Compliance training does NOT have to be a chore. Through our work helping clients comply with BBP, OSHA, HazComm, HIPAA and more, we’ve developed some best practices that we turn to again and again.

I wish I could tell you about one “magic bullet” method that will meet all of your compliance-driven needs. Every workplace is different, and the people taking your compliance courses have different job roles, backgrounds and personalities. What works at Company X may not work at Company Y. This is why generic, out-of-the-box compliance solutions often miss the mark.

While every project is different, the tactics below are three of our favorites. Use them liberally… but only when it makes sense for your specific project.

1. Gamify, Gamify, Gamify

Points, badges, leaderboards, oh my. If there is ever a time and place to gamify an eLearning course, compliance training is it. Learners are usually not very motivated to take the course to begin with because they are being forced to do so. If you build some fun game mechanics into the course, retention and voluntary participation will rise.

This does NOT mean that just because you gamified the course, everyone will like it. Gamification done poorly, without proper game design skills and experience, can actually make the training even worse. It helps to think like a game designer when adding gamification elements to courses.

If you need a primer on game design, have a look at Sharon Boller’s posts on Game Elements and Game Mechanics. Sharon is our resident learning game design expert.

2. Include a “test out” option

Lots of compliance training has to be taken year after year. For longer tenured employees, this can become a real drag. It’s not that most of us don’t want to follow the proper procedures to help our organizations stay in compliance; we just get bored with taking the same course year after year. If you have the necessary information memorized and you’re following procedure, why should you have to retake a course?

This is why an increasing number of our custom eLearning courses include a “test out” option for part (or all) of the content. Learners who can complete a test may elect to skip the course, giving them back their valuable time. No matter how engaging you make your course, it’s still going to be a poor experience for learners if the content is redundant.

So… let learners test out of as much content as legally possible, assuming they can prove they know their stuff.

3. Build branching scenarios by job type

What’s worse than taking a course full of information you already know? How about trying to complete a course with information you do need to know, only to find all the information is generic, or not applicable to your specific job role?

We are big believers in using relevant, compelling scenarios in eLearning whenever possible. In fact, scenarios are a centerpiece of many of our curriculum designs. Companies run into problems, though, when they try to make every scenario apply to every learner. Pretty soon, the situation is so broad it applies to no one.

The answer? Branching scenarios. Let learners indicate their job type, then show them a different scenario that applies to them. Make the scenarios as detailed as possible, with responses that sound natural. Make your scenarios progress as far out as you can while staying within the scope of your project. It’s a constant balance between adding enough detail to make the scenario helpful… and adding too much detail that derails your budget.

Need to create compliance training? Contact us.