Training and awareness programs
Article 17, II, 6° of the Sapin 2 Law stipulates that the chairs/presidents, chief executive officers, general managers and managers of companies targeted by said Law must implement:
“a training program for executive employees and staff members who have the greatest exposure to bribery and influence peddling risks.”
As such, the anti-corruption training program is prioritarily aimed at all executives, as employees with a certain degree of responsibility within the company, as well as at other company staff members who are deemed to have the greatest exposure to risks of corruption.
The anti-corruption training program must both be articulated with the other anti-corruption program measures and procedures, and address the particular risk exposures of the various categories of staff members.
Yet, such a program can – and ideally must – be part of a larger anti-corruption awareness program for all personnel staff.
Soulier Avocats assists companies and corporate groups in the design and implementation of appropriate anti-corruption awareness and training programs to encourage all relevant employees to adopt the company’s values and culture of integrity, and to limit risky situations and conducts as much as possible.
In this context, the services of our dedicated team mainly focus on the following:
Awareness program for all staff members
Our lawyers assist companies of all sizes in the definition and implementation of an awareness program designed to promote awareness of corruption issues within the company and its environment.
In other words, the program is aimed at ensuring that all staff members are better informed and more receptive to corruption-related issues.
Concrete awareness-raising actions must be adapted to the characteristics of the company (and therefore defined jointly with the senior management) and may focus on:
- Corruption in general, its various forms and the issues at stake;
- The disciplinary and criminal sanctions/penalties incurred whenever corruption is established;
- The code of conduct, as the expression of the company’s commitment to bribery prevention and detection;
- The conduct to be adopted when encountering corruption and the role and responsibility of each individual;
- The internal whistleblowing system implemented within the company and how to use it.
Compulsory training program for executives and staff members most at risk
The purpose of this specific program is twofold: (i) to alert executives and most exposed staff members to the vigilance required in the performance of their duties, and (ii) to define the conduct to be adopted in high-risk situations.
Its content must be adapted to the nature of the risks identified in the risk map, to the functions existing within the company and to the locations where the company conducts its operations.
Our dedicated team provides assistance at each of the following stages:
- Identification of the staff members most exposed to risks of corruption and influence peddling, in particular categories of staff members dealing with third parties – e.g., sales force, purchasing staff members – and categories of staff members taking part in the implementation of the anti-corruption program;
- Preparation of general training courses aimed inter alia at improving understanding and knowledge of processes and risks associated therewith, corruption offences, due diligence and measures to be taken to mitigate these risks, conduct to be adopted when encountering illicit solicitation, disciplinary sanctions/penalties incurred in the event of non-compliant practices;
- Definition, with the senior management and, as the case may be, the compliance officer, of the topics covered in the general training courses, in particular presentation of the code of conduct, the anti-corruption compliance program and the whistleblowing system set up within the company, presentation of corruption-related issues, applicable legal obligations and related sanctions/penalties, conduct to be adopted when encountering corruption, role and responsibilities of each individual, etc. ;
- Identification of the specific topics to be addressed depending on the participants’ functions and the specific risks they may face;
- Determination of the frequency of training sessions (initial training during the integration of new employees into the company, regular general and/or thematic training courses, additional training following the update of the risk map, etc.);
- Organization of workshops based on practical case studies and personalized scenarios tailored to each audience and suited to the risks identified, on the sharing of participants’ experience and on simulation and role-playing exercises in order to encourage the adoption of the relevant rules and proper conduct in the day-to-day performance of the duties of each relevant category of staff members;
- Creation of tools to ensure the proper understanding of the training courses by participants;
- Setting-up of indicators to monitor the training program, in particular percentage of target audience trained and number of training hours on compliance and anti-corruption;
- Update of the training program in coordination with the regular update of the risk map.