Building a stronger culture of compliance — Training programs for third parties

Tom Fox

Welcome to a special five-part blog post series on building a stronger culture of compliance through targeted and effective training, sponsored by Diligent. In Part 4 of the series, we discuss how to put together a training program for third parties with Andrew Rincon. In today’s global business landscape, third-party compliance training is more crucial than ever.

In today’s global business landscape, third-party compliance training is more crucial than ever. Ensuring that your organization’s distributors, vendors and other third-party affiliates adhere to necessary regulations can minimize legal and financial risks, protect your company’s reputation and foster a culture of ethical business practices. As compliance professionals responsible for training these third parties, it is essential to stay informed about cutting-edge strategies and techniques for effective risk management. Here are the steps to get improved third-party compliance training and due diligence processes:

1. Assess third-party risk during onboarding

Performing due diligence and assessing third-party risk is not a “one size fits all” process. This critical step allows organizations to identify high-risk distributors, vendors and other third parties that may pose potential threats to the business in terms of bribery, corruption and other regulatory violations. By conducting a thorough risk assessment, organizations can effectively mitigate these risks and ensure that they are partnering with ethical and responsible businesses, ultimately fostering a strong culture of compliance throughout their sales or supply chain ecosystem. Moreover, such an approach is critical throughout the lifecycle of the relationship. Rincon emphasized the importance of proactive ongoing due diligence measures, such as automated screenings and monitoring, sending out attestations and conducting regular training courses.

Effectively educating resellers, agents, distributors and other third parties on compliance policies and expectations is critical. Providing proactive training not only helps in preventing compliance violations but also demonstrates to regulators your organization’s commitment to maintaining high ethical standards. This, in turn, can mitigate penalties in case of inadvertent violations and foster a trust-based relationship with regulatory authorities. By adopting these practices and leveraging technology to automate certain processes, organizations can ensure that they are partnering with ethical third parties, minimize their exposure to regulatory risks and foster a strong culture of compliance across their entire network. By doing so, they not only protect their businesses from potential harm but also contribute to a more transparent and ethical global marketplace.

2. Utilize micro-training videos for efficiency

In the field of compliance, training third parties remains a critical aspect of managing and mitigating risks associated with regulatory and legal frameworks such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). With the increasing need for efficient and effective compliance processes, it becomes essential for compliance professionals to employ innovative strategies to achieve their objectives while minimizing disruptions to business operations. By leveraging this method, companies can ensure that their distributers and internal client gatekeepers receive consistent and easily digestible information, enhancing their understanding of compliance policies and expectations.

By breaking down complex topics into easily understandable portions, Rincon noted, micro-training videos enable organizations to communicate the essential aspects of their compliance policies and expectations in a concise and engaging manner. Through the ability to cater to different audiences, these training resources contribute to a more comprehensive approach toward addressing third-party risk. The adoption of micro-training videos as a tool for third-party compliance education serves an essential purpose for compliance professionals. By incorporating this method, companies can enhance their third-party risk management processes and ensure that their partners are aware of the applicable legal and regulatory frameworks. This leads to improved adherence to compliance policies, reduced likelihood of violations and overall risk mitigation.

3. Customize training materials for specific regions

Effective third-party compliance training often involves the customization of training materials for specific regions. This ensures that the training is relevant, relatable and impactful for third parties, and that it takes into account regional differences, as well as differences in language and sensibilities. Customizing training materials also fosters a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the compliance policies and expectations towards each party, thereby mitigating the risks associated with inadequate understanding or implementation of compliance standards. Furthermore, cultural sensitivities and regional variations can be taken into account when designing training, ensuring a more engaging and effective learning experience for the target audience.

Micro-training video shorts can be easily customized for different regions and translated into multiple languages. With such versatile tools, compliance professionals can promote clear and concise messaging to their third-party partners, thus reinforcing the importance of compliance policies and due diligence throughout the duration of the business relationship. Customizing compliance training materials for specific regions not only makes the training more effective, engaging and relevant but also supports robust risk management and streamlined third-party due diligence processes.

For compliance professionals dedicated to training third parties, the effectiveness of your compliance and due diligence processes plays a significant role in safeguarding your organization from potential risks. The how-to steps discussed, including customizing training materials for specific regions, agents, resellers, distributors and other business partners on compliance policies and using technology to track irregularities, can greatly enhance your efforts to ensure that your third parties meet and maintain compliance expectations.

For more insights, join us for our final episode in the series, where we will review the role of the Board of Directors in a compliance regime. To further explore this topic, learn more about the micro-learning and customizations available within the Diligent Compliance and Ethics Training Library.

Tom Fox

Tom Fox is the Voice of Compliance, having founded the only podcast network in compliance, the award-winning Compliance Podcast Network. It currently has 60 podcasts. Tom has won multiple awards for podcast hosting and producing and was recently honored with a Webby for his series Looking Back on 9/11. He is an Executive leader at the C-Suite Network, the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. He is also the co-founder of the Texas Hill Country Podcast Network.

He can be reached at