Navigating Compliance: Vital Training Needs for Local Government in Australia

Job role focussed compliance training is essential for local government to function effectively 

Local government plays a pivotal role in the everyday lives of Australians, managing a multitude of services and projects aimed at enhancing the communities they serve. To ensure that these vital institutions operate effectively, ethically and within the bounds of the law, comprehensive, job role focussed, compliance training is essential. Here, we delve into the top compliance training needs for local government in Australia.

  1. Legal and Regulatory Compliance

Local governments are subject to an extensive array of local, state and federal laws and regulations that govern various aspects of their operations. These encompass consumer protection legislation, planning and environmental regulations, as well as public procurement rules. Effective training programs empower local government employees to effectively navigate the complex web of legal requirements.

  1. Ethical Standards and Code of Conduct

Maintaining the highest ethical standards is crucial for local government bodies. Comprehensive training on ethical behaviour and adherence to a robust code of conduct helps prevent conflicts of interest, corruption and other forms of unethical conduct among staff and officials. Training should be tailored to individual codes of conduct to ensure communication is aligned.

  1. Privacy and Data Protection

Local governments handle sensitive citizen data making it imperative to provide training on data privacy and protection laws, such as the Privacy Act. Employees must be equipped to safeguard sensitive information and comply with privacy regulations to prevent data breaches.

  1. Anti-Discrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

Promoting diversity and preventing discrimination in the workplace is vital in order to create a fair and inclusive environment within local government organisations. This can be achieved through training in anti-discrimination laws, EEO principles and diversity and inclusion practices. 

Promoting diversity and preventing discrimination in the workplace is vital

  1. Workplace Health and Safety (WHS)

Ensuring the safety and well-being of employees and the community is a top priority. Training in WHS regulations and practices helps local government organisations maintain safe workplaces and reduce the risk of workplace accidents.

  1. Financial Management and Procurement Compliance

Budgeting and financial management, as well as adherence to procurement rules and regulations, require specialised training due to their complex nature. Tailored compliance training allows local government employees to implement proper tendering processes, as well as expenditure oversight and fraud prevention procedures.

  1. Environmental Compliance

Local governments should adhere to environmental laws and regulations to minimise their environmental impact. Compliance training ensures that employees are aware of waste management practices and sustainability requirements.

  1. Records Management and Document Retention

Transparent governance relies on proper records management. Training on records management, document retention policies and compliance with record-keeping requirements is essential to maintain accountability and meet record-keeping regulations.

  1. Community Engagement and Public Consultation

To build public trust and transparency, local government staff should be well-versed in community engagement practices and compliance with public consultation requirements. Effective training empowers staff to engage with the community effectively.

  1. Conflict of Interest Management

Identifying, disclosing and managing conflicts of interest is crucial to maintain ethical standards and public confidence in local government. Training in this area helps employees navigate potential conflicts effectively.

  1. Public Interest Disclosure (PID)

whistleblowing, is a critical aspect of compliance training

Public Interest Disclosure, also known as whistleblowing, is a critical aspect of compliance training. Employees need to understand the importance of PID in reporting wrongdoing, corruption or unethical behaviour within the organisation. Adequate training should cover the legal protections for whistleblowers, the reporting process and confidentiality safeguards to encourage a culture of transparency and accountability.

  1. Safeguarding

Ensuring the safety and well-being of vulnerable members of the community is a paramount responsibility for local government. Compliance training should focus on recognising signs of abuse, understanding reporting procedures and maintaining the highest standards of care to prevent harm to children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups. This training is not only a legal requirement in terms of duty of care, but also a moral imperative for local governments in Australia.

Compliance training is the linchpin

Compliance training is the linchpin that keeps local government in Australia accountable, transparent and aligned with the law. By addressing these top training needs, local governments can enhance their capacity to serve their communities effectively while upholding the highest standards of governance and ethical conduct. Public Interest Disclosure training, in particular, is pivotal in fostering an environment where employees feel empowered to speak up against wrongdoing, further ensuring the integrity of local government operations. Training that embodies Council policies and Codes of Conduct will enhance organisational resilience, reduce risk, and empower staff to do the right thing when dealing with the public and each other.

In today’s digital age, local government organisations are increasingly turning to eLearning solutions, such as those offered by GRC Solutions, to deliver, manage, and report on essential compliance training. The Salt® Learning platform provides a versatile and efficient means of ensuring that employees receive comprehensive training on various compliance topics alongside council policies. The system offers flexibility, allowing staff to access training modules at their convenience, reducing the disruptions to daily operations and provides access for new starters at induction along with refresher training throughout the year.

GRC Solutions Resources

Advanced Compliance Learning Technology

The Salt® Learning platform features robust tracking and reporting capabilities, enabling local governments to monitor employee progress, track completion rates, and generate compliance reports effortlessly. This not only streamlines compliance management but also facilitates transparency and accountability, ensuring that local governments can easily demonstrate their commitment to meeting regulatory requirements and upholding ethical standards. As local government operations become increasingly complex, eLearning solutions from GRC Solutions will prove invaluable in maintaining compliance while optimising training processes for greater effectiveness and efficiency.

More information here.

Local Government-Specific Training

Councils looking to enhance their whistleblower protection mechanisms and ensure that staff are well-equipped to handle Public Interest Disclosures (PIDs) effectively should consider implementing the GRC Solutions course on Public Interest Disclosures. This course offers a tailored approach to PID training. It covers legal frameworks, best practices, and ethical considerations, providing learners with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the complex landscape of whistleblowing.

Module 1: Public interest disclosures

For managers and general staff

Module 2: Dealing with disclosures

For managers

Available at