"Compliance is everyone's responsibility." This is a statement you have probably heard before. What does that really mean? It means:
Being aware of our surroundings and expected standards to help maintain our compliance. Generally everyone participates in compliance by completing the assigned ongoing compliance education, reviewing the rules of conduct and/or code of ethics, and remaining aware of the policies and procedures. Managers can provide additional awareness opportunities for their program staff. This can be done by routinely including compliance topics on the staff meeting agenda, by reviewing and discussing the most current policies and procedures, or by inviting the in-house experts from different departments to discuss specific areas. Awareness creates knowledge, and this is key to successfully creating an environment of accountability.
Reporting concerns so they are properly addressed is everyone's responsibility, regardless of position. If a concern is identified but is not reported, there is the potential for that concern to remain "undetected" and this can place employees, customers, and/or the organization at risk in any number of ways. Anyone can encounter an issue during day-to-day job activities. How we respond is important. Any identified actual or potential concern needs to be reported to those who can help ensure that the issues are properly investigated, evaluated, and corrected. Augusta University has personnel designated to respond and address different types of issues. For this reason, it is important that the appropriate personnel are notified. These experts can carefully assess all facts without bias and evaluate the process or system to determine the necessary response, thus ensuring that the regulations and standards are met and that matters are handled consistently and fairly. This assists in creating a safe reporting environment and a just and ethical culture.
Being accountable for compliance is different depending on our roles. Sometimes it's about making sure we regain compliance in an area where an issue has been identified (corrective actions). Sometimes it's about revising or drafting a policy or procedure to make sure we comply with a new or revised regulation, law, or standard. For others it's about being aware and maintaining licensing requirements and renewals, or being aware and accountable for addressing changes to professional practice standards or financial requirements. When it comes down to it, we are all accountable to do the jobs we were hired to do and that means we need to remain informed about relevant standards to properly carry out our duties. It also means we need to ensure that concerns are properly reported and addressed. This helps contribute to creating a just and ethical culture throughout the Augusta University community.