By Janine Cameron - Compliance Manager PT National
on Monday, 29 May 2017
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Define

Compliance

noun

Refers to business coordinated strategy for managing the broad issues of governance, risk management with regard to regulatory requirements.

 

Our definition; understanding your fitness business responsibilities by keeping up-to-date with relevant policies and procedures (P&P) defined by fitness industry standards that your PT business operates within.

 

There is a great arbitrage in business around compliance in that it is found within every aspect of the business but people do not give it the value it deserves.  Compliance is in everything, even in areas within a business that PT owners may take for granted including health records, marketing, or perhaps disclosing information over the phone.

Compliance is in place to ensure that your PT business develops the goals necessary to comply with governance in order to exist.  This can be achieved by developing a systematic approach designed to empower employees to believe in it. 

 

Evidence, proof and systematic process must be demonstrated.

 

Quality is controlled through auditing and compliance, and the challenges associated are vast.  It can become costly, detailed, feels negative amongst people, black and white, inflexible, regulated and not easy to carry out.  It will feel like a drain on funds because there is nothing to show for it for the long hours and money spent in this area.  However, for a PT business to succeed it is fundamentally the backbone.

Its purpose is to act as a preventative measure to safeguard you and the people impacted by your business.  As a business owner you are encouraged to wear the compliance officer hat from time to time by conducting an internal audit of the business.

 

Every industry has their own form of governance including state by state and/or national regulators.

There are different levels of governance affecting fitness businesses including internal and external audits designed to maintain the integrity of the industry in which it represents.  Internal audits may be independent through consultants or conducted periodically within the business by key personnel in areas which may include but not limited to; financial and accounting audits, currency of insurances, codes of conduct policies and procedures, capturing reports and data storage/confidentiality, fire and safety compliance, onsite inductions and personal protective equipment (PPE), equipment registers or even strata compliance.

 

External audits are those conducted by auditors or governing bodies such as Fitness Australia and Physical Activity Australia that enable your PT business to maintain registration according to standards.  This may include council and development applications (DA), maintaining CECs, Work Health and Safety (WHS), formal grievances or complaints, marketing and logo usage, or Internal Standards (ISO) and certification, and building codes of Australia (BCA) around disability.

 

An auditor will only contact the business with a purpose and a question

requesting further information and/or documentation.

 

Despite compliance being black and white, it can be very grey when requiring confirmation when contacting the regulators requiring an answer to run your business.  Just as your business needs to comply with the standards, you too have the right to understand your boundaries with the limitations bound within the standards, as every business is unique in some way, shape or form.

Never the less, compliance too have evolved over time, as it has softened to that of the past and is designed to support businesses to demonstrate compliance.  In the past it was primarily driven by law where it is now moving towards standards in the approach that all policy must be a living document.

PT businesses need a systematic approach that supports a positive working environment for their staff and clients, making the fitness business accountable with defined timeframes and milestones owners and staff are required to support and follow.

 

- Janine Cameron, Compliance Manager PT National