Educational institutions around the world must comply with the stringent regulatory requirements outlined by their board of education. Whether schools are private or public, compliance with regulatory requirements isn’t optional. Failure to comply can result in fines, provisional registration, or even closure.
Maintaining regulatory compliance is an ongoing, costly, and time-consuming effort. Based on a 2015 study the cost of managing compliance in the US higher education sector alone is an estimated $27 billion.
Fortunately, schools systems today can implement technology tools to help manage and maintain their compliance efforts.
The Challenge of Educational Compliance
Schools in New South Wales, Australia, require an operating license contingent on meeting the requirements set by the New South Wales Board of Studies, Teaching, and Educational Standards (BOSTES). The regulations require that school principals and school administrators in New South Australia complete a full compliance audit on their schools’ compliance statuses every five years, in addition to an annual self-monitoring process.
The requirements set by BOSTES presented a challenge to the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) and its staff of 4,500. CEDP is a non-profit organization with 78 schools (56 primary and 22 secondary) and four early-learning centers serving more than 43,000 students.
CEDP’s compliance auditing workload added pressure to teaching staff and administrators. The processes for annual and five-year audits were time-consuming, manual, and ambiguous. CEDP Compliance Officer Tania Cairns sought a solution that would reduce stress from staff, save time, and improve the overall accuracy of these audits.
Automated Compliance Management
Cairns and CEDP need an automated solution for its compliance management that would support its staff and respond to current and future compliance needs while enabling “24/7” compliance monitoring. CEDP enlisted help from its IT Partner Devworkz to develop an automated compliance management solution utilizing CEDP’s existing SharePoint system.
The solution called “247Checklist” was built on Microsoft SharePoint using the Nintex Platform, and Devworkz proprietary technology Appbuilder and Uihiro. All compliance information is held in lists and libraries in a central SharePoint site with controlled access based on the SharePoint security groups and Active Directory, surfaced through Appbuilder components.
CEDP staff can update compliance requirements centrally and push out changes to all schools as they are released by BOSTES. CEDP’s principals can also distribute the audit workloads and assign various parts of the audit for school staff to work on throughout the year for ongoing compliance.
247Checklist runs complex, automated workflows to generate each school’s audit every year including notifying the compliance team of schools compliance status and any required follow-up actions. Additionally, the compliance team is alerted if a school hasn’t started using 247Checklist or requests support.
247Checklist = 24/7 Compliance
Using 247Checklist, CEDP staff are less burdened with added work and stress from the annual and every five year compliance audits. Now each staff member only sees the requirements that apply to their school and receive email reminders when an issue needs to be addressed or a deadline is approaching.
“Managing compliance within and across multiple school sites is challenging and requires great transparency and oversight. Now, the 247Checklist solution provides principals and administration staff with an online auditing solution that supports and streamlines how we meet our compliance objectives,” shares Tania Cairns, Compliance Officer, Catholic Education Dioceses of Parramatta.
The solution also eliminates repetitive work of collecting and maintaining evidence as staff can link directly to supporting documents making it easy and simple to verify compliance. CEDP’s compliance team and BOSTES inspectors can access school’s compliance data from the education office instead of needing to visit each to ensure the system is maintaining compliance correctly.
Thanks to the 247Checklist, Devworkz, and Nintex, CEDP staff have more time to focus on the quality of learning and teaching they provide their students.
Want to learn more about how Nintex helped CEDP ensure compliance? Read the case study.