Training serves as a valuable tool and we are all aware of its importance.
When staff are knowledgeable and confident in their role, this allows management’s ability to transfer that confidence to higher authorities knowing that staff are being trained correctly. Along with this comes the need to keep correct training records.
If you think this simply means ticking off someone’s name and stuffing a completed assessment in a file you may be in for a shock. Proper record keeping goes way beyond just that.
Why Should I Keep Records?
“Why?” I hear you say. “As long as the employees know they’ve completed the training, why is it necessary for us to keep all that paperwork?”
Let me preface the following by saying there’s always one trouble maker in the crowd.
For most organizations, the need to keep training documents can be identified as having two layers.
Firstly, regulatory compliance.
I know these two words alone send some into a tail spin but stay focused.
It is essential that you know what your organization’s regulatory requirements are. Just as training compliance has it obligations, so might the relevant record keeping.
As an example, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health regulation requires that all employers report and keep incident information for any and all occupational injuries and illnesses. In most states the Department of Labor administers the recordkeeping and reporting system. Employers guided by this particular legislature are responsible for the location, retention and maintenance of these records.
Secondly, internal management.
Even if no training records are needed for compliance, it is beneficial for any organization to keep track of which employees have received which training.
Incentive plans may be based on whether employees successfully complete internal training. Personal achievement for staff is the key to keeping them not only current in terms of new happenings in their field, but their ultimate happiness and personal achievement as a valued member of your organization.
So, What’s In It For Me?
The simplest way I can put this is that your life will be made easier if you commit to keeping training records. Not only correctly but accessible to key management, staff and any auditing requirements your organization has.
Let’s face it, there will always be one auditing obligation you will have to expose your information to at some stage in your organization’s existence. The rules may be annoying, but they are there to protect yourself and your staff.
If your organization needs to be compliant with regulatory bodies, the peace of mind in adhering to obligations is worth more to you than you might imagine.
How Should I Keep Records?
It is a big decision when an organization contemplates moving to a digital format for records management. The need to move away from paper based filing for all types of documents is not a new idea by any means, but applying it to training records can be. If you’re worried about being dragged into the 21st century and still not being compatible for regulatory demands, you needn’t be. A useful training management system will be compliant anyway.
Partner with a solution provider that offers a few essential key areas for consideration. An intuitive program keeps details on who has achieved what qualifications needed for employment and internal requirements for their role. The system should be user friendly and available to those who need such information quickly.
There are lots of uses for organized training records. If training is required for regulation or just simply internal management, a schedule can be easily built in to your system. This way your employees are informed that new training is required and can be scheduled for a particular date.
Your Human Resources department will love you.
Clearly regulatory requirements and internal management demands will require your attention at some point whether you like it or not. They are here to stay. Don’t think this should be a complex thing. It just makes good business sense to have the records kept in such a way.