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Creating and maximizing your audit and monitoring program

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For those of you who have experienced building compliance programs from the ground up, you may have realized the importance of creating and implementing your organization’s audit and monitoring program. For those who have not, this article may help explain the significance. After establishing the hotline, compliance manual, code of conduct, etc., your audit and monitoring program will ensure your organization’s processes are in compliance.

First, it’s essential to have a good understanding of auditing versus monitoring. Audits are customarily larger in scope, can occur monthly, quarterly, and/or annually and are performed by individuals independent of the process.[1] If possible, you want individuals not directly involved in the process to remove any conflicts of interest when performing the audit. Audits can be performed on a statistical sampling of a certain population or can be completely random. In the laboratory space, certain volumes of samples are tested regularly. One audit could take 10% of the sample volume for auditing purposes. Whereas, in another audit, how much to audit could be based on the number of resources available at the time. Monitoring assesses the controls that are in place regularly and is more reflective of your daily business operations. This allows you to consistently check in on the mechanisms you’ve put into place for compliance adherence.

Some examples of monitoring are survey results and compliance training. Employee exit interviews and compliance program surveys may identify potential issues within your program or organization, such as retaliation, a poor compliance culture, the effectiveness of your reporting tools, etc. A compliance training review ensures your employees actively review your company’s compliance manual and code of conduct and attend compliance training. This is important as it allows employees to have visibility into the program and better understand compliance. The most effective monitoring is completely dependent on your organization or industry.

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