WeComply: Catering to Regulatory Whims One Corporate Training Module at a Time



Government regulation got you down? Don't worry; buy WeComply!

Owned by Thomson Reuters, WeComply produces corporate training modules and ethics courses. Many are devoted to helping employers comply with dumbass state and federal training requirements.

I suppose that's a valuable service. But there's just something vaugely icky about a bureaucracy-aiding agent that's literally called we comply. Comply with what? Whatever's the new regulatory hotness! For instance, WeComply just revamped its "Preventing Sexual Misconduct" modules for college campuses. 

Recently the Campus SaVE Act—not to be confused with the sex-trafficking SAVE Act—created a requirement that colleges and universities launch sexual-assault awareness and prevention programs for both students and employees. "Our Preventing Sexual Misconduct courses can help institutions ensure campus-wide compliance with the Campus SaVE Act," said Steve Perreault, global head of eLearning at WeComply.

From the company press release:

WeComply offers separate Preventing Sexual Misconduct training courses for faculty and staff members, teaching assistants, and students. Each version focuses on the special responsibilities and requirements of those individuals in preventing and handling complaints of sexual misconduct and maintaining a safe and respectful campus environment.

The 30-minute courses begin with a look at the various reasons for concern and an overview of anti-harassment laws and policies. The courses then discuss the Campus SaVE Act, sexual harassment and sexual violence, and the types of harassment and behavior to avoid. Other topics include reporting sexual misconduct, bystander intervention, responding to complaints, and the effects of trauma. The courses conclude with a discussion on how to avoid retaliation.

The shorter, 10-minute training course for students covers sexual violence, quid pro quo, hostile environment, when to intervene and what to do if it happens to you.

(The quid pro quo threw me too, but someone explained that it probably refers to handling "sleep with me if you want a good grade/promotion" type of situations, not a lesson on good sexual etiquette between students.)

How likely is a 10-minute video to be effective at teaching students anything on these serious and nuanced issues? Not very. This is simply a check-box that campuses now have to mark. And this is how feel-good federal regulations drive up the cost of doing business—which, in schools, is obviously passed on to students—and waste everyone's time.  

WeComply also offers courses on conflict minerals and "avoiding insider trading."