3 Regulatory Compliance Lessons You Need to Know

August 9, 2016 By
On June 2-3, 2016, Enablon hosted SPF EMEA 2016 in Paris, France. This was the European edition of our Sustainable Performance Forum (SPF) and the third of a series of five SPF events around the world. More than 300 professionals came together and attended sessions spread across five tracks covering the most important EHS, Risk, Sustainability and IT topics. One of these tracks was dedicated to compliance and featured three sessions, including a case study from one of the world’s leading Oil & Gas companies, as well as a product workshop.

During the sessions and the Q&A periods, many familiar compliance topics were discussed (e.g. identifying applicable regulations and permit requirements, maintaining a compliance register, audits and inspections). In this post, we share specifically three interesting takeaways, because they can provide useful lessons for EHS, Risk and Compliance professionals.

1) Identify Regulatory Content Gaps

Many clients that use the Enablon enterprise platform to manage EHS, Risk and Sustainability embed regulatory content in the system, from one of the many content providers that are part of Enablon’s growing partner ecosystem. Sometimes clients have an expectation that content providers will offer 100% of the content needed. But there are instances where content providers will successfully cover anywhere between 80% and 100% of the needs. This is normal as some companies may have very unique compliance requirements that some regulatory content providers may not address. Hence it is important to identify the gaps by thoroughly understanding what is covered by the content provider. The next step consists of filling the gaps during the implementation phase with the help of Enablon’s services teams and implementation partners from Enablon’s partner ecosystem.

2) Indicate the Regulations You Come Across

Here’s a reality many people may not realize: It’s difficult to have the text of every single regulation, present and future, that you need to comply with. In addition, you may be unaware of regulations that you may need to comply with. But one of the benefits of having a central system for regulatory compliance management is that the organization can start to have an idea of what it knows and what it doesn’t know. When users come across a regulation, they should check in the central system if: 1) the company is tracking the regulation, or 2) others in the organization came across the regulation. If the company is not tracking the regulation, users should indicate in the system that they also came across the same regulation. This allows the company to have a view over compliance gaps that need to be addressed. As a result, the organization is not completely in the dark about unknown compliance needs, and has an opportunity to identify them.

3) Automate the Planning of Compliance Audits

Organizations use audits to monitor their compliance status with regulations. In order to optimize time and resources, companies prioritize audits to focus on the most important ones first and foremost. The prioritization of audits can be greatly improved by automating audit plans. Instead of making a subjective determination of priorities, an intelligent audit management software can bring logic into the prioritization process, by using historical compliance performance data and various risk indicators to suggest priorities for audits. Companies configure the rules that determine the prioritization, to match their specific needs and industry, and the audit plans are automated moving forward. The system then suggests the audits that the company should focus on first. This type of automated audit planning allows organizations to deploy their compliance efforts more efficiently, thus reducing the costs of compliance.

SPF events always produce key takeaways that are leveraged by companies to achieve operational excellence. Here are links to other posts where you can explore such takeaways:

SPF Americas 2016 will take place on October 4-5 in Chicago, and will bring together more than 500 EHS, Sustainability, Risk and IT professionals from the world’s largest corporations. Register today and don’t miss out on 50+ sessions and countless opportunities to network with your peers.

Sustainable Performance Forum Americas 2016 2


Categories: EHS, Risk

2 Comments

  1. James Bergman Reply

    I agree that it isn’t really possible to always know every regulation that you need to watch out for. At least, it is easy to forget one or two. I think the best solution for this is to have regular audits. Most of them can probably be internal, but some of them should definitely come from external sources for the sake of transparency.

    • Jean-Grégoire Manoukian Reply

      Hi James,

      Thanks for your comment. I agree with everything, especially about the need to have an external audit once a while to have a neutral and objective assessment of one’s compliance status.

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