Helping compliance professionals to promote an ethical corporate culture

Anti-bribery and corruption training


Bribery and corruption are serious problems for companies around the world. In some countries, bribery is so common that it's viewed as a part of doing business. But even in regions where bribery isn't as common, businesses that don't have strong anti-bribery and corruption compliance programs can be at risk of serious consequences.

LRN's anti-bribery and corruption training has been created to ensure an ethical corporate culture, where employees feel comfortable voicing their concerns.

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What is anti-bribery & corruption?

Bribery and corruption are illegal in the US, and it's against the law to pay or accept a bribe anywhere in the world. Bribery is when an individual offers money, property, or other benefits to government officials with the intent of influencing their actions. Corruption is when a company or organization's operations violate laws and regulations.

When people talk about anti-bribery and anti-corruption, they are usually referring to specific efforts—such as laws, policies, compliance programs and training—to prevent acts of bribery and corruption from happening. The Corruption Perception Index offers a great solution to fight corruption on a global level.

What types of anti-bribery and corruption training are available?

Anti-bribery corruption training for board of directors.
For board members and executives, it's important to understand the risks associated with bribery and corruption so they can support their companies' efforts to prevent these practices. In our trainings we provide the necessary information to be aware of any global changes affecting organziations. Finally, this type of training will ensure accuracy in disclosures of public filings, such as 10-Ks or 10-Qs. 

Procurement anti-corruption training. 
Our procurement anti-corruption trainings identify potential vulnerabilities in the organization's supply chain and how they might affect the organizations' bottom lines. This type of training is especially important if your organization has an international presence or works with suppliers who do. Finally, procurement professionals should be aware of the risks associated with conflicts of interest when selecting suppliers or contractors.

Anti-bribery and corruption training for financial services.
Financial services organizations have a lot of control over the flow of money, which means they're also at risk of being involved in corruption schemes. For example, a supplier might ask for a bribe in exchange for doing business with an organization. Or someone might try to inflate prices on goods or services in order to skim off some profits.

Anti-corruption training for government and industry relations.
Government and industry relations professionals need to be aware of the risks associated with conflicts of interest when interacting with foreign officials or industry leaders. These professionals are at risk of being asked for bribes or kickbacks from suppliers. While the amount requested may be small, these schemes can lead to large losses over time. For example, a government official may try to solicit bribes from companies in exchange for business opportunities or contracts.

Anti-bribery training for insurance. 
Insurance professionals may be vulnerable to bribery or extortion and need to understand the risks associated with these schemes, as well as how they can avoid them. Insurance agents and brokers are at risk of being asked for bribes or kickbacks in exchange for selling policies. This could include asking the agent to take a commission on top of their usual fee, or steering clients in certain directions based on the promise of future payments. For example, an insurance agent may be approached by a client who wants their relative’s claim denied in exchange for money or other benefits.

Anti-bribery and corruption training is an important aspect of your compliance program. It is designed to help employees understand the risks of bribery and corruption, as well as how to avoid them. Here are some of the key components of this type of training:

• The definition of bribery and corruption in your country or region.

• The main risk factors for bribery and corruption.

• The common situations and types of behavior that can lead to violations—including kickbacks, nepotism, and payoffs.

• How bribes are used in the marketplace and how they affect your company’s reputation as well as its bottom line.

• How to recognize signs of bribery and corruption and how to avoid it.

• How to report suspected violations of bribery and corruption.

• The consequences of engaging in corruption, both criminal and financial.

Training can be conducted in person or online, typically during orientation and as part of ongoing ethics and compliance training. The training is usually part of a larger compliance program that includes policies for managing gifts and entertainment, travel expenses, relationships with government officials, and more.

Bribery and corruption are serious crimes that can result in fines, imprisonment, or both. And they can seriously damage your organization’s reputation, impacting its ability to do business in the region or with certain clients. To avoid these situations and reduce the risk of fines, penalties, and negative publicity—or worse—it’s important that all employees understand what constitutes bribery and corruption and how it affects them personally. Incorporating anti-bribery training into your compliance program is one way that companies can help protect themselves from these risks. It’s also a good way to demonstrate commitment to ethical business practices.

Your anti-bribery and corruption compliance training program should be designed to help employees understand what constitutes bribery and corruption, how it can affect the company, and how they can avoid engaging in these practices. Here are five steps you can take to ensure that your program is successful:

  1. Identify your company’s policies on bribery and corruption and make sure they are clear to all employees—including your E&C team. You may have policies in place already, but if not, it’s important to establish them before you begin training.
  2. Identify the audience. Who will be taking your compliance training and what experience do they have in the field? Understanding your learners’ roles at the company can help inform which bribery and corruption topics you should cover.
  3. Create a curriculum for your anti-bribery and corruption compliance training program that outlines what you want employees to learn. This can include topics like the definition of bribery and corruption, how these practices affect companies and individuals, how they can be avoided, what constitutes a violation of company policy or law in your jurisdiction (if applicable), and how reporting processes work in your organization (if applicable).
  4. Provide employees with anti-bribery and anti-corruption training scenarios so they can clearly see what constitutes bribery and corruption and its potential effects on the company.
  5. Use a variety of formats for your training courses and materials to keep learners engaged. Training is often conducted in person or online, but it's helpful to incorporate things like workbooks, videos, and discussions that prompt employees to apply what they've learned—such has how to report suspected violations to management or the compliance office.

There are a few ways to measure the effectiveness of your anti-bribery compliance training program. One evaluation of your compliance program's anti-corruption training is to conduct post-training surveys and interviews of employees after they've completed their training courses. Ask learners about what they learned, whether they feel more confident about spotting bribery and corruption in their day-to-day tasks and reporting violations, and if their overall understanding of bribery has changed. If you've done it right, employees should know what constitutes a bribe, how it can affect the company's reputation, who they can report potential violations to, and why they shouldn't take gifts from vendors or clients.

Another way is by monitoring the number of reports you receive from employees who speak up about incidents that could be considered bribery or corruption. For example, keeping an eye on trends in your company's ethics hotline or disclosure forms. You can also ask for feedback from other departments that may interact with sales teams more often—such as accounting or procurement—to see if they noticed any changes in their communication with customers or vendors after the anti-bribery and corruption training program was implemented.

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The US, UK, and most other countries have laws against bribery. If you're caught bribing someone, you could go to prison for a long time and pay heavy fines. In addition to the legal consequences, companies that engage in bribery or corruption may suffer serious financial damage—including loss of customers and investor confidence. Bribery is also bad business because it can lead to poor decision-making by both the person accepting the bribe and those who aren't aware of the illicit activity taking place within their organization.

A large majority of countries have anti-bribery laws. In fact, there are only a few countries that don't have any laws against bribery. These include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

United States

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is a US law that prohibits companies and individuals from bribing foreign officials to win business or secure contracts. The law applies to all US-based companies with operations outside the country and was designed to stop corrupt practices by both domestic and foreign firms. Under the FCPA, it’s illegal for anyone inside or outside a company (including managers, agents, consultants or distributors) to offer money, property or anything else of value in exchange for helping that company win business overseas. Anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA have been strengthened in recent years, with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) making it a priority to enforce the law. The DOJ has been ramping up its enforcement efforts recently, with several high-profile settlements involving companies such as Walgreens and Daimler AG. In addition to these cases, other companies have been investigated for potential FCPA violations but not charged.

The international anti-bribery and fair competition act of 1998 is a United States federal law that amends the FCPA by implementing the provisions of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

The act makes it illegal for a citizen or corporation of the United States or a person or corporation acting within the United States to influence, bribe or seek an advantage from a public official of another country.

United Kingdom

The UK Bribery Act of 2010 is a wide-ranging law that prohibits bribery and corruption by individuals and companies in the UK or anywhere else in the world. It is the UK’s main piece of legislation against corruption and covers both domestic and foreign bribery, as well as individuals, companies and partnerships. The Bribery Act makes it illegal for a person to offer, promise or give any financial advantage to another in the course of business, knowing that this will influence their decision-making. The maximum penalty for breaching this law is up to 10 years’ imprisonment or an unlimited fine. The Act covers not only bribery, but also facilitation payments, abuse of position and other corrupt practices. It also creates new offenses relating to commercial organizations enabling them to commit bribery, as well as extending liability for acts of bribery committed by employees or agents.


The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention is an international agreement to prevent bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions. Adopted by the OECD Council in 1997 and enforced in 1999, the convention provides a framework for effective enforcement of national laws against bribery of foreign public officials. The aim is to deter companies from bribing government officials anywhere in the world when conducting business abroad. As of June 2018, there are 67 parties to the Convention.


The consequences of a violation of anti-bribery laws can be severe. Companies that violate anti-corruption laws may face criminal prosecution and civil penalties for their actions. (For example, the maximum penalty for a criminal conviction under the FCPA is $2 million per violation, which may be increased to twice the gain obtained from such violations or twice the loss suffered by victims as a result of such violations, whichever is greater.) They can include hefty fines and imprisonment for individuals, as well as the possibility of losing business licenses and other permits. Companies may also be excluded from government contracts, which can result in substantial losses. In addition to the legal consequences of violating anti-bribery laws, companies may face negative publicity and damage to their brands.

Companies that want to do business with foreign governments must establish robust internal compliance programs that meet the requirements of the Anti-Bribery Convention and other anti-bribery laws. It's important to consider the various anti- corruption initiatives globally - in Latin America, France, and the US for instance - and seek the necessary support in the given country.

Don't want to miss out on DOJ's anti-bribery and corruption guidelines?

The importance of an anti-bribery and corruption policy

An anti-bribery and corruption policy is a set of rules that help you prevent bribery, fraud, and other forms of misconduct. Having a company anti-bribery and corruption policy is important because it helps your company avoid the risk of being fined, sued, or shut down by a government agency. If you don't have an anti-bribery and corruption policy in place, you could face serious consequences.

The policy should include:

• The steps your organization takes to prevent and detect violations of the law.
• Who's responsible for implementing the policy.
• How you'll handle incidents if they occur.

Below is an example of a company anti-bribery and corruption policy: “The company has a zero-tolerance policy for bribery and corruption. Employees must not offer or accept any form of payment in exchange for any service, product, or other benefit provided by the company.”


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How to conduct effective anti-bribery risk assessments

An effective anti-bribery risk assessment will help you identify the risks associated with doing business in a specific country. The assessment should cover all areas of your business, including operations, sales, procurement, and human resources.

There are a few key steps you can take to help you understand the potential risks of bribery and corruption. These include:
• Identifying your organization's high-risk activities and operations.
• Conducting in-depth research into relevant laws and regulations that apply to your business model.
• Consulting with experts who can help identify vulnerabilities in your systems, procedures, and policies.
• Reviewing existing contracts and policies, as well as the processes you use to develop new contracts and policies.
• Identifying the countries where bribery is most common.
• Assessing whether any of your employees or agents may have been exposed to improper influences or pressures during their education or professional careers. 

Here are some important items to include in your anti-bribery and corruption risk assessment checklist
• A review of company policies, procedures, and practices.
• An analysis of how they may be perceived by foreign officials or employees of local companies.
• A review of historical incidents related to bribery and corruption in the country where you plan to do business

You can do this by asking yourself:
• What are the major risks associated with bribery and corruption?
• Who are my competitors and their reputation for integrity?
• Where do we operate, both physically and digitally?
• What laws or policies does our company have in place regarding these risks?

How to choose an anti-bribery and corruption training provider

The first step is to make sure that the training provider is up to date. The subject matter should be relevant and not just a relic of the past. It should cover recent cases and trends in bribery and corruption, as well as how they can impact businesses in different industries. The content should be engaging enough so that employees actually want to learn from it; otherwise, it won’t have much of an impact on their day-to-day activities.

LRN has developed an anti-bribery and corruption training program that will give you exactly what you need: flexible learning options, powerful email templates and videos, huddle guides for leaders, and test-out options so learners don't have to waste time on topics they already know.

We start by teaching key concepts in our primary learning modules, then reinforce those concepts through team huddles and refresher courses so that everyone understands how they fit into the company's mission of creating a culture where speaking up is the norm.


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Why work with LRN?

We are committed to helping you prevent bribery and corruption in your organization. For over 25 years, LRN has helped organizations like yours build ethics and compliance programs that reduce risk and meet industry requirements while still prioritising organizational culture, the learner experience, and business performance.

We offer personalized services and products that are designed with your specific needs in mind, including:
• A compliance management, analytics, and disclosures platform
• Advisory services
• Library training courses
• Custom learning content

Our deep experience in compliance and exceptional in-house expertise makes us more than a supplier. Partner with us to build an effectivecompliance program that inspiresreal behavior changeand enhances company performance.

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