Whilst the hospitality industry is rapidly embracing technology, the same cannot be said of compliance (everyone’s favourite) which has barely advanced from paper books and notepads for what feels like eons.
Regulation Technology (RegTech) has traditionally been used by high-end users, like government bodies, corporates and banks, but that is changing fast with the evolution of technology making it available to businesses of all sizes.
Digital incident registers (DIR) for the liquor and security sectors are now approved for use by regulators to replace cumbersome books in NSW and QLD.
Note: Systems designed by AusComply are also compliant with legislation in VIC, SA and NT.
For an industry dealing with complex regulations, continual training requirements, an itinerant workforce and serious safety and commercial risks, digital compliance systems are now almost essential for avoiding and minimising the consequences of breaches.
With venue licences and real estate valuations in the tens of millions, can you afford to take any chances with a low quality knock-off system? The stakes are just too high! So what should you look for and insist on when switching to a digital incident register?
Do your homework with this solution checklist:
1. Is it compliant with national legislation?
Laws differ across state and territory borders, so be sure to check that your platform is compliant with the requirements set out in other states. Major features to look for include:
- Platform consistency across your business regardless of differing state and territory legislation. While there may be some differences in operation across borders, this enables a single log-in and one system to manage, which further hardens your security posture, reduces risks and ensures data-sovereignty.
- A system capable of achieving compliance across borders shows the designers understand compliance and the need for consistency, which will further bolster your compliance footprint and create efficiencies with staff training, management processes and reporting.
2. Is your platform independently owned and operated?
Who will have access to your information, your compliance records, staff details and incident data at your venue or security firm? Who owns the information and what happens with the data if you don’t want to continue? With competition in hospitality at an all time high and growing as new players enter, it’s important to ask if there is a link by ownership or affiliations to a venue, venue group or security firm.
3. Is there a track-record of proven results?
Make sure you’re not a crash test dummy for someone’s experiment. Look for a partner with a proven track record that is already trusted by regulators, hundreds of venues and security firms with thousands of users. That way you can be confident the system has withstood regulator scrutiny, has been pressure-tested and proven in the chaotic and fast moving world of security and hospitality.
4. Does it cover both liquor AND security registers?
To eliminate books altogether and avoid double entry, you’ll need an integrated digital incident register that covers both licensed venues and security firms. If you’re adopting digital you should insist on the transparency of reporting that only true integration can provide. Don’t risk not knowing what security have entered in their register at YOUR venue.
5. Is industry-specific logic and intelligence built in?
With complicated regulations that can change regularly, your compliance platform should not only incorporate existing legislative requirements but have the capacity to adapt to new laws as they change. Ask a potential provider how they will achieve this, how their system will ensure your staff can quickly adapt to these changes, and how their software will ensure your risks in this area are mitigated.
6. How will they plan to keep pace in an ever-changing industry?
Technology is evolving at an astonishing pace, and regulations are changing faster than ever. It is critical that your chosen partner can stay ahead of the game. Ask them what plans and product roadmaps they have in place.
7. What key features do you need?
Flashy bells and whistles won’t keep you compliant. Don’t lose sight of the number one objective: your compliance. Be sure to compare apples with apples and look for core features including Digital Incident Register, Staff Compliance Tracking, Sign-in Register, real-time reporting, video/photo integration, meaningful analytics, an intuitive mobile app and 24/7 tech support.
8. How secure is your data?
Be sure to verify that robust security systems are in place. Question where your data will be stored and where the system is hosted. Data sovereignty is critical unless you’re happy for foriegn governments or entities to access your stored information. There is peace of mind in having your data stored in Australia and governed by Australian privacy and data laws. Don’t forget with cloud computing data encryption is critical in securing your data during transmission. Insist on 256-bit SSL encryption along with firewall protection, a robust back-up regime and user authentication.
9. Are you locked in?
Don’t get caught out by expensive set up fees, significant customisation, lock-in contracts or cancellation fees. Ideally you’ll be able to pay by the month and cancel any time. Remember to ask what else is included in a subscription, for example on-boarding and initial training should be a given.
10. Are they highly recommended?
As with any purchase, ask around for recommendations from trusted colleagues in the industry. If you use a liquor or security consultant, seek their professional opinion and advice on which way to go. Ask your local regulator for their views. Check with key industry members such as the AHA or Clubs NSW.
In closing, don’t fear moving to a Digital Incident Register. Be confident in your decision, it’s easier than you think and has the potential to reap rewards and benefits well beyond that of the now stale old paper based system.
AusComply is a mobile digital incident register, compliance platform and mobile app that ticks all the boxes. It helps licensed venues and security firms efficiently meet their obligations, demonstrate a culture of compliance and minimise risks.
Trusted by 100s of venues and security firms across Australia, it streamlines and automates the entire compliance workflow including a digital incident register and sign-in register.