2013 GRC Value Award: Policy Management

GRC 20/20 Research awarded Hitec Laboratories Ltd and Markel International its 2013 GRC Value award in the Policy Management category for its PolicyHub® solution. Markel International’s implementation of PolicyHub impressed them with its enhanced ability to demonstrate compliance to regulators. Markel International can demonstrate a 100 percent compliance rate for relevant staff, and can take action on noncompliant areas of the organization, which was previously not possible.

Markel International was challenged with numerous versions of a policy, and version control. Markel International is a global insurance company providing designed solutions for a wide range of professions and sectors. After deployment of Hitec’s PolicyHub solution, Markel International was thrilled with response rates. The first PolicyHub publication generated an 85 percent completion rate within 10 days — an accomplishment not previously possible to measure. Some Policies are combined with test assessments, issued through PolicyHub’s Assessment module. The test ensures the recipient has read and understood the policy and identifies any training requirements. The response rate achieved on the first PolicyHub publication using the Assessment module was 95 percent within two weeks of rollout. This assessment feature provides Markel International with complete confidence that employee compliance knowledge and expertise can be measured and enhanced.

PolicyHub® is an end-to-end Policy and Procedure Management solution that integrates Best Practice workflow for policy creation, collaboration, approval, distribution, auditable employee signoff, attestation and reporting. It is a multilingual solution that incorporates full Microsoft Office functionality with an advanced notification system and advanced reporting features. It is available as an on-premise system or as a SaaS solution.

Future gains expected

With the growing demands of regulatory obligations, financial services organizations must provide documentary evidence that Policies and Procedures are in place and adhered to. PolicyHub dramatically changed the delivery of policies and compliance communications at Markel International. Implementation involved a collaborative team of compliance and IT professionals from Markel International and Hitec, which guaranteed smooth delivery of the project, including uploading and availability of existing documentation.

Markel International uses the flexibility of PolicyHub to provide a communications channel and create management information reports to senior executives and auditors. Markel International can clearly demonstrate a record of which staff have received, read and understood each policy and when they agreed to them. It also highlights staff who have not complied. “How do you know if they have read this policy?” is no longer a concern.

Each user has access to their own library of documents relevant to their particular role. Policies and Procedures can be updated with minimum effort and replaced within each user’s library in seconds.

With the previous solution, compliance was almost impossible to measure

The compliance team at Markel International wanted to ensure they could distribute, manage and guarantee key policies were received, read and understood by all staff. This was a logistical challenge, particularly with a growing number of locations outside its home office in the U.K.

Prior to implementing PolicyHub, policy documents were generally communicated by email, posted on the company intranet and supplemented by periodic face-to-face training. Where positive affirmation was required from each employee, compliance or HR spent inordinate time chasing signatures. For other policies, it was only possible to show a policy had been issued — but they were unable to demonstrate it had been read and fully understood.

As PolicyHub is such an improvement over Markel International’s old system, no direct cost comparison can be calculated: it’s apples to oranges. They can now show a 100 percent compliance rate for relevant staff, and more importantly take action on noncompliant areas of the organization which were not visible before.

A new world of efficiencies

Markel International experienced increased efficiencies in many areas:

  • Reduced reporting times; previously, Markel International could only report a policy had been published. Now it can report the percentage of staff that have read and acknowledged each policy;
  • Response times have also improved. The first PolicyHub publication generated an 85 percent completion rate within just 10 days;
  • Assessment times have improved; for example, the response rate achieved on the first PolicyHub publication using the Assessment module was 95 percent within two weeks of rollout;
  • Improved accuracy means Markel International can demonstrate 100 percent of relevant staff acknowledge adherence to each compliance policy. Previously there was no such audit trail;
  • Reduced errors means Markel International can show results based on accurate data.

Hitec Laboratories feedback on PolicyHub from Markel International elicits comments from users such as, “We wonder how we ever got along without it.” PolicyHub makes compliance Policy and Procedure communication easy and provides a simple and straightforward process for extracting management information for the board, auditors and regulators. Strengths of the PolicyHub approach include:

  • Simple and easy-to-navigate interface;
  • Consistent, centralized management of compliance Policies and Procedures;
  • A compliance audit trail to prove staff keep up-to-date with changes in policy;
  • Reduced administration, leading to immediate time and cost savings;
  • Flexible assessment module;
  • Detailed reporting;
  • Demonstrable evidence of Best Practice and good governance;
  • No passwords to remember with single sign-on;
  • Full version control and tamper-proof documents.

To learn more about the GRC 20/20 2013 GRC Value Awards and other recipients, please visit this post: GRC 20/20 Announces 2013 GRC Value Award Recipients

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