How many compliance courses does it take to be compliant?

D) All of the above.

Jokes aside, what does this tell us about the state of compliance training? It seems that most organisations’ compliance courses arn’t about training. They are about being seen to be compliant should anyone check. Not a penny more is invested than is required. In fact, invested is the wrong word. The prevailing attitude means these courses are an expense. Development of resources through training should be an investment. One which has a dividend of improved performance.

Compliance courses often cover some of the most important aspects of our workplace life. Whatever legislation impacts your organisation, there is some ‘compliance training’ about it. We’re talking safety, privacy, workplace bullying and harassment and so on.

These topics form an integral part of a new starter’s induction, where new staff form their opinions of your company and its culture. Demonstrating the bare minimum here will set the tone  for your new starter. So why do we continue to see compliance programs that do nothing to instil culture or actual training on how to deal with these important topics?

They provide generic gluts of information which few read. Most users skip right to the quiz or blindly smash next until they got there. Rarely is there anything to show how they should  deal with these situations. Compliance training is often viewed as a “check the box” activity inside organisations. Managers don’t like giving it – employees don’t like taking it. If the only reason you are providing the training is to simply comply, is it really necessary to make it engaging? Do learners really need to know this stuff?

The problem is that compliance training has a bigger impact beyond ‘remaining in compliance’. The issues they touch on affect the well-being of your employees. This is when your e-learning should have a mission beyond satisfying legal requirements. A learning solution that teaches proper safety procedures can save lives. A scenario on how to check a customer’s identity can improve privacy compliance. It can also ensure your organisation engages in fewer legal issues. Your compliance training should help employees follow proper procedures.

Either way you look at it, preventing harm to the employee or lost dollars for the organisation, compliance training can have a big impact.

So, what is more important to your organisation?

People complete a quiz to show an auditor that your meeting training requirements ?


people don’t breach your compliance requirements to start with?

Unfortunately, most compliance training results in the former.

Just take a look at this typical example:


It’s not much to look at is it?

So let’s make the buttons look awesome. Throw in some some exciting typography and make the interface look up-to-date. Maybe we could even throw in a beautiful illustrated or 3D character.


Well…it looks better now.

Be honest, you knew the answer was ‘all of the above’. I bet most of you aren’t in the food industry. Compliance courses are filled with these comprehension style questions. Questions that you can answer by guessing. This type of approach to compliance training is ineffective. It is boring and more important,  you’re not going to remember it when you most need to.

But There is a Better Way

Using the same information, we designed an activity that reflects how this compliance issue appears in the real world.  It delivers what our learners need to know and how to do it.

In this example, we designed a compliance course to help team leaders in a food production company ensure that they and their teams were fully compliant with health and safety regulations.


We have even provided you with a sample of the interaction for you to explore. Will your team be ready for their shift on time?

Download and find out!

*Please note, this interaction will work on iPads and other mobile devices, it just wasn’t originally designed for these platforms so the experience isn’t optimised. Parts of the interaction have been removed to comply with our NDA agreements.

This type of approach aims to decrease the number of breaches of compliance. The conduct of your people is a major source of your organisation’s compliance risk.

Organisations that train compliant standards are less likely to encounter issues that violate regulations or otherwise give rise to enterprise liability.

we want people to engage with the problem, not the policy. We created an experience that forces the user to use their brain rather than a next button. It is not passive like a video or text on a screen, it requires you to think.


It gives the organisation the opportunity to impart behavioural expectations and standards of work. These are so important to the induction and refresher processes. It’s one thing to describe how an investment should impact performance. Securing corporate buy-in often requires evidence. That puts one more requirement on compliance officers: measurement. This is an area where we tend to see even the best companies fall short.

L&D and HR departments often do a good job at tracking. They track which employees have completed the training, attestation rates, and how long it took to get there. That’s useful, but it doesn’t help us understand the true impact of training. This is often not easily measured.

Look to track changes in issues identified and reported, or violations found versus time required to remediate. Look inside the problems you see with your compliance issues. Do not just blanket everything and everyone with ‘compliance training’. If you seek out where compliance impacts, you can start to put together a strong case. One that secures a meaningful investment into compliance training beyond another next smasher.

Don’t miss the opportunity to create a measurable performance improvement by building engaging eLearning. Create training that encourages people to use their brains. Provide them with opportunities to practice the behaviours that will deliver compliance.

Instructional Design