Is It Time To Automate Your Policy Management Processes?

Policy management is one of the key components of a successful Governance, Risk & Compliance program.

A recent survey posted in Compliance Week found that many organisations are falling short when it comes to adopting a policy management process that meets regulatory requirements.

The survey found that 65% of organisations said they were operating a basic policy management program which involved manually tracking policy reviews and staff sign off through email and Excel.

Manually tracking policy updates and sign-offs can cause a number of challenges for businesses. Below, we take a look at some of the main challenges and how automating policy management can help address them.

1. The Updating, Review & Approval of Policies

Many organisations that rely on word or spreadsheets to create and update policies can find it very difficult when it comes to the time for updating and reviewing them. As policies spread across multiple staff members, departments and locations it can become very difficult to conduct policy reviews with the relevant employees.

It increases the likelihood of policies being out of date as staff members can easily forget that a policy is due to be reviewed and updated. Other difficulties exist where employees might need a member or members of their colleagues or management team to sign off on updates to policies. It can take weeks of chasing and exchanging documents through email to get your colleagues to read the updates and approve them before a final version is drafted.

How Automating Policy Management Can Help:

Managing policies on a policy management system can remove this burden for organisations. As policies are uploaded and stored on the system, review dates can be set on each policy and as policies become due for review, the people responsible will automatically be notified by the system. Policy owners can make their changes and if any other colleagues need to give their feedback the system can trigger notifications to those individuals allowing them to read the policy and provide their feedback and final approval.

This process can become very slick for a business especially one with numerous policies that are reviewed on an annual, bi-annual or quarterly basis.

2. Policy Sign Off Process

Once policies have gone through the updating, review and approval process, they then get sent out through the business so the relevant employees can read and confirm that they understand the policy.

Distributing these policies through email means many staff members will never read them and you will never know otherwise. Tracking read rates and how well staff members understand policies is next to impossible.

How Automating Policy Management Can Help:

By storing all the updated policies in a centralised system, the relevant employees can be given access so they can review and sign off on each policy.

Employees receive personalised access to policies based on their business unit/department, job function, or other parameters to ensure that staff members see the policies that are relevant to them. Employees can receive email alerts when new or updated policies are available, accessing them in the system allowing them to read and answer test questions on the policy.

The results of these sign offs will automatically be collected and collated for the compliance and management team to review.

3. Reporting Trends & Training

Most organisations with manual policy management processes are “reactive” because it can be difficult to see which policies are out of date, which ones have not been read by employees and which ones are not effective. All of this can be due to a lack of clear reports and analysis on the effectiveness of policies and policy reviews.

The “reactive” nature makes it difficult to see if employees understand policies that are relevant to their job function and can lead to breaches of policy throughout the business, causing some reactive actions.

How Automating Policy Management Can Help:

An Automated policy management system will collect information in real-time. Statistics such as the number of staff members that have read policies and the number of employees who understand policies will be displayed in real-time on a centralised dashboard.

Trends in the data can quickly be spotted and if certain policies are not understood by the majority of staff members than training may be required to fix this issue. Configurable reports allow managers to keep a record of policy acceptance and comprehension for compliance documentation.

Automating Policy Management With ViClarity

If policy management has become a time-consuming burden for you, then you’ve come to the right place. ViClarity’s Policy Management solution has been implemented by numerous organisations in both the Financial and Healthcare sectors.

The solution consists of two parts, policy development/review and secondly staff member policy sign off. ViClairty’s policy management solution is an end to end platform for policy creation, management and distribution. It provides a consistent way of ensuring policies are reviewed, updated and signed off across the business and provides the management team with real-time analysis of all stages of the process at all times.

The system can also test staff members on their understanding of policies and ask them a number of questions based on the policy in review. The responses are logged and tracked and any misunderstandings are highlighted, allowing management to schedule training if necessary.

Book a Policy Management Demo Today

Email: neil.osullivan@viclarity.com

Phone: +353 1 902 2859