What does ethical behaviour look like to you? Despite many of us going through periodic compliance training, do you understand the critical implications to the success of your organisation and yourself as a trainer?
Ethics is a core business driver. It influences turnover, productivity, customer service . . . almost everything that makes a business succeed or fail. If we look at some cases of fraud or illegal conduct in the VET sector, it wasn’t just one bad actor or one bad decision that gets a company into trouble. It’s a bad culture.
The Necessary Skills and Knowledge for Trainers
Compliance and ethical behaviour is one of the capabilities required for trainers and assessors. To be proficient in compli]ance and ethical behaviour, a trainer should have skill in:
- Understand VET Standards and relevant legislation,
- Develop own knowledge of key stakeholders within the Australian VET ecosystem,
- Use Training Packages,
- Ensure work practices comply with organisational policies and procedures,
- Act with integrity.
What Does This Look Like?
Compliance and ethics shouldn’t be treated only as an external requirement. During onboarding, for example, organisations can share with their new staff that the company prioritises ethics, answering the question, “What special ethical dilemmas are new hires likely to face?” and thus designing onboarding to prepare new hires for such situation.
A second example is in manager development programs. Prepare managers to take a strong ethical reputation to heart. Help them prepare to respond to concerns brought to them from their team. Another way to aid managers, is to help them work ethics and corporate values into their performance management discussions, in a way that feels authentic and not forced.
In “hard skills” training, trainers can instruct on completing a job right—not just getting the job done—and this entails doing necessary tasks legally and ethically.
Check-the-box training can’t do anything about culture. In fact, it hurts culture by insulting our staff’s intelligence and making it seem as though we only care about the letter of the law. If we craft great training that addresses real problems with meaningful solutions, we show our colleagues that we really care for them, and we demonstrate our real commitment to the spirit of the law, and we will be better prepare to work with a regulator (ASQA) that is encouraging RTO’s self-assurance and moving towards a more collaborative regulatory environment.
Ethics and compliance can’t exist in a vacuum. Just like every other aspect of life, our colleagues’ decision making has been impacted by market needs, rapid technological changes, learners’ expectations, and founding arrangements. Recognising that, we can start to build compliance training that feels real, timely, and relevant.