One of the key goals of any compliance program is to train employees in awareness and understanding of the FCPA; your specific company compliance program; and to create and foster a culture of compliance. While it seems axiomatic that compliance training is a mainstay of any best practices compliance program, the conversation around training has evolved over the years. The 2012 FCPA Guidance started the conversation.

Beginning in the fall of 2016, through the announcement of the FCPA Enforcement Pilot Program, the DOJ began to talk about whether you have determined the effectiveness of your training. This conversation continued with the 2017 Evaluation where it asked, “How has the company measured the effectiveness of the training?” This point has bedeviled many compliance professionals yet is now a key metric for the government in evaluating compliance training. It evolved further in the 2019 Guidance with the mandate that training must be “truly effective”. Finally, the training must be presented in a language in which the employees understand, which means in a local language, if the training is outside the US or other non-English-speaking countries.

Also raised in the 2017 Evaluation was the focus of your training programs, where the DOJ inquired into whether your training was “tailored” for the audience. This added two requirements. The first was to assess your employees for risk to determine the type of training you might need to deliver by risk ranking your employees. Obviously, the sales force would be the highest risk but there may be others who are deserving of high-risk training as well. From this risk ranking, you were required to develop tailored training for the risks those employees will face.

The 2019 Guidance spells this out in greater detail. Not only in the design but who receives it, all coupled with backend determination of effectiveness. Finally, all of this must be documented.

Three key takeaways:

  1. How and why have you tailored your compliance training?
  2. The DOJ has mandated demonstrating the effectiveness of compliance training
  3. How is your training presented: both in languages and media?