and hygiene training will be required - and top of your list for customer confidence, too! Certain trade organisations may insist that you obtain relevant certifications as part of your membership. There are a range of more general courses that all business owners must consider, such as:
- Workplace health and safety. This covers areas like manual handling, risk assessments, first aid, fire safety and more, and can vary depending on how your business operates.
- Data protection and privacy. What sensitive data does your business handle? Are your employees trained to understand their responsibilities? Do they know how to protect your business when it comes to UK GDPR?
Making a compliance training plan is the easiest way to make sure that you are aware of all the areas you need to consider.
- Write down the legislation your business needs to comply with and any criteria you need to meet – this is useful especially if you’re a new business or expanding into new areas
- Choose the courses that will best help your team to meet these targets
- As you and your team undertake training, don’t forget to track your progress and save completion certificates so that you have accurate records and proof of compliance
- Don’t forget to check back regularly to ensure training is up-to-date in your business – for example, have new people joined your business?
Of course, it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s not just mandatory courses that can help you to run and grow your business effectively. Other training opportunities such as people management, professional development, or marketing and sales, can enable you and your staff to build vital skills toolkit that applies to all areas of your business operations.