Difference Between Mandatory Training and Statutory Training

Difference Between Mandatory Training and Statutory Training

The terms mandatory and statutory are often used in the context of workplace training, but what do they mean? Recognising the difference between statutory and mandatory training can help ensure that your company is giving its staff the appropriate, legally required training to do their jobs.

What is Mandatory Training?

Mandatory training refers to the courses, modules, or training programmes that an organisation deems essential for all employees to complete. Mandatory courses are often company-specific and apply only to the trade or organisation that an individual is affiliated with.

The main purpose of mandatory training is to guarantee that newly onboarded employees have the necessary expertise and understanding to effectively carry out their responsibilities. Training content and course specifics may vary across different companies operating within the same industry as the content is tailored to the distinct needs and prerequisites of each organisation.

Components of Mandatory Training

  • Core Competencies: Mandatory training serves a dual purpose: it can guarantee that employees possess the skills and knowledge needed for the job and provide additional training to reinforce these skills. 
  • Health and Safety: Mandatory training ensures that employees understand the health and safety protocols in the organisation. 
  • Company Policies: Mandatory training introduces company policies to employees. This can occur either during the onboarding process or when the organization needs to introduce new directives to its workforce.

Examples of Mandatory Training

  • Company Policy Training: Company policy training is typically the first mandatory training course an employee would encounter during their new hire orientation. The training course content covers company rules and regulations, which differ per organisation.
  • Onboarding: All workers undergo onboarding at the start of their employment. Here, they familiarise themselves with the company goals, regulations, and more. 
  • Product Training: Product training is especially useful for employees in the marketing, sales, and product development departments as they regularly work with the organisation’s product or service. This training course ensures that employees can properly develop, explain, or promote the organisation’s offered product as needed. 
  • Job-specific Training: Organisations may require employees to undergo job-specific or industry-specific training, especially in work environments involving potentially hazardous materials or tasks. Both statutory and mandatory training incorporate specialized courses into workforce training, as it aligns with compliance requirements usually mandated by government guidelines and company regulations.

Mandatory Training vs. Compulsory Training

You may have heard of Essential or Compulsory Training alongside mandatory and statutory training. Some organisations may use the term compulsory instead of mandatory for essential trade-specific training. However, both terms refer to the same mandatory training courses.

What is Statutory Training?

Statutory training, on the other hand, is part of employer obligations to ensure that employees acquire a thorough comprehension of protocols and regulations as mandated by a statutory body. While the specifics of the training material might vary across industries, the core content remains consistent across all organizations within a particular sector.

Components of Statutory Training

  • Safety Policy Awareness: This covers basic risk assessment training, workplace safety standards and procedures, fire safety awareness, protocols to report injuries, emergency first aid, and more. 
  • Equality and Diversity: Ethics training can be part of statutory or mandatory training, and is typically required for all employees. The goal of ethics training is to promote an inclusive workplace with training material for discrimination and harassment prevention.
  • Data Protection: Data security training is a requirement for employees that handle sensitive data, like those working in financial institutions, cyber security, and similar industries. Statutory training on safe data handling is part of their compliance training.
  • Industry-Specific Training: Statutory and mandatory training overlap when it comes to industry-specific regulations. Industry-specific training includes specialised protocols that enable employees to perform the job safely and confidently.

Examples of Statutory Training

  • Workplace Health and Safety Training: Industries that carry inherent risks and potential dangers on the job, such as the control of substances hazardous to health, have statutory training on topics like manual handling, emergency protocols, and other safety at-work regulations. 
  • Anti-Harassment Training: Training material may include anti-discrimination, conflict resolution, and anti-harassment content to promote an inclusive work environment for workers from all walks of life. 
  • Data Protection and Privacy Training: With the increasing usage of digital devices and software, employees handling sensitive data may be required to undergo data privacy training to ensure the protection of their data, or those of the company or its clients, stakeholders, partners, and the like.
  • First Aid Training: First aid training is legally required by most local health governing bodies as employees are trained to provide life-saving first aid in case of medical emergencies.
  • Food Hygiene Training: Food handling and hygiene training is mandatory for all employees that come in contact with food items. 

Key Differences: Mandatory Training vs. Statutory Training

Legal Differences

  • Mandatory Training: Mandatory training requirements are not legal obligations of an organisation, but are determined essential for employees to meet internal requirements.
  • Statutory Training: In statutory training, employers are legally required to provide training as mandated by governing bodies, legislations, and local government guidelines.


  • Mandatory Training: Mandatory training focuses on company-specific skills and training, ranging from typical work safety regulations to skills training for specific roles.
  • Statutory Training: Statutory training requirements focus on compliance training, dealing with topics like workplace safety, fire safety, ethics training, emergency procedures, and other standards relevant to the industry.


  • Mandatory Training: Mandatory training is compulsory for all employees within a specific organisation. 
  • Statutory Training: All organisations operating within a particular industry must provide their employees with statutory training as legally required. 

Training Materials

  • Mandatory Training: Training content may vary across different organisations operating within the same industry, or even different departments working within the same organisation. Mandatory training material may differ according to what is considered compulsory by an organisation.
  • Statutory Training: Training material in statutory training must be the same across all organisations operating within a specific industry. Central and local authorities and other governing bodies determine the scope of training based on industry requirements.


  • Mandatory Training: Organisations have full reign over what they consider to be essential or compulsory for their employees to learn as they undergo mandatory training.
  • Statutory Training: Organisations do not have much flexibility in designing statutory training material as the content is standard across the industry. 

Advantages of Mandatory and Statutory Training

Advantages of Mandatory Training

Improves Job Performance

Mandatory training establishes consistency at work. This improves job performance as employees gain the necessary skills and knowledge they need to be able to do their work properly.

Focuses on Workplace Safety

Mandatory training is part of risk management as it equips employees with the knowledge to handle situations that may arise in their regular work environment. Training materials provide an understanding of health and safety protocols, especially in potentially hazardous work sites.

Advantages of Statutory Training

Ethical Awareness

Delivering statutory training is important in keeping a healthy working environment for all as it covers topics that promote diversity, anti-discrimination, information security, and more.

Liability Reduction

Statutory training can reduce organisational risks in the workplace as employees gain knowledge to handle different situations, dangerous occurrences, and other circumstances that could potentially bring harm to themselves or the organisation.

Ensuring Compliance with Mandatory and Statutory Training

Mandatory and statutory training can sometimes overlap, especially regarding safety protocols in the workplace. Understanding the difference between the two can help organisations remain compliant with industry standards and provide proper training to their employees. 

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