REUTERS | Carlos Barria

Compliance Training: Narrowing the Knowledge Gap

Regulatory changes in recent years have led to increasing pressure on companies to ensure they are facilitating and managing the ‘right’ compliance training for their employees.

As scrutiny from regulators continues to grow, the once-a-year training approach is becoming a thing of the past. Organisations are focused on supplementing their core compliance training with additional training in small, specific modules, to ensure their compliance programme is effective and relevant for employees.

Finding the right pattern

Humans are by nature forgetful; we tend to forget information that is not regularly reinforced. In 1855, Hermann Ebbinghaus hypothesised that there was both a ‘learning curve’, where people take time to learn in the first place, and a ‘forgetting curve’, where individuals lose what is learned if that knowledge isn’t used regularly.

The knowledge gap between what is learned and what is retained by an individual presents an inherent flaw in the once-a-year compliance training approach that companies, both large and small, have adopted for years. In order to retain the information and knowledge that is absorbed in training, individuals must use this knowledge on a more regular basis.

Short trainings conducted over a period of time may not only help learners remember, but also reduce the need for longer training. Allowing for proper time between training courses gives individuals the ability to review what they’ve learned, putting them in a position to better recognise places where these lessons can be applied. As employees face the challenge of time constraint in their day-to-day work life, a distributed pattern of learning helps solve the busy-learner problem.

Keeping it relevant

In learning, relevance refers to any learning experience that is closely related to the individual’s interests, aspirations, cultural and regional influences and to real-world events and problems.

Relevance can take many forms when it comes to training – from providing alert tools for recent regulatory changes to creating examples that speak directly to each employee’s role in the company, incorporating real-world examples from news headlines and even creating learning paths that allow different profiles of learners to go through learning specific to their role.

As most employees need to comply with certain regulations at their job, it’s critical that organisations consider the relevance of their training for different groups within the organisation. By delivering relevant training focused on tasks that are likely to be carried out in the employee’s day-to-day work, companies will be able to provide their employees with the information they need to more quickly and easily notice potential compliance issues.

Repeating key learning      

“Repetitio est mater studiorum”, Repetition is the mother of learning goes the Latin proverb.

It is frequent repetition that produces a natural tendency, said Aristotle.

Research has found that the human mind retains information when it is repeated at regular intervals. The more information is repeated the more likely will it get stored in long term memory.

Companies are beginning to take note as they look to create training focused on repeating key refreshers at regular intervals. This method helps facilitate the learning process for employees, pushing them further away from the forgetting curve and sending them more quickly along the learning curve.

So what does this all mean?

Compliance and training professionals are searching for ways to ensure their training process is doing its job – creating a workforce that understands how to mitigate risk in the workplace. With more and more companies and executives facing pressure to implement the most effective training strategy across the organisation, companies are approaching compliance training in new, interactive ways.

While many companies have the resources to create their own solutions, many others turn to external providers to plug this gap. Thomson Reuters Compliance Learning is one company that can offer organisations training solutions to suit their needs.

Implementing a training programme that incorporates regular intervals of relevant, repeatable training courses with ample time for review, allows companies to avoid the threat of the knowledge gap.

*With blog input from TR Whitepaper – Avoiding the knowledge gap with Microlearning 

Gurpreet Minhas

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