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New year, new approach – getting compliance right

15 January 2021

Perhaps not an exciting topic, but it is an important one and as we all struggle to find time to do anything other than react to coronavirus challenges, some of the other requirements tend to slip. Let’s navigate a best-practice route through.

Compliance is a broad term and covers the three Ps – paper, people and practice. We’ll cover off all of these in our ‘evidencing compliance – how to get it right’ webinar coming up on Tuesday 19 January, but for now let’s focus on just one – staff training.

Staff training is a cornerstone of good practice and be it safeguarding, GDPR or health and safety, there is a direct link between high-quality, outcomes-focused training and the impact on staff and children in your setting. To help you get it right, here are my eight tips for excellent compliance training.

  1. Delivery – make it fun, engaging and entertaining. The more enjoyable the training, the better the learning. Invest some time in thinking about how to engage your staff in the process, how to embed the learning and, if possible, how to avoid talking at them for long periods.

  2. Active -v- passive learning – with active learning, staff are actively or experientially involved in the learning process; they participate by doing something besides passively listening. For some compliance topics (if not all), active learning will provide better outcomes.

  3. Do your due diligence – be it in the content you source, an external trainer or an online platform, make sure you satisfy yourself that the content is right, the trainer engaging or the platform the right one for your staff to learn. See it, test it, check it.

  4. Sector focus – training that is too general or does not use the right terminology will quickly turn off your staff. Trainers or platforms that refer to business, clients, customers and profit rather than parents, pupils, school and staff will miss the mark. To take that deeper, make sure workshop/case-study content is based on real examples of issues in schools.

  5. Outcomes – compliance training must focus on outcomes and you need to be able to evidence them. Delivering or sourcing great training is one thing, but if you don’t measure the extent of the staff learning, how do you know it landed? How can you satisfy yourself that your staff know what they need to know and are able to apply it? Not only is this important for satisfying yourself that staff are well trained, that evidence can support your setting if things were to go wrong.

  6. Analysis – once you’ve measured the outcomes you then need to analyse them. Are certain staff groups off the pace? Is there a theme across your setting where learning is not as strong as you need it to be? If you use an online platform, make sure it provides you (at no extra charge) with the measurement of outcomes and an analysis of the skills gaps. Once you’ve identified the gaps, it’s then time to plug them.

  7. Get the diet right – historically, compliance training was often a once-a-year hit, generally during the September Inset. As learning techniques and platforms develop and guidance requires ongoing learning and updating, moving towards a more regular diet of training delivered via online platforms, face-to-face sessions, staff-meeting updates and topic surgeries throughout the year is becoming the norm. This approach also has the benefit of keeping the topics front and centre, something that a once-a-year hit may struggle to do.

  8. Consistency – the larger the MAT the harder it is to deliver face-to-face training to all staff at once, and during these times it is becoming increasingly difficult for any school to deliver face-to-face training. However, ensuring all staff receive the same, high-quality, outcomes-focused training is important. It is here that online platforms offer a solution that can form part of the compliance diet for your setting. We developed our EduCompli training platform to provide a solution that addresses all of these issues; make sure that your provider does the same.

Join us on our webinar to explore these issues and broader compliance challenges further.

Training and events


Optimus MAT Summit Novotel London West, Hammersmith, London W6 8DR

Come and meet the team at Optimus’ annual conference.

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EdCon 2021: planning for the future Online

Our virtual conference for schools and academy trusts is back and this year it’s free!

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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