Staying on the right side of competition law is a necessity for businesses in all industries. A large part of that is creating and implementing competition law compliance programs. If you haven’t done so already, these 10 tips will help you to do so.
Compliance Starts At The Top
You need to develop a culture of compliance that requires tangible, visible and enthusiastic support from the top management of your company. The US Department of Justice and the Competition Bureau state that active management involvement is the foundation for any effective compliance program.
Have A Respected And Identifiable Person In Charge
It is important that you have someone in charge of the compliance program. This person should be someone with the experience and respect in the organization. The person in charge will be responsible for reporting to management or the authority in charge should management be unreachable.
Limit Your Training Message To Clear And Concise Principles
Of all the areas of business law, competition law is the most esoteric. Your training can become complicated with you include concepts such as interbrand versus intrabrand and conscious parallelism. These complications can obscure the message you are trying to promote. It is important that your training materials have clearly defined red-zones such as bid-rigging and price-fixing.
Go For The Largest Audience When They Are Focused
According the Ryan Cardoso, a Pensacola lawyer who has worked in areas including non-competition agreements, your antitrust training session should be included in a larger event to ensure that there is a maximum turn-out. During events such as business retreats and sales meetings, you are likely to get the full attention of the audience. This is important because you want as many people to get the training as possible.
In-Person Training Is Best
Live training is the best medium to use because employees are more likely to remember information provided live when compared to self-study or online formats. You will also be able to build a personal rapport with the audience in the live sessions. This will help with self-reporting and any issues that the audience may have with the training materials.
Set Aside Time For Q&A And Use It
Many people find that the most productive training comes through a Q&A session. Your audience will be more interactive and this makes it more memorable. There is also the fact that employees generally do not get the chance to ask questions about issues that they find troubling. You will also be able to clarify any aspects of the training that people have problems with. You should consider pre-arranging a question with a member of the audience to break the ice and make it easier for other people to ask questions.
Choose Training Materials That Work With Your Audience
Even the best training session can be dull and boring to the people in it. To make the training more memorable you should look at using relevant real-life examples. You should also consider using actual business emails and contracts, with the names redacted, for demonstrations.
Ongoing Monitoring Is Necessary
If you do not have ongoing monitoring your compliance program will not be very effective post-launch. You can use employee exit interviews as a means of monitoring conduct in certain areas such as sales and marketing. You should also look at having periodic discussions with staff who are familiar with the bid responses and pricing patterns. Entry interviews for employees hired from your competitors may also be helpful.
Refresher Programs Are Essential
Memories will fade over time and your initial training will be forgotten regardless of how effectively it was delivered. This is why it is essential to have annual or biannual refresher sessions. These sessions should include all employees who are in customer-facing roles or those who are involved in trade association activities.
Document Time And Effort Spent On Compliance Training
If you want to convince the Competition Bureau that your company has a compliance policy that is effective and credible then you need to have documentation. You should look at documenting the number of training sessions held, the number of employees in the sessions and how regularly the program is updated to show the changes in the law. All of this documentation will help you earn the maximum amount of credits.