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Technology Enabled Ethics and Compliance Training: How to Make it Work

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Technology Enabled Ethics and Compliance Training: How to Make it Work

Why do organizations conduct ethics and compliance training? A report by Towards Maturity and SAI Global states that nine out of ten organizations conduct compliance training programs with the following objectives.

  • Risk mitigation
  • Business improvement
  • Behavioral change

However, only two out of ten are actually achieving these objectives. What are the reasons? Some of the prominent reasons captured by the report are as follows:

  • Lack of time to develop or update content
  • Cost of set up and maintenance
  • User engagement
  • Dull and boring, or previous bad experience
  • Lack of design expertise or credible design materials
  • Subject matter experts overloading content
  • Translating learning across multiple languages

In this context, I would like to share CommLab’s experiences with developing compliance training a how some of these barriers have been overcome.

Save costs and time with right tools and processes: With the use of rapid authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline or Lectora, it is not very expensive to develop good compliance training modules. The built-in templates and customization options enable us to create courses quickly and within budget. In fact, one of our clients needed us to develop an e-learning course in 15 days. The inputs given to us was a 165 page MS Word document. We adopted a Successive Approximation Model (SAM) with iterative e-learning development and a clever design strategy to close the project on time and at reasonable costs.

Ensure user engagement with right instructional strategy: Compliance trainings are reputed to be dull and boring. They are usually content heavy and subject matter experts are accused or sharing too much content. Just imagine, if we were to dump the 165-page word document as it is on to the learners, they are surely going to find it dull and boring. We need to first find out who the audience are and tailor the content to suit the audience and their learning requirement. Some of the strategies that we adopted to make the courses engaging were,

Use design expertise with right authoring tool:

We chose Lectora Inspire to execute this project for two reasons. Firstly, it provided us the freedom to design the Graphic User Interface(GUI) based on the content. Since the content was text heavy, it was easier to handle using Lectora. We created 3 GUI and sample design templates based on the style guide provided by the client. Once, the GUI was chosen, we created a functional prototype and sent it for client’s approval. On receiving the approval, we proceeded with creation of modules. Each module was sent for review to the client and the feedback, if any were implemented and followed for subsequent modules as well. So, good design team and project management team is required to ensure smooth and timely execution of the project. 

Plan translations early in the project:

Translation of courses is an additional expense but this expense can be greatly minimized if due diligence is followed right at the beginning of the project. Going back to our earlier example, since the course was to be translated into multiple languages, Lectora was ideal choice. We also planned the design elements, images and content such that it allowed translation process to be smooth and cost-effective. We translated courses into 14 languages including Hebrew and Japanese which can be sometimes quite tricky because of the text orientation. The key is to follow a good and methodical process so that e-learning translations are efficiently executed.

Host courses using open source LMS:

If you do not have an in-house LMS you could use an open source LMS that caters to your requirement. You will not have licensing or per user costs and you can customize it to your needs. It costs less but caters to the need to maintain audit trails, assign courses and track user progress and generate reports as needed. 

These are some of the ways that organizations can make their ethics and compliance courses effective and achieve the business objectives. Technology can be intimidating at first but when approached in a methodical manner, it can actually be a boon. The most important factor to consider is that the resource and team members are right with the required skills and expertise.

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