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Home / Resources / ​3 truths about the best compliance training

​3 truths about the best compliance training


Compliance training plays a crucial role within every organisation. It helps keep people safe, it builds a ‘let’s do things right’ culture and it prevents damaging regulation breaches.

So it makes sense to have training that does the job well.

We’ve looked at some real life examples of effective compliance training programmes and picked out three key truths that can help organisations deliver.

Reinforcement changes behaviour over time

Continually reinforcing compliance learning is the key to affecting behaviour change on-the-job. Reinforcement is what makes the difference – and it’s scientifically proven. The three principles behind it are: the spacing effect, retrieval practice and confidence-based learning.

Very simply, repeatedly testing recall over spaced intervals increases retention and builds confidence in the learner so they can apply the knowledge correctly.

Wider cultural change is the goal

Compliance training should be used as a springboard to wider cultural change. This is exactly what retail giant Tesco did, when faced with the tough compliance requirements set by the UK’s grocery regulators.

Tesco delivered a mix of elearning, face-to-face training, coaching and system guides to nearly 2,000 finance staff and food buyers in less than three weeks. The training was designed for a deeper impact, with the aim of creating a new culture of working.

The programme, delivered in partnership with Sponge, won a Learning Technologies Award for compliance.  The judges pointing out the importance of cultural transformation: “The response was a thought through design approach that challenged behaviours and delivered cultural change in the supermarket’s relationship with its suppliers.”

Quality, not quantity matters

Poorly-designed training does not enable compliance. High quality training is essential – and it works out cost-effective.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust wanted to create an industry-leading compliance training programme for 7,500 staff based at over 230 sites. The first challenge was to provide this without impacting services. Another was to make the training a positive experience, as previous training had been described as “boring”.

Working with Southern Health SMEs, Sponge created 13 engaging, compliance modules that were either gamified, scenario led or video based. The results:

  • 7,500 staff compliant across 230+ sites
  • 12,000 hours released back into patient care – the learning time saved using this programme
  • £1.5 million projected savings in five years
  • 8 other NHS providers are now considering adopting this approach

If your compliance training isn’t based on these three truths, then it might be time to consider taking a fresh approach.