Organisations keeping track using ARCHIBUS Compliance Management application

Organisations around the world are subject to a vast array of local, regional, national, and international laws, regulations, and standards pertaining to their properties and facilities. Organisations might also have internal programs and policies that they need to manage. Tracking these requirements is a complex task given the large number of requirements, the critical need to complete these requirements on schedule, and the potentially large fines and penalties for noncompliance. Moreover, many of the items that you must keep in compliance are managed and maintained by outside providers who are specialised in this area and who you contract to do this work.



Using the ARCHIBUS Compliance Management application, you can organise your compliance information by regulation, program, and requirements, enabling you to:


  • Reduce the incidence of overdue events (events that do not start on time), and missed events (events that do not complete on time)
  • Reduce violations and their associated costs by ensuring critical due dates are not missed
  • Maintain a comprehensive Compliance Management Document Library that you customise into folders for quick and easy retrieval
  • Provide an audit trail by enabling you to easily store and retrieve requirements details, including documents, communications logs, and location information
  • Track and manage your compliance programs by providing multiple operational and management reports, including charts, and EIS reports that show your compliance programs on a map.
  • Perform field inspections to verify that items are in compliance with all regulations and that outsourced work has been completed according to contract terms.
  • Integrate your compliance programs into top-level project planning, management, and coordination

Compliance Program Managers use the application to manage all aspects of their compliance programs, while Compliance Program Coordinators manage programs and requirements that are assigned to them.

If you are using the ARCHIBUS Project Management application, the Compliance Project Manager can create compliance projects that also appear in the Project Management application. From Project Management, you can manage all aspects of the project to do top-level planning across multiple compliance programs.


Compliance Workflow

The flowchart below provides a detailed overview of using the ARCHIBUS Compliance Management application to manage your compliance programs, their requirements, and events. As you review this flowchart, consider that entering information for regulations, compliance programs and their requirements is the basic process that provides an electronic inventory that you can use to generate events. Events are the scheduled occurrences of your compliance program's requirements. The flowchart shows the workflow using all features, but the Compliance Management application is not intended to enforce this, or any, specific workflow; once you have developed information for regulations, compliance programs, and requirements, you can execute the workflow in any order that your organisation wants to follow.


Note the following about this flowchart:

  • The exact workflow that you follow and the level of detail that you implement will vary depending on the features you are implementing and your reporting needs.
  • Blue boxes represent the basic process; red boxes represent optional processes. For example, it is not necessary to add location information unless you want to report on your programs by location.

Note: This flowchart does not include contract managers managing contracted work and field technicians performing inspections with Web Central or the Compliance Surveys mobile app.

For details on each step in the flowchart, click on its box; the system will present the topic documenting this step.




The Regulation Hierarchy


Government regulations affect many aspects of a facility, such as egress, accessibility, waste management procedures, air quality, chemical handling, and so on. Staying in compliance with these regulations to avoid penalties and fees as well as to ensure safety is a key responsibility of a facility manager or compliance manager; many times, doing so requires contracting work to outside vendors who have the expertise of a particular area. The Compliance application's tools for managing compliance have regulations as the driving force from which all other tools extend.

As outlined in the below image, regulations have assigned compliance programs and contracts, which in turn have their own elements. Contracts and compliance programs are stored in the "Compliance Programs and Contracts" table (the regprogram table). The Is Compliance Contract? field distinguishes contract records from compliance program records.

At the next level, contracts have specific contract terms, and compliance programs have specific requirements; these are both stored in the Requirements (regrequirement) table. Events and corresponding notifications can be generated for contract terms and requirements.


At each level, you can detail the element with:

  • locations -- Locations can also have their own set of documents, communication logs, violations, and events.


Additionally, the requirement/contract term level supports adding details with costs and inspection questionnaires.



Working with Contracts and Compliance Programs Together


As outlined in the Regulation Hierarchy topic, compliance programs and contracts, and contract terms and requirements, are stored in the same set of tables: the "Compliance Programs and Contracts" (regprogram) table and the Requirements (regrequirement)table. The "Is Compliance Contract?" field (regprogram.is_contract) distinguishes contract records from compliance program records.


Since these items are stored in the same sets of tables, some of the reports and views show both items together. For example, you might want to see all contracts and compliance programs for a particular regulation in one view; or, you might want to see all documents for both contract terms and requirements in one view. In other circumstances, you might want to see just one type of element; accordingly, some reports and views work only with contracts and contract terms, or work only with compliance programs and requirements.


If a task shows only contract-related data or only program-related data, it has a permanent restriction on the Is Contract? field, such as compliance program-related views that exclude data related to contracts by using the restriction: WHERE regprogram.is_contract = 0.


Working with Tasks that Show Both Contracts and Compliance Programs

When you work with tasks that show both contracts and compliance programs, note that the view titles and field titles are geared toward the regulation-compliance program-requirement hierarchy, and not the regulation-contract-contract term hierarchy. Although the view presents both types of items, the field titles and view titles may lead you to think that the view works only with compliance program and requirement data. For example, when using the filter for the Management Reports / Expired License - Permit Count report, you can complete the Compliance Program Code and Requirement Code fields in the filter. When completing these fields, you can actually select contract and contract terms, as the validating tables store both programs and contracts. The resulting report can then present your contracts with expired licenses and permits.


Understanding Compliance Levels


You can associate compliance levels with compliance programs, requirements, contracts, contract terms, and locations. It takes more effort to update information at the contract term, requirement, and location levels, but doing so enables you to perform more detailed analysis. For example, if you want to be able to evaluate locations by their compliance level, you will need to enter and routinely re-evaluate compliance levels for your locations. You will be able to generate the Compliance Program Counts by Compliance Level and Location report to do this analysis.

A guideline for getting started might be, for critical compliance programs and contracts, consider updating compliance levels at the requirement and contract level, and/or the location level. For less critical programs, update only at the program or contract level.


How the Compliance Level Is Determined

Since the application provides many algorithms to calculate compliance level based on whatever information is available, you can choose to track compliance levels at any combination of levels. The approach can vary between different programs and contracts. The more data you provide, the more accurate the compliance level charts will be.

There are multiple reports and charts that present your data broken down by compliance level. The following describes how the application uses the compliance level information you have entered.


  • Overall, for reports, if you do not enter a contract term or requirement’s compliance level, it is assumed to be the same as the level of the program or contract. If you do not enter a location’s compliance level, it is assumed to be the compliance level of the requirement, contract term, contract, or program it is associated with.
  • For charts, when a program’s or contract's compliance level is not entered, it is calculated as the average compliance level of its locations; otherwise, if a program or contract has no locations or the locations have no compliance level, it is calculated as the average compliance level of its requirements or contract terms.
  • For charts, when a requirement or contract term does not have a compliance level, it is calculated as the average compliance level of its locations; otherwise, if a requirement or contract term has no locations or the locations have no compliance level, it is assumed to be its program’s or contract's calculated compliance level.

Note: If you change the Compliance Levels provided in the HQ and Schema databases, you must make sure that there are no gaps in the level number sequence for all records in the Compliance Levels (regcomplevel) table. For example, if you use only three levels, make sure they are consecutive (0,1,2) (3,4,5), not (0, 3, 6). The workflow rule that calculates average compliance levels requires that compliance levels have no gaps.


Best Practices for Developing Compliance Data

Successfully managing your compliance programs requires developing comprehensive data. Data is needed to track regulatory requirements and their many scheduled actions (referred to as events), and to provide documentation of your efforts when needed for a regulatory audit. For this reason, the Compliance Management application provides features to facilitate data entry and to reduce the time and effort required to develop your compliance data.

Note: Contract Managers can take the same approach as outlined below when developing contracts and contract terms.


Develop your Regulations, Compliance Programs, Requirements, Contracts, and Contract Terms

To begin, you add information for the following basic components of your compliance programs:


  • Regulations, initiatives, or standards: Organisations typically have regulations that govern their activities, standards that define their best practices, or internal initiatives that address some aspect of the organisation's goals, such as energy or waste reduction. Regulations, initiatives, or standards are the top level for organising your compliance data, and enable you to report on and locate information by the regulation the compliance activity derives from.
  • Requirements: The specific actions that are needed to comply with a regulation. Many requirements must occur on a recurring basis, others are scheduled on an as-needed basis; scheduled occurrences of a requirement are referred to as events. Tracking requirements and their events enables you to ensure timely completion of these actions and to target problems as they occur.


Developing this hierarchy organises your data so that you can locate specific information when you need it. You can then choose to add locations, documents, communications logs, and notification templates to the regulations, compliance programs, and requirements. See The Regulation Hierarchy for more information.


Develop the Level of Detail you Require

Before developing your compliance programs and contracts, take some time to analyse the level of detail that you require. You can always add on to the information if you start at a more general level. For example, to get started, you may want to enter just a contract and a few of the most important contract terms. You can store the contract document in the document field so that you can refer to all the specific terms when you need them. Or, you may want to enter the overall cost for a compliance program, rather than the specific costs of each requirement.


Developing Compliance Records

The Manage Compliance Drill-down (Manage Contract Drill-down) task provides a console from which you can efficiently add regulations, programs, and requirements using one view and a drill-down list to facilitate your selections. This task provides the quickest way to add information for regulations, programs, and requirement, although you do not also add locations, documents, communications logs, and notification templates from this view. See Manage Compliance Drill-Down.


After using the drill-down tasks, you can:


  • Bulk assign locations: Use the Manage Compliance Locations task to bulk assign locations to your regulations, programs and requirements as needed. Location information is needed to assess the risk at specific locations and to evaluate compliance by locations. See Making Bulk Location Assignments and Updates.


Register for our Compliance Best Practice Webinar on 19th January, 2022 at 2pm.

Hosted by Martin Matt.