Updated Guidance from the DOJ: What You Need to Know and Act On


On June 1, 2020, the Department of Justice updated its guidance document, Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs (the “Guidance”), superseding previous guidance from April 2019 and February 2017.

The Guidance, which is intended as a reference of information and questions for prosecutors – think of it as an framework – to ask companies when evaluating their compliance programs amidst investigations and subsequent charging decisions, provides us a lens into how we should be structuring our programs. You can view the key takeaways of the 2019 guidance updates here

What You Should Know About the 2020 DOJ Update

While there are updates to various aspects of the compliance program, an easy plan to start would be to align your training and communications to the DOJ guidance: The DOJ already indicated (in its 2019 Guidance) that training should be targeted and integrate policies and procedures to deliver practical advice or case studies that address real-life scenarios that may occur in the course of one’s job. They are now sending a clear message that not only should employees at varying degrees of authority have the appropriate tools, resources, and guidance to do their jobs, but they should also have an avenue to ask questions arising out of the training. Make sure that your e-learning courses sufficiently provide learner with resources and contacts for where to take their questions.

Regarding the evaluation of training, the message is also crystal clear:

  • The one-and-done or check-the-box way of deploying training is (or should be) a thing of the past.
  • Assess if your e-learning generates true behavioral data and leverage it with operational data to understand whether there is an impact on employee behavior.
  • Look at predictive data from training alongside operational and/or transactional data to understand effectiveness and your company’s exposure to risk.

If your e-learning does not produce any data beyond completions and quiz score or you’re not sure where to start, reach out. We can share ecosystem approach to training & communications and a predictive risk scorecard that can help you get started.

The table below provides a summary of substantive updates in other areas for you to review and assess applicability to your organization (full document here):


left aligned table for DOJ


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