Board training is a vital aspect of effective ethics and compliance programs, but fewer organizations are providing training to their board members – in 2017, only 44 percent of organizations are providing this education, compared to 58 percent in 2016. According to the NAVEX Global 2017 Ethics & Compliance Training Benchmark Report, only 17 percent of new directors received ethics and compliance training, and only one-fourth of organizations cover cybersecurity and cyber risk with the board.

Executive buy-in continues to be a challenge, especially among organizations with reactive E&C training programs (26 percent) compared to those with basic programs (15 percent), maturing programs (nine percent) or advanced programs (eight percent). More than 40 percent of organizations surveyed rated their programs as basic (training on basic topics only) or reactive (addressing issues as they arise with no formal plan). NAVEX warns that enterprises with these types of E&C training plans are likely to face heightened scrutiny.

About three-quarters of respondents cited concerns that undermine ethics and compliance training in their enterprises, with top issues being employee cynicism, supervisors who downplay complaints, lack of disciplinary measures and employees who are afraid to speak up.

Learner fatigue is a greater challenge among large organizations than among small or medium-sized enterprises. Enterprises with higher employee turnover also cite struggles to find adequate resources for training.

NAVEX recommends that enterprises consider improving program planning to better stretch training budgets and resources, adding new training formats to the mix, and improve overall effectiveness measurement to secure additional funding or training time.