What’s the difference between Mandatory and Statutory Training?

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As a business owner or manager, one of your most significant responsibilities is to train your employees. It’s up to you to give them the resources and tools they need to do their jobs well.

What constitutes proper training? In part, it involves awareness of mandatory and statutory training requirements for your employees. Many employers use Skillshub as their eLearning Platform to deploy both types of training because it is easier to monitor and manage the completion of both types of training when it is online.

You must also know how to distinguish between these two types of training to ensure you’re providing adequate (and legally compliant) instruction to your staff.

What’s the difference between mandatory and statutory training? Is there a difference at all?

Find the answers to these and other pressing employee training questions below.

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Why is there a need for Mandatory and Statutory Training?

Mandatory and statutory training both play critical roles in keeping your employees informed about their job requirements and your expectations for them.

Here are some specific reasons for prioritising these training modalities at your company:

Improve Employees’ Skills

Regular training ensures employees are aware of the latest tools, technologies, and methodologies needed for their jobs. When you focus on mandatory and statutory training, you help your team members sharpen existing skills and develop new ones.

The more your employees know, the easier it is for them to provide a high level of service and care to your customers or clients. When they’re properly trained, they’re less likely to make mistakes that could harm themselves or others.

Promote Workplace Safety for All

Mandatory and statutory training programs also teach your staff what they need to know to stay safe on the job and keep customers, clients, or patients safe.

If employers don’t comply with sector-specific mandatory training requirements or legally required statutory training protocols, they put their employees, customers, and businesses at risk.

Avoid Legal Challenges

Without sufficient training, there’s a greater chance that employees may get hurt on the job or that they may hurt a customer, client, or patient.

Furthermore, on-the-job injuries open your business up to potential legal issues. Lawsuits are expensive, time-consuming, and can threaten your company’s profitability and survival.

Improve Workplace Culture

Mandatory and statutory training are also necessary because they contribute to a positive, growth-focused workplace culture.

When you invest time and resources in training your employees, they gain more skills and more confidence in themselves and their abilities.

You also demonstrate a commitment to ongoing improvement when you commit to providing specific training courses.

This commitment shows your employees that you care about ongoing training and abide by legal, industry-specific training requirements. You also let your team know that you don’t cut corners when doing your job, and they shouldn’t, either.

In short, improving your company culture makes it a better, safer, and more productive place for everyone.

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What is Mandatory Training?

Now that you understand why a need exists for mandatory and statutory training, let’s get into the differences between the two types, starting with mandatory training.

Mandatory training is a type of workplace education that has been determined essential by a specific organisation. Employees must complete certain training courses to be in compliance with their employer’s policies and practices.

Mandatory training courses are designed to ensure that professionals in a particular sector or business meet industry standards. After completing these courses, employees should be able to perform specific tasks with ease, which allows them to safely and efficiently deliver services to the business’s customers, clients, or patients.

Implementing and requiring employee participation in mandatory training ensures the company remains compliant with the latest legislation and industry regulations. It also helps organisations to minimise risks (safety risks, legal risks, etc.).

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Examples of Mandatory Training

The amount and type of mandatory training someone must complete varies from role to role. Training requirements often become more demanding as an employee rises through the ranks at a company.

For example, when an employee is first hired at a company, they might be required to carry out a few introductory mandatory training courses before they can start working.

If an employee receives a promotion and moves into a new role with more or different responsibilities, they’ll have to do additional, more complex training before they can start their new job (and likely enjoy the pay raise that comes with it).

All kinds of jobs in all types of industries require employees to complete mandatory training courses. Healthcare and social care jobs are some of the most common examples, but those who work in food service or care for children might need to go through these courses as well.

The following are some specific examples of mandatory training courses an employee might need to complete. These could be delivered as face to face solutions, as eLearning Content or Virtual Training:

  • Child Protection Training
  • Complaints Handling Training
  • Conflict Resolution Training
  • Managing Violence and Aggression Training
  • Display and Screen Equipment (DSE) Training
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Training
  • Infection, Prevention and Control Training
  • First Aid Training
  • Food Hygiene Training
  • Consent Training
  • Nutrition and Hydration Training

Mandatory training requirements are often determined based on specific job responsibilities and local risk assessments.

For example, imagine a person who works in the kitchen at a care home. They may have to take a food hygiene training course or a nutrition and hydration training course.

These courses provide information directly related to the employee’s job. The skills the person learns will help them avoid issues (such as contaminated food) that could affect them or the residents they serve.

Training guidelines, understandably, can differ quite a bit between sectors and hence Bespoke eLearning is used to create customised content around this by using Subject Matter Experts to design the content. Some people are surprised to learn that they can also vary between organisations within the same industry.

For example, one business owner may decide they want to go above and beyond to separate their company from their competitors. To accomplish this goal, they will require their employees to go through additional training courses and develop new skills. These additional skills, ideally, will give that company an advantage over others in their industry.

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What is Statutory Training?

Statutory training involves a statutory body mandating that organisations provide a specific type of training based on legislation. In other words, a legal entity determines that all employers must put their employees through specific, government-approved training courses.

In the UK, some of the most well-known sources of statutory training legislation include the following:

The Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974:

An Act of Parliament that covers occupational health and safety in Great Britain

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999:

Legislation that reinforces the HSWA and explicitly outlines employer requirements to manage health and safety in the workplace.

Regardless of the industry, all businesses must abide by the requirements outlined in the legislation mentioned above. However, business owners in particular industries might need to be more mindful of these rules than others and hence may load up all of mandatory courses they need on a Learning Management System and then ensure all of their people take the required courses. If you have never heard of one of the systems, you can find out why you need an LMS for this type of course.

For example, a person who works for the NHS or manages a care home will likely be more affected by (and, thus, more aware of) statutory training guidelines than someone who runs a bookshop. Everyone is subject to the same laws, nonetheless, and must keep them in mind when hiring, onboarding, and training new employees.

Central governments, local governments, and other governing bodies are responsible for monitoring businesses, ensuring they abide by the law, and providing appropriate statutory training courses.

If an employer fails to comply with statutory training requirements, they’re violating the law. They could be penalised if they’re caught and stuck dealing with steep fines or lawsuits.

For example, if an employee gets injured on the job because of inadequate training, they could file a lawsuit against the company. If an employee injures someone else because of insufficient training, the injured person (or their family) could also file a lawsuit.

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Examples of Statutory Training

Any type of business may be required by law to provide statutory training to its employees. However, this training is most often encountered among professionals working in the healthcare and social care industries.

The following are some specific examples of statutory training that healthcare or social care professionals might need to complete:

  • Infection, Prevention and Control Training
  • Sharps Training
  • Spill Kit Training
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CSHS) Training
  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) Training
  • Fire Safety Awareness Training
  • Manual Handling Training (such as moving and handling people, manual handling of objects, etc.)
  • Risk Assessment Training
  • Awareness of Local Health and Safety Policies

These training courses ensure all staff members have the necessary knowledge to keep themselves, colleagues, and customers/clients/patients safe in the workplace.

When all employees complete statutory training courses, the business is a safer place to work (and a safer place for customers or clients). Everyday operations also run more smoothly, and the company is less likely to experience issues that could result in significant fines or legal challenges (or both).

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Is There A Difference Between Mandatory and Statutory Training

In short, yes.

Mandatory and statutory training might sound like synonyms at first. However, there are some critical distinctions that business owners ought to keep in mind.

The easiest way to remember the contrast between mandatory and statutory training is as follows:

Mandatory training is deemed essential or compulsory by an employer. It gives employees the tools they need to do their jobs correctly and safely.

Statutory training is required by law. Like mandatory training, it helps employees do their jobs correctly and safely. It also ensures the company is legally compliant.

Both training types give employees the skills and knowledge they need to do their jobs. The primary distinction is that one is required by an employer, and the other is required by the law.

Need help remembering? Statutory training comes from the word “statute,” which is a written law.

Statutory training is required by law. Thus, you can deduce that mandatory training is needed for an employer.

Mandatory vs Statutory vs Essential vs Compulsory

It’s hard enough keeping mandatory and statutory training straight. Some employers make matters even harder, though, by referring to both types as “essential” or “compulsory” training.

Technically, both mandatory and statutory training are essential and compulsory for certain positions. However, using these terms interchangeably further contributes to the confusion.

If you find yourself mixing them up, make things easier for yourself and stick to “mandatory” and “statutory.”

Can Training Be Both Mandatory and Statutory?

Another reason why so many people need clarification on mandatory and statutory training is that there can be some overlap between the two types.

For example, you may have noticed that Infection, Prevention, and Control training fell under both mandatory and statutory training umbrellas when reviewing the lists of examples above. This isn’t a mistake.

Sometimes, an employer requires employees to complete a specific type of training that is also required by law.

Suppose the employer decides that a particular set of skills will benefit their business, their employees, and their clientele. In that case, they may choose to make that training program part of their company’s mandatory training requirements — even if their company isn’t part of an industry that legally requires them to provide it.

Find Mandatory and Statutory Training Courses for Your Team Today

It’s understandable if you’ve been confused about the differences between mandatory and statutory training.

After all, these two terms sound very similar, and it’s easy to assume they’re synonymous. Furthermore, many people insist on using them interchangeably and toss in other words like “essential” and “compulsory,” which basically mean the same thing.

Despite the similarities in how these terms sound, employers and managers must learn the differences between them.

The more you know about distinguishing between mandatory and statutory training, the better prepared you are to choose the most suitable courses and implement the appropriate training guidelines for your employees.

When you’re armed with this knowledge, you’re also more likely to be and remain compliant with the latest legal requirements and industry standards.

Do you need help delivering statutory or mandatory eLearning training content to your employees?

If so, Skillshub’s Learning & Development team is here to assist. Contact us today to make an enquiry and learn more about our eLearning services.

If you’re ready to level up your L&D strategy with the help of an eLearning company, check us out here at Skillshub if you are looking for eLearning content.

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Sean is the CEO of Skillshub. He’s a published author and has been featured on CNN, BBC and ITV as a leading authority in the learning and development industry. Sean is responsible for the vision and strategy at Skillshub, helping to ensure innovation within the company.

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Updated on: 8 February, 2023

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