How to Make Compliance Training Interesting

instructor teaching safety compliance training

One of the more challenging topics in the Learning & Development arena is to develop and conduct effective Compliance Training. Especially companies that are regulated or have crews in operations, have a strong requirement of retraining and testing their employees in areas of compliance regularly, such as once a year.

This post will walk you through the challenges of compliance training and help you better understand how to navigate them.

What is Compliance Training?

Compliance means conforming to a certain set of rules and regulations needed for maintaining a specified standard, often a government regulation. Compliance training is basically a process of training employees to ensure regulations are met and standards maintained. Often employers have a legal obligation to conduct, measure and track compliance training regularly, for example once a year. This requires the employer to track when training is due and ensure employees will complete the required training within a maximum grace period.

Different Types of Compliance Training

Every employee needs to comply with the laws and regulations associated with different aspects of the business or their specific position. Depending on the industry, there are different types of compliances that businesses need to deal with, including:

  • Health And Safety Compliance: Many industries require regular health and safety training. For example, this is an important requirement in the construction or wholesale industry. The training includes how to ensure the health and safety of all individuals. The government may have a regular schedule for all staff to demonstrate clear understanding of how to ensure a safe work environment and deal with health and safety concerns.
  • First Aid Compliance: This is another important subject businesses must have in their overall compliance training. First aid compliance generally deals with acquainting employees with measures they need to take in case of an emergency. Learning CPR or even learning how to stop bleeding from a wound are great examples of first aid compliance training. 
  • Privacy Protection (PIPA): All organizations that collect personal information from clients need to comply to privacy laws. Privacy training is required for all employees having access to such personal information and organizations may include Privacy and Security Training.
  • Organizational Training: In addition to government requirements, any organization can require additional compliance training. For example, organizations may require all staff to take Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training or Trade Relations Training.

Overcoming Challenges

As mentioned earlier, compliance training has its specific challenges and having an idea about them will help you better navigate them.

  • Lack of Engagement: Let’s face it, nobody is excited about listening to a lecture of rules and regulations. Of course, any trainer or course creator has the best intentions to ensure the training won’t be boring. Keeping things fun and interesting is important to help people undergo compliance training and retain their knowledge. Adult learning principles also help to avoid that employees have to undergo training of content that they are well familiar with. You might consider testing employees first and only enforce training sections they cannot demonstrate an acceptable knowledge or skill level.
  • Lack of Practice: Regulation specific training is often very theory heavy and does not offer much room for practice. However, for adult learners practice is very important to ensure they retain the information they gather through the training. Thus, trainers and course creators should take innovative measures to help employees practice and retain the key pointers. One key strategy may be to include case studies and real-life situations and, especially for life or hybrid training, include group discussions.
  • Lack of Tracking Employee Progress: The key of compliance training is to track completion and success. Tracking this, especially for large number of participants provides its own challenges. For example, if the compliance training does not change from time to time, you might find many employees who fill checkboxes instead of genuinely completing the task at hand. Providing compliance training online or at least in a hybrid version provides you with more opportunities to include quizzes and tests.
  • Ineffective Relevance: One of the primary reasons employees struggle with compliance training is that they cannot relate the information to real-life situations. Relevance is important as it helps employees understand the intent behind the rule or regulation. So trainers and course creators must make efforts to explain the significance of the compliance training program and keep everyone interested and engaged. Relating the rules to everyday situations can create the level of interest that is important to take the most of the training.

Is it Possible To Automate?

Technology is definitely on your side when it comes to Compliance Training. There are a number of solutions to help drive automation across different aspects of a business. For instance, many learning management systems (LMS) can be very helpful when it comes to automating compliance training. Businesses can use these to systematize compliance training and enhance its effectiveness simultaneously.

Technology also helps track validity of compliance training, which is important to ensure ongoing compliance. Using training records in the HR Information System can also automate registration at the time of re-certification.

Bottom Line

Compliance training is very important for any business that needs to demonstrate legal compliance or ensure employees follow regulations.

Given the challenges outlined in this article, it is important that Learning & Development ensures that Compliance Training is not simply seen as annual training but is given the importance it deserves by ensuring training is interesting, engaging and effective. If you are looking for more guidance on this topic, contact us.

About the author 

Hannah Dupuis