Skip to main content

Explore Spark

Explore the scalable platform that can be learned by anyone in 45 mins, and up and running in as little as one day.

Learn more

We’re hiring!

We have exciting new roles available. Join our growing team and begin an unforgettable journey.

Learn more

Looking for something?

Home / Resources / AstraZeneca and Sponge win silver at Brandon Hall Awards

AstraZeneca and Sponge win silver at Brandon Hall Awards


AstraZeneca, the global biopharmaceutical company and Sponge, a leader in innovative custom digital learning won a coveted Brandon Hall Group silver award for Excellence in Learning 2019.

Sponge and AstraZeneca’s success in the category of Best Advance in Compliance Training was announced online on Thursday, 22 August 2019 at a ‘virtual’ awards ceremony.

The two organisations have been recognised for their innovative collaboration to refresh AstraZeneca’s annual 2018 Code of Ethics programme as part of the company’s ongoing move to focus on principles, values and behaviours rather than rules of conduct.

Working in partnership with digital learning experts at Sponge, AstraZeneca set out to shift the perception of mandatory compliance training from a ‘have to do’ to a ‘want to do’ activity, firmly embedding ethics in the company’s DNA.

The award-winning integrated compliance campaign included multiple digital elements to support maximum employee engagement, promote meaningful conversations about ethics and enable global employees to participate via the device of their choice. More details about the project are available in our case study.

Louise Vamvoukaki, Director of Sustainability: Education and Engagement, AstraZeneca said: “The world in which we operate is changing and as L&D and compliance professionals we need to transform to meet that change. A principles-based Code of Ethics course helps empower our employees to know who we are and what we believe in, helping us all make good decisions. Bringing that message to life with a creative partner who combines engaging learning techniques with the latest technology has been a game changer for us and it is great to see this recognised.”

The new and innovative approach to learning implemented in partnership with Sponge has transformed the effectiveness of AstraZeneca’s compliance training. Completion rates increased by 13% compared to the previous year and a survey (2,226 respondents) revealed that 90% of employees felt very or extremely engaged with the learning.

"Bringing that message to life with a creative partner who combines engaging learning techniques with the latest technology has been a game changer for us and it is great to see this recognised."

Louise Vamvoukaki Director of Sustainability: Education and Engagement AstraZeneca

Louise Pasterfield, founder and Managing Director, Sponge said: “Gaining international recognition in this way is a significant achievement and reflects the strong and collaborative relationship between Sponge and AstraZeneca. This project shows what can be achieved by combining technology and creativity to challenge conventional attitudes to compliance training, turning it from a ‘chore’ to a highly engaging experience.”  

“Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards Program has recognised leading organisations for the past twenty-plus years for the latest trends in Human Capital Management,” said Rachel Cooke, Brandon Hall Group COO and leader of the HCM Excellence Awards Program. “The initiatives that were honored are not only innovative but fit the unique needs of the business and create truly remarkable success stories.”

Award entries were evaluated by a panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, Brandon Hall Group analysts and executives based upon the following criteria: fit the need, design of the programme, functionality, innovation and overall measurable benefits.

Excellence Awards winners will be honored at Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Excellence Conference, February 4-6, 2020, at the Hilton West Palm Beach, Florida. Select winners also will serve as presenters in breakout sessions, sharing their leading practices during the conference.

“The HCM Excellence Awards recognise programmes that measurably benefit organisations,” said Mike Cooke, Brandon Hall Group CEO. “Many human capital management departments are unable to confirm that their initiatives help the business’s bottom line. Because we focus on measurable benefits, our awards program is universally recognised and highly prestigious.”