The Hidden Risks of Non-compliance in Your Employee Certifications
Employee certifications are an essential part of the modern workplace and vital for compliance.
While ensuring your employees are appropriately qualified to do their jobs may seem straightforward, keeping track of the status of their relevant certifications can be a challenge for many employers – and one that can be easily overlooked.
The consequences of non-compliance arising from expired employee certifications or inadequate training affect every industry and can result in:
- Large financial penalties and fines for breaching regulations.
- Loss of productivity and revenue.
- Government sanctions and license suspensions.
- The risk of injury and potential lawsuits due to an unsafe working environment.
Some sectors are exposed to higher risks, including IT, healthcare, construction and manufacturing. The following are some examples:
Healthcare : Healthcare facilities and hospitals require employee certifications to be tracked and tested on a regular basis to confirm their validity. Lapsed certifications may lead to financial penalties and suspension of business. Nursing certifications, including ACRN, CPN, CRNA, AOCN must also be monitored to ensure safety and validity.
Construction, Manufacturing and Engineering : All organizations must ensure up-to-date certifications for employees operating forklifts and machinery. This is vital for those working on government projects and to comply with OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) standards.
IT : Digital transformation and the increasing strategic importance of data continues to have a major impact on compliance. Gartner’s annual Audit Plan Hot Spots report notes that cybersecurity, data governance, third parties and data privacy top the list of audit risks in 2019. All of these areas need careful monitoring to ensure employee certifications meet all current requirements. Tech organizations such as Microsoft and Cisco have numerous levels and tiers of employee certifications required to ensure compliance.
3 Key Benefits of Maintaining Employee Certifications
Employers cannot afford complacency in this area. In addition to the reduced risk of penalties and costs, ensuring your employee certifications are up-to-date offers a broader range of benefits, for example:
- Ensuring employee certifications and training are up-to-date demonstrates your commitment to your employees and your customers. At the same time, it also enhances both client trust and employee engagement.
- Some companies fail to maintain compliance due to the pressure on resources and perceived costs involved but the cost of non-compliance is significantly higher. A 2017 study reports the cost of non-compliance as $14.82 million, compared to $5.47 million for compliance.
- When employee certifications are compliant this can help to improve safety within your working environment. To put this into perspective, the cost of workplace injuries to employers currently stands at an estimated $1 billion per week in the US.
The Most Effective Way to Manage Employee Certifications
Despite the dominance of technology in the workplace, many organizations still rely on manual methods and spreadsheets such as Excel to ensure their employee certifications are up-to-date. There are several issues related to manual processes which do not update automatically or flag certifications which are approaching renewal.
But perhaps the most significant concern is the high risk of human error. Some studies suggest as many as 90% of spreadsheets may contain errors. In an area which affects compliance, this exposes your company to potentially serious risks.
An effective employee certification management process supported by dedicated certification tracking software offers the following:
- Storage of all records of certification in one central, easily accessible database.
- Assigns relevant training and certifications to individuals based on their position and responsibilities within your company.
- Records are updated automatically.
- Notifies managers and employees of certifications that are reaching their expiry date. Forthcoming renewal dates are flagged early, giving HR plenty of time to ensure compliance and identify areas for additional training.
- Easily verifies certification to customers and suppliers for reassurance.
- Keeps an up-to-date record of current certifications.
Avoid the hidden risks of non-compliance. TalentGuard’s Certification Tracking software offers a reliable solution that enables companies to assess their risk exposure and certification obligations. Request a demo today to find out more.