How To Create A Great e-Learning Experience In Compliance

Compliance is a key feature of the modern workplace.  

It covers external and internal business processes, products, and workplace practices.  Acting and working compliantly are now a feature of employee performance and done well compliance is best practice for any organisation.  But as the realm of compliance grows it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for organisations to remain compliant.  

In these circumstances effective and easily-adaptable compliance training is key.  Yet, too often compliance training has been ineffective and regarded as irrelevant by employees.  And this needs to change.

Here we’re going to examine the concept of Compliance Training Catalogues, explain what they are and what they can do for your business.  We’ll also take a look at how e-learning catalogues can deliver a better learning experience and provide more effective compliance training.

Training Catalogues

So, what are training catalogues?  In essence, a catalogue is a series or suite of courses that are available to learners or potential customers.  They can focus on a single theme or cover a broad area like compliance. Typically, these days, courses are delivered by e-learning and may be bundled together with a Learning Management System.  Catalogues can be created internally by an organisation’s L&D or Training Department or bought in from an external training supplier.

Common areas or topics covered by Compliance catalogues include GDPR, Diversity, Health and Safety, Employee Mental Health, and Quality Assurance.  You can add to those any number of courses dealing with specific regulatory or fiscal standards in industries such as Manufacturing, Financial Services and Pharmaceuticals.Just as when acquiring any product, organisations need to weigh up the pros and cons of creating their own e-learning compliance training or sourcing it from an e-learning provider.  In making that decision you need to know your audience’s needs, define your learning objectives, and take account of your IT infrastructure and general learning environment.

The advantage of keeping it in-house is that you can ensure that the e-learning you’re creating is bespoke and meets your own learning objectives, culture, and standards.  You won’t need to purchase user licenses and you can control the content. This, however, may be a time-consuming and ultimately too expensive option, or one that’s simply unfeasible if you don’t have the in-house resources and expertise.

Off-the-shelf courses offer the prospect of being quickly implementable and already tried and tested elsewhere.  They may involve customer support and come with regular updates as part of the licensing agreement. There’s the potential to customise and localise them.  However, they may lack specific relevance and, although they may claim to be customisable, you might find that in fact it’s too hard to make them suitable for your organisation’s needs.

E-Learning Training Catalogues: what they can deliver

For many organisations creating e-learning isn’t really an option.  They simply don’t have the resources and would have to buy them in. For them, sourcing ready-made e-learning makes sense, so long as it’s flexible and customisable.

But there are other, more positive reasons for choosing to license a suite of e-learning courses.  

Firstly, they’ve been designed by learning experts who know how to make training appealing and engaging by grounding the approach in good, solid pedagogy and using the latest developments in e-learning and IT, whether it’s mobile-device compatibility, a Learning Management System, app design, use of social media, gamification, badging and so on.

Secondly, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.  If a training course is widely used in an industry you can regard it as having peer approval.  It’s likely to be currently the best, if not the last word on compliance for that area. You gain the advantage of being able to leverage global experience and expertise from compliance experts.  The courses deliver the benefits of using tried and trusted content that has been developed on behalf of large, leading organisations. If you can then adapt a catalogue to meet you own needs or add your own spin and perspective, you have the best of both worlds: industry-standard content with local relevance.  Finding the right course from a content point of view is just the start though.  For all the debate about build or buy, the biggest problem with all compliance training has been its failure to engage learners.  Surveys repeatedly conclude that compliance training is regarded as dull, a chore, a burden, and, worst and most dangerous of all, irrelevant.

So, when you’re buying in that compliance e-learning product, you need to be sure it comes with the relevant learning expertise that will deliver training that is engaging, appealing, and, most of all, effective.

Making compliance training effective

Not all e-learning compliance catalogues are alike.  Some present simple content in a straightforward page-turning, click-through manner with a perfunctory quiz at the end to check compliance.  They’re neither interactive nor engaging and risk perpetuating the stereotype that all compliance training is tedious and ineffective.

But modern learning practices using the latest in IT and AI and taking lessons from the growing use of social media and gaming can revolutionise the approach to compliance.

Making compliance training effective

Not all e-learning compliance catalogues are alike.  Some present simple content in a straightforward page-turning, click-through manner with a perfunctory quiz at the end to check compliance.  They’re neither interactive nor engaging and risk perpetuating the stereotype that all compliance training is tedious and ineffective.

But modern learning practices using the latest in IT and AI and taking lessons from the growing use of social media and gaming can revolutionise the approach to compliance.

Creating a better training experience

Many new e-learning catalogues contain elements that make the content more accessible, relevant, challenging, and attractive.

For example, presenting learning as a game (gamification) challenges learners to attain targets and rewards progress.  The game approach includes use of timed activities so that learners work against the clock reproducing the kind of pressure they may find themselves in a real-life experience.  Learners can see their progress and what they need to achieve via a dashboard or a health bar. Badges or another type of award system reward attainment, give the learner a sense of achievement and motivate him or her to progress further.  Gamification actively engages learners in the training and replaces the passivity of the lecture or page-turning format of more traditional courses.

Scenarios or story-based learning make training relevant by embedding it in situations that learners recognise and are likely to encounter in their work, rather than presenting them with abstract rules and procedures.  Narratives with credible characters mimic the environment in which an employee operates making training more personally relevant.  Story-based learning links compliance training directly to job roles and workplace performance. It personalises training and recognises that not everyone needs to know or apply the same level or aspects of compliance training.  

Content presentation is enhanced by use of striking and engaging graphics.  Custom photography helps situate learning in a recognisable and realistic environment.  Use of video and animation make learning more visually engaging and memorable and improve retention.Whatever training you decide on it needs to be accessible if you’re to bring compliance fully into the workflow.  Mobile access allows support for employees who are on the go and delivers vital information and knowledge at the point where they need it.  Mobile connectivity means access to training is available anytime, anywhere.

Accessibility also needs to apply to the learning experience.  The ability to customise and localise content can make it more relevant and accessible.  The material should be appropriate for your organisation’s employees. Ensure your compliance training embodies your company’s core values and approach.  Customisation also gives you the flexibility to tweak and update elements as your organisation’s needs and the compliance environment change.

LMS and tracking learners

E-learning training catalogues are often bundled together with an LMS or are easily adaptable to your existing LMS and IT infrastructure.  This minimises the need for wholesale integration and allows you to continue with or add to your existing IT and e-learning infrastructure.  Using a training catalogue with an LMS gives you the ability to track learning and ensure your employees are actively engaging with your compliance training.  Feedback and data from the LMS can be analysed and used to update and enhance your training catalogues. This means training becomes iterative and not static, and maintains its relevance.

A great learning experience

With e-learning training catalogues that use a variety of media and learning strategies to engage learners, compliance training needn’t be dull or ineffective.  More than that training can actively reinforce best practice and integral to the workflow giving it more impact. Training is brought closer to performance and becomes truly relevant and effective.

You owe it to yourself to consider the advantages that e-learning compliance catalogues bring and see how they might fit your organisation’s needs.

About the author

Paul Healy has worked in the learning industry since 2003 in sales, learning consultancy, and programme management. He specialises in assisting companies with change management and innovation agendas.

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