It is an open secret in the Oil and Gas industry – learners believe that compliance training is boring but mandated. It must be consumed like a bitter pill to avoid legal, health and safety, and procedural fallouts thereof.
In a heavily regulated industry such as Oil and Gas, workers face unique challenges. Any non-compliance can result in serious health and safety risks to self and others, environmental damage, reputational damage, legal implications, and of course loss of time and money in dealing with the fallouts. The truth is that compliance training cannot be avoided. But does it have to be so dreaded?
The top five problems with all compliance training have been:
For the employers, and the sponsoring department in particular, not just poor learner experience but also about inadequate or ineffective testing, reporting, and measuring cause additional heartache. Quizzes and scenarios alone are not a comprehensive measure of learning. So where do we stand?
Here are some best practices that we use in our corporate eLearning solutions, that have worked well for compliance training:
1. Dense information
Role-specific – Create multi-pronged training paths for learners based on their roles. It does save time and money to create one training on one topic that applies to many roles. However, that means all roles wade through what is necessary for them and what is necessary for everyone else in the department.
“Be aware of” vs. “must know” vs. “must comply with” – Starting at the top, create role-wise learning paths that help focus on ‘must comply with’ information upfront and mark out the other information to be completed as and when. Mandate only what is needed with clear information about “What should you comply with, why, and what happens if you fail to comply”. This will ensure learners are not overwhelmed and have all that they need.
2. Passive learning
Give learners control – Allow learners to choose their path. For example, allowing learners to take the assessment before the training so they have suggestions about which areas they must focus additionally on gives them a logical push to cover ground.
Use multiple formats – Break the monotony with multiple formats. Animations, PDFs, games, emailers, posters, spot quizzes, and weekly challenges – let content dictate the form. However, remember to tie it all back together using a visual key and a logical structure to enforce the strategy.
Blend the modes – Face time with an expert can make all the difference. Intersperse discussions with experts, however short, to help reinforce the key outcomes and best practices for ensuring compliance. These can be virtual or physical.
Practical skills – For skills that require practice, follow a cycle of Learn-Do-Correct-Imbibe. A concept training and computer simulation followed by some practical hands-on training on the job breaks the monotony and takes the training all the way.
Make learning a bit of fun – Move your focus from the negative outcomes of non-compliance, fear, and a whole lot of stick to a more relaxed and engaging experience that learners may cherish and can find useful and compelling enough to complete. Use serious games, gamified learning interfaces, simulations, and whatever suits the message to lighten and engage the learner at a deeper level.
3. Lasting behavioral change
Performance ecosystem – Embedding behaviors requires a performance ecosystem that looks far beyond the LMS into the learners’ work environment and into the learners’ motivations themselves. A well-thought-out training is not fleeting and does not re-hash a process document. While the requirements of the code or process are paramount, consider the following:
4. Constantly changing information
Incremental changes only – It is tempting to update a training and re-launch but consider only sending out the updates if the updates are not an overhaul or the original law or regulation. Use a short animation, a PowerPoint presentation, or an interactive PDF (iPDF) followed by a short open-book test taken over the LMS, for example.
Periodic recertification instead of many small updates – If the regulation or process changes are too many, top up short updates with a periodic re-certification.
5. No way to refresh and retrieve parts
Downloadable performance support aids – Use short performance support job aids that can be used in your corporate eLearning solutions but also be downloaded and stored and emailed if needed. Examples include key steps in a processes animation embedded in a QR code within a poster, pictorial graphic story guiding hazard or risk recognition, and infographic of key policies and practices.
We hope you found this article interesting and helpful. To share how your organization deals with the 5 major issues of compliance training, or to know more about our managed learning services, email@example.com.
– By Anisha Chauhan, Vice President – Learning Design at MPS Interactive