This guest blog post is provided by the Competition Bureau, an independent law enforcement agency that ensures Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace. Headed by the Commissioner of Competition, the Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (except as it relates to food), the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act.

Make your employees master chefs of competition law compliance!

In April, we introduced you to Our Best Recipe for Compliance Programs and followed up with more details on each of the first three ingredients. In our quest to promote competition law compliance, we will now look at our next essential ingredient: training and education!

As mentioned in our last blog post, it's important to have policies and procedures to ensure that your business complies with the law. For your compliance program to be truly effective, you need to train your employees to ensure they understand and follow your policies and procedures.

All employees, especially those whose work makes them more vulnerable to engaging in illegal conduct, need to learn about how to comply with the law. It is essential that managers and employees receive training on detecting prohibited conduct and understanding the consequences of non-compliance.

Training and education programs should demonstrate in a practical way how compliance policies and procedures affect your employee's daily activities. They can include case studies, descriptions of prohibited conduct and discussions about current compliance issues affecting the business. Training should also provide experience for employees to grasp new concepts. Remember: the best chefs are made in the kitchen, not through cookbooks!

You should choose the most effective methods for training and communicating with your employees based on your company's size and risk profile. Small group seminars, manuals, email messages, online training or workshops are all good tools to educate your employees about compliance programs. Just use your imagination to cook up the best training menu!

After you have identified the possible risks within your organization, determine the training needs for each position and set the requirements accordingly. Training should be done periodically, and your program should be updated and repeated when risk profiles change. It's also a good idea to make the training mandatory, especially for new employees and those in medium or high-risk positions.

Stay tuned! We will have more to share before putting the final touches on our recipe!

For more information, see the Corporate Compliance Program's bulletin available on our website.