Export compliance is a tricky subject do well in. The tests are highly specialized and the rules to follow are constantly changing because of shifting trends in science and technology.

Many professionals follow a clear path through school, but the path of the export compliance professional is often quite varied.

Many professionals get into the export compliance field through other professions, or because there’s a demand for compliance professionals in their area. Sometimes they simply perform the tasks associated with restricted and denied party screening, or they find themselves determining export control classification numbers (ECCNs) without ever considering themselves to be working in export compliance.

Proper training is critical for an effective export compliance program, but what is the best way to receive proper training? Let’s take a look at three of the best ways to heighten your professional understanding of export compliance.

1. Knowledge through Training with a Dedicated Customer Service Representative

If your company already subscribes to Visual Compliance for Restricted Party Screening or Export Classification, you might already know that your subscription includes free and comprehensive training with a dedicated customer service representative. Training sessions can be set whenever and however often you want, and they can include a training certificate once you have completed the session. It can help to have a certificate in hand to help remember the training you received in order to get it.

Your CSR will not only guide you through the highly specialized Visual Compliance solutions, but will also give you an opportunity to chat, ask questions, and discuss important export compliance issues with a likeminded professional.

The best part about one-on-one training is that if a question you ask doesn’t have an immediate answer, your CSR can research your question and follow up personally with more information.

2. Knowledge through Third Party Professional Training courses

You’ll find there are a number of export compliance training centers that offer seminars and webinars on trade compliance issues. Here, the training material is presented in a manner you can digest in the same way as you would a lecture series, or a university course. They might show videos about past compliance incidents, or play audio recordings from OFAC investigations. There will likely be lecture content on the importance of screening your trade partners, or some take home reading material on understanding USML Categories, and sometimes there are quizzes to help you get your procedures correct. Often there’s a mix of all of these things, and more.

It’s true that there are additional fees associated with this kind of training, so you may need to invest in it on your own, or first clear it with your company as an extra budgetary expense. But the diversity of the training material and social atmosphere of a classroom-like setting can produce a profound learning experience that may be worth it to you. One main benefit here is that there is often some form of accredited certification offered to you when you complete the program.

3. Knowledge through Government websites and training materials

If your solution provider does not offer advanced training, or your company does not currently subscribe to an export compliance solution, such as Visual Compliance, there is still a lot of training available online through government websites.

The Bureau of Industry and Security offers a fair amount of export compliance training information, both in general and for particular industries, on its website. Some of the training requires a payment while some of it is packaged within articles, which the bureau publishes in relation to its training program.

However you choose to train, it is important to become familiar with the bigger picture of export compliance. Your company may only deal in certain types of technologies and goods today, but that can change tomorrow, and your compliance program will have to change, too. Understanding the bigger export compliance picture will help you to make the right decisions to keep your company safe and out of the courts.