Case study: New system helps manage thousands of policiesInsurance-to-health services company FirstAssist is making sure its staff are compliant with all relevant policies thanks to a new system which has saved it months of development work.
FirstAssist provides a broad range of services including insurance, health and wellbeing advice along with rehabilitation services to businesses and individuals.
But because it provides such a range of services to a variety of clients, its 1,200 staff have a regulatory maze to negotiate in order to make sure they are compliant with all the necessary policies.
Steve Richards, IT operations manager at FirstAssist, explained: "As a call centre operator, different policies apply when dealing with different customers. There's quite a lot of variation in these procedures."
The company wanted to consolidate thousands of policies covering areas such as Financial Services Authority compliance; health and safety; human resources; information security; data protection; and ISO 9001 into one central location.
"We had to look for a way to display policy and procedure information. We started to think about how we were going to do this and realised that was quite complex," Richards said.
The company has installed a compliance and policy management tool called RuleSafe from Secoda.
It allows employees to search for policies related to their job function, prove that employees have read and understood policies, and provide audit reports.
Staff can also use a feedback form to report problems or areas of non-compliance.
Richards told silicon.com: "At first glance you might think 'so what?' because it looks like an intranet page but once you get behind that you can get a very impressive understanding of how it can help you monitor what you are doing."
The system allows staff to tick a box to say they have read a particular policy, and allows managers to run reports to see who has read it.
"If you have disciplinary issues nobody can say they've never been told - you can demonstrate to them that they've read it," Richards said.
The system also makes it easier to keep staff updated on changes to policies: "You can send out a message saying you should read this and tick the box. It's a very powerful way to make sure that people are paying attention," Richards added.
If FirstAssist had tried to build its own system it would have spent several months designing and implementing it, Richards said.
"We just bypassed all that. It saved a huge amount of IT thinking. For the end user it's just an intranet but for the manager you get a lot of functionality that it would take a long time to build yourself. You've got to have somewhere to put all your procedures in a regulated business so it's quite a key system."