Best practice forum (Archived)

How are organizations handling compliance today?

Stjepan Werft
How are organizations handling compliance today?
by Stjepan Werft - Friday, 31 January 2020, 1:44 AM

Hello all,

recently I stumbled upon an Udemy infographic related to the subject topic. Here it is LINK in the English language.

Made me wonder if they also have data on the impact of the different methods of learning they have included here.

Is coaching more impactful than virtual? Or face to face more than the rest? Have they measured this?

Also, why is face to face still on top? Cause we’re all ‘old-fashioned’ or ‘don’t have the technology’ or because it’s “what we know” or …


I’m curious about this. Even though it’s data from 2017 I see the classroom still is on top while so much is being said about digital and virtual and the convenience of them. Still …

Penny for your thoughts,


Daniel Bond
Re: How are organizations handling compliance today?
by Daniel Bond - Friday, 31 January 2020, 2:26 AM

I would suggest that face to face is still popular because well delivered face to face offers things which are really hard to replicate in traditional eLearning:

  • Interactivity between the learner and others (tutor, other participants, etc.)
  • Flexibility in content and pacing depending on audience
  • In a lot of cases, localisation of content vs. generic standardised content used across a number of organisations
  • Assessment of understanding rather than just information retention
  • A physical (and therefore often mental) separation between the workplace and where learning is happening

Good, well written eLearning has some real pluses, but I don't think it's the whole answer. MOOCs are also a really interesting idea, and bridge some of the gaps between face to face and pure eLearning, but they also have some logistical challenges and quality is highly dependant on good design, delivery and facilitation.

More widely, I guess it depends whether you think "compliance" and "learning" are synonymous, because in a lot of cases a culture of "compliance" can detract from a culture of learning and education because the focus is on hitting a specific number without a link to why it's important and the freedom to learn for its own sake.

Lars Hyland
Re: How are organizations handling compliance today?
by Lars Hyland - Friday, 31 January 2020, 3:38 AM
Group Totara

I agree, Dan, that design is the key to each organisation providing a meaningful experience and working environment that persuades people to sustainably adjust their behaviour. 

Different sectors have different relationships with compliance. For **ple the finance sector, compliance is there as a restraint, whereas in healthcare, it is there to protect lives. So the messaging may be different in order to encourage behaviour change. Would you agree?

I think also you are right that blind focus on compliance metrics can distort and distract from the underlying reasons and spirit of the legislation that is in place.



Lars Hyland
Re: How are organizations handling compliance today?
by Lars Hyland - Friday, 31 January 2020, 3:29 AM
Group Totara

Hi Stjepan - I think you meant "Totara infographic" as that is what you link to?

When it comes to compliance there is an unavoidable tension between an organisation demonstrating in an verifiable way that employees have understood and taken the responsibility for their actions around the regulated activities in question, and the actual cultural and behavioural changes needed to ensure everyone is operating naturally and authentically within the bounds set. 

Unfortunately, in many cases, the pressure to secure the "tick in the box" favours simplistic e-learning or other media over a more considered learning experience that meaningfully attempts to influence a behaviour change. The fact that classroom tops the list is likely to be a combination of factors that are different each organisation and industry sector and the nature of the operating regulatory framework. 

  • Classroom -if 'sheep-dip' style - provides evidence of attendance but may not on its own prove behavioural shifts will occur in the workplace. Depending on the numbers of employees and retention rates this can be time-consuming and expensive.
  • Online learning - if simple click-next-to-continue tutorials - provides evidence of completion but also does not prove any change is behaviour will happen. Indeed there are stories of people completing these modules on behalf of managers etc - so no learning happening there... However it is very efficient and cost effective when employee numbers are large and changeable, and compliance has to be "proved" each year.

The right answer lies in taking the time to research and design a truly blended experience that is tied to company culture, values, performance measures, brings the compliance messages right into the normal working day so its constantly reinforced, that there is an authentic conversation surrounding the value of compliance and why its actually there - not just the cold processes - and that all of this uses the most appropriate media channels (F2F, online learning, performance support, coaching etc) that resonates best within your current organisational culture and working environment.

Good topic of discussion this as we all have to engage with compliance in the workplace. I'm interested in what others experience and advice would be.



Paul Roberts
Re: How are organizations handling compliance today?
by Paul Roberts - Thursday, 25 March 2021, 8:39 AM

Very eloquently put Lars

In my humble opinion as an ex Health & Safety / Compliance Officer (now eLearning Developer) the main issue of engagement in compliance does not lie in the method or schedule of delivery, but is shown on the Infographic "In 31% of organisations, the learning team is responsible for compliance training. In 28% of organisations, HR is responsible, and in 27%, it’s the responsibility of a compliance officer."

In some organisations both L&D and H&S are there as advisory bodies and also are the deliverers of all training, as such they are seen as the owners of the message behind the training. So in effect the compliance training has the same percieved authority as the departments that deliver it, as a result the message behind it is seen as a necessary hinderance that the "red tape lovers require us to do".

What compliance really needs is Management delivery, not just in a management face on the eLearning or a terse email if it lapses. Actual face to face "we believe in this message" ownership from the Management team, as that is where the culture starts because if the Managers aren't living it then why should anyone else.

Perceievd authority is everything.