Putting Policy Into Practice Series: Blog Post 2

You Cannot Write or Train Your Way into Compliance

A common question we have received is whether attending our training will put a school or institution “in compliance with Title IX” and the new regulations.  My response is consistently as follows:

1.  Yes, our trainings comply with the new regulations and fulfill the training requirements in the new regulations for each role.  This is followed with the caveat that the regulations require training on technology for certain roles which we do not cover and training on your school/institution’s policies and procedures which we do not cover.  We also hammer this point home in our trainings.

2.  No, attending our training will not make you “compliant with Title IX” in general because compliance is much more than training.

Please understand, I am not downplaying the importance of your Title IX policy and your training.  Good training and a well-written policy are the foundations for compliance.  But a school or institution cannot write or train their way into compliance.  Training without effective implementation is not compliance.  Policies without effective implementation, including following what is contained in your policy, is not compliance.  Not to mention the myriad of other requirements in the new Title IX regulations outside of the formal grievance process and training.

Let’s start with your Title IX policies and procedures.  I do not want to underestimate the importance of a policy and procedure that is legally compliant and user friendly.  One that your school community can understand and that your institution/school can follow.  Your policy and procedure is the foundation to your Title IX compliance.

Once you have a good policy in place, training is tantamount.  Good, robust, training for your Title IX Coordinator, Investigators, Decision-Makers, and Informal Resolution Facilitators is not only vital, it is legally required.

Checking both of those boxes, however, does not make a school compliant with Title IX.  Effective implementation will require training your team on your policies and procedures, down to the minutia of each administrator’s role from a report of sexual harassment through the appeal.  The new regulations provide a prescriptive process; however, there are many steps within the process that allow for independent decision making.  Decisions such as:

  • If a Formal Complaint is dismissed, and the matter is referred to another department such as Student Affairs, how does that look for both your team and the parties involved?
  • Who sends the Notice of Allegations? Title IX Coordinator or Investigator or?
  • If informal resolution is offered, how does a matter transition out of the formal grievance process, and into informal resolution, and then back out again if needed?

August 14th has come and gone.  Everyone is weary from the rush to compliance, but the hard work is just beginning.  For Title IX Coordinators, a great start is regular meetings with your Title IX team to ensure a strong implementation of all facets of Title IX compliance.