The next 5 steps to take back control of your red tape

Combined picture of scary forest and yarnbombed trees

Trying to work out the compliance rules often looks like a dark and forbidding forest that no one wants to enter. This article will help make it look less scary.

The earlier article provided the first two easy steps to breaking the flood of paperwork into more manageable wavelets. This article provides a framework to help you build your compliance rules.

Trees not Forests

Defining your compliance rules looks like a massive task (daunting forest) so we’ve broken it down into 5 easy steps (nice small trees). All you need to do is go through this simple process for all your Staff, your Properties and your Suppliers.

Control groups flow chart

Step 1 – Create Control groups names

Let’s start with the easy one, Staff. Start by creating group names for all the roles or tasks that require compliance certificates, for example

  • First Aiders
  • Fire Wardens
  • Project Managers
  • Everybody
  • and so on

TIP: Get help on defining these groups from HR, WHS, etc.

Step 2 – Assign entities to the groups; Staff; Locations; Suppliers

Now assign Staff members to each group, for example, if you are a school

  • “Everybody” includes every member of staff, teaching and non-teaching staff
  • “First Aiders” includes the nurse and all designated first aiders
  • and so on

The important thing is to create groups that make sense to you and your organisation. Don’t worry about trying to get it 100% right the first time, it’s easy to make changes.

Step 3 – Assign Control documents to the Groups

Next, assign the Control (or Mandatory Required Documents) to each group. For example at a made-up school, they have decided that school,

  • “Everybody” must have an up to date Working with Children check OR a teachers registration certificate AND a police check every year AND sign a document every January acknowledging and agreeing to uphold the school’s fair treatment policy
  • All “First Aiders” must have current certificates for First Aid AND Epipen training
  • All “Fire Wardens” must provide proof that they have been trained in the school’s evacuation policy and procedures AND have been trained in the use of fire extinguishers and hose reels.
  • and so on.

Tip: The people who helped you define the groups should help you define the Mandatory Required Documents (MRDs) for each group.

Step 4 – Assign Copntrol documents to individual entities

Occasionally individuals (Staff, Locations or Suppliers) need specific Mandatory Required Documents. For example, the groundskeeper is the only person at the school who is allowed to use a chain saw and so they need to provide proof of training in the use of a chainsaw.

Step 5 – Generate lists of Control documents per entity

We can now list all the control documents for each entity, e.g. member of staff.

Now, simply check that each entity has all their control documents and that none have expired; are missing or have a problem. If everything is OK, that entity is compliant, if not, simply get their documents up to date or, if staff, send them on the relevant training course.

Framework for defining Control Documents for Suppliers.

Suppliers are a little trickier so here is a framework to help you develop Mandatory Required Documents for suppliers.

The earlier article showed how we classify every document into one of 5 classes. We can use these classes as the framework to ask key questions.

  • What Company-related documents do we need from our suppliers? Insurances, business licences, copies of various policies and procedures, SWMS, JSA’s ……
  • What Staff related documents do we need from our suppliers and contractors? Trade licences, inductions forms, working with children checks, police checks……….
  • Do we source products from specific manufacturing Properties from our suppliers? Does that property meet all workplace health and safety requirements, does it meet all food safety requirements………
  • Does our supplier provide us with any of our Plant and Equipment? Do we have all the relevant certificates of electrical safety, certificates of conformity, plant design registration certificates, ………
  • Do our Suppliers supply us with Products? Do we have all the relevant product datasheets (PDS) or safety datasheets (SDS), batch test results……………
  • Do our Suppliers or Contractors use specialised test Equipment when they are maintaining our Plant and Equipment? Where are their calibration certificates? Is all their electrical equipment tagged and tested?
  • Are any of our Suppliers involved in a Project that requires extra insurance?

By breaking the problem down by class of document it’s a lot easier to work out exactly what Mandatory Required Documents are required for each group of suppliers or individual supplier.

We hope you’ve found these articles useful. If you have any questions, please get in touch via the website.

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Nigel Dalton-Brown, GAICD, AMIIA, MBA

Managing Director, Chair, Speaker, Lecturer, Author

Nigel is the Founder of Strytex and has been presenting and writing on Goverence, Obligational Awarenss, Risk Management and Compliance administration (GORC) since 2010.

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