What is Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week, celebrated this year mid-November, all about? It’s about awareness, focus, and fun.
Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week was launched in 2005 by staff and members of the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) and the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) as an event that could assist members with the need to educate their employees on the importance of compliance and ethics (C&E). The idea was spawned by two HCCA members who wrote a 2002 Compliance Today article describing their organization’s awareness program, called Compliance Awareness Week (HCCA, 2015). Fourteen years later, Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week (let’s call it CC&E Week) is still happening, proof that local initiatives can spark a movement.
HCCA’s “Corporate Compliance and Ethics Week—What’s It All About?” flyer, which is one of the many related resources offered by both HCCA and SCCE on their related websites, calls CC&E week “a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on the importance of compliance and ethics at your organization.” In other words, it provides a focus for C&E-related awareness activities, which can be fun as well as educational.
The flyer highlights three basic goals:
Awareness—of the Code of Conduct, relevant laws/regulations, hotlines and other reporting mechanisms, the organization’s compliance and ethics staff, etc.
Recognition—of training completion, compliance and ethics successes, etc.
Reinforcement—of the culture of compliance (and ethical culture) for which the organization strives.
A sample newsletter (one of the resources offered; see CC&E Resources link below) offers an example of how CC&E Week might be celebrated: Day 1, ethics and compliance meet and greet (compliance staff visit all offices throughout the day); day 2, ethics and compliance-related scavenger hunt for work teams; day 3, “prize day” (invite employees to bring in proof of completion for any C&E training module to receive a prize; Code of Conduct Quiz Bowl.
There are many other approaches as well; here are just a handful of examples from companies that have participated in the past (found on the CC&E Celebrate web page—link below).
- Kickoff breakfast and a different theme each day, with C&E staff utilizing the intranet to respond to quizzes and skits
- Daily compliance messages posted to the intranet
- Trivia questions sent out in the weeks leading up to C&E Week; prizes to be given out during that week and compliance-related giveaways to all employees.
- Annual compliance training conducted during the week, along with daily trivia quizzes and inspirational email blasts
- All-staff speaking event with a local celebrity speaking on the importance of ethics. Supported by multiple mini-events and articles from company leaders leading up to the event.
Even if you missed the official CC&E Week, you can organize something like it focused around an anniversary that’s meaningful to your organization, or just introduce the occasional out-of-the-ordinary activity in support of ethics and compliance throughout the year. Ongoing communications and frequent small opportunities to learn are both key components to an effective ethics and compliance education effort. And while you’re at it, start planning for November 2017.
Ethical Advocate has been providing ethics hotline, compliance, and training services for over a decade. We invite you to contact us for more information.
HCCA. Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week Celebrate (web page). http://www.hcca-info.org/Products/CorporateComplianceEthicsWeek/Celebrate.aspx
HCCA. Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week Resources (web page). http://www.hcca-info.org/Products/CorporateComplianceEthicsWeek/CEWeekResources.aspx
HCCA. “Corporate Compliance and Ethics Week—What’s It All About?” 2015. http://www.hcca-info.org/portals/0/pdfs/resources/CCEW/WhyCelebrate.pdf