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5 Tips for Virtual Compliance Training

Compliance training for international and remote teams

by Moritz Homann 4 min

    Compliance training in a classroom setting is popular with compliance managers. And for good reason: compliance officers and employees can come together, interact, ask and answer questions directly and even undertake role plays and group work.

    However, with most employees working remotely, requirements to socially distance, wear masks and undertake enhanced hygiene routines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face training has become very challenging.

    Below we go through how in-person compliance training can also work in a virtual setting.

    1. Use a videoconferencing tool for compliance training

    The Corona crisis has accelerated the trend of companies making video conferencing and chat tools such as Zoom, Teams, Skype or Slack available to all employees (read our tips on working with virtual tools in compliance teams). As well as one-to-one interactions, most of these providers can be used for larger video conferences and therefore to undertake training. Just make sure the platform supports at least the number of participants that would normally attend a face-to-face training session.

    Here are a few tips for delivering training via video conference (although most of the points apply to training more generally):

    • Use screensharing to present PowerPoint slides or other media.
    • Make the training content as relevant as possible to your audience by using real-life examples that the group, for example sales or purchasing staff, might face
    • Use real-life examples from the company or from the same industry where possible
    • Avoid too much text on slides
    • Work with images and graphics
    • Keep it as short as possible, without leaving out the essentials

    2. Make training interactive

    We’ve all taken part in video conferences that seem never-ending. It can be tiring staring at a screen for long periods of time. Therefore, avoid long sessions of lecture-style training. Here are some tips to make compliance training more interactive, especially in a virtual format:

    • Limit the length. The vast majority of participants switch off after 1.5 hours at the most. If necessary, divide the training up into several shorter session.
    • As a trainer, try not to speak for more than 30 minutes at a time. Instead, keep asking the audience open questions:
      • How would you act in this situation?
      • Has anyone experienced something similar?
      • Is there anything else that springs to mind when discussing this topic?
    • Use in-app or other tools such as Mentimeter to polls your participants. The results can provide interesting talking points.
    • Replace flipcharts and Post-its with digital tools. For example, you can use PowerPoint and share your screen to collect suggestions and ideas from the audience (more tips on interactive video conferencing sessions).

    Short, interactive training sessions help participants to retain the content, increasing the effectiveness of training.

    3. Enhance your training with blended learning

    You could save yourself the effort of live training and simply roll out compliance training as an eLearning course. Experience has shown however that engagement and information retention is lower when this is the sole delivery method for training.

    This is why the concept of “blended learning” is becoming ever more popular. Traditional face-to-face training (or in our case: virtual training) is supplemented, but not replaced, by digital learning tools.

    In practice, blended learning for compliance training can take many forms:

    • After the live training session, an online questionnaire can be sent to the participants to check their level of knowledge.
    • In the run-up to the live training session, participants can complete eLearning modules. The live session can then be used for a deeper dive and Q&A.
    • Using your compliance risk assessment, determine which topics need live training sessions and those for which an eLearning module is sufficient.
    • Use microlearning activities such as infographics, mini quizzes and cheat sheets to reinforce messages on an ongoing basis.

    Clearly eLearning may be the only viable option in certain scenarios, for example if you need to train tens of thousands of employees on the implications of a change in law on a specific date.

    In terms of implementing eLearning, many companies have Learning Management Systems (LMS) in place, usually managed by the human resources department. If you are simply looking to monitor the success of live training, surveys and tests can be easily created using tools such as Microsoft Forms, Google Forms or SurveyMonkey.

    4. Record the training sessions and create a library

    Being able to record live sessions is an advantage that virtual training has over the classroom setting. Most video conferencing tools offer this, and it has many benefits:

    • Recordings can be made available on the intranet. The link can be sent to participants enabling them to review the content as well as to those who were unable to attend the session.
    • Create a training library online. Existing and new employees can access training at any time and as part of any induction programme.
    • Create “train the trainer” recordings. This allows you to roll out consistent training across the organisation.
    • If necessary, you can simply record the presentation part of the session and stop recording for the interactive part.

    5. Measure the success of your training

    Like all aspects of the compliance programme, you should be monitoring the success of your training. Do not wait for a compliance incident to indicate whether your training was successful or not.

    The most common method of checking whether compliance training is effective is for participants to do a short test following the training session (see point 3). Doing it in this way means you can check whether the content conveyed has really been understood. Some tools even provide further detailed insights, for example how long it takes participants to answer certain questions.

    By conducting a short survey, you can ask employees for their opinion on your compliance training (for example, was the content easy to understand? Is there a topic where more information is required?). Ideally after every virtual training session you would gather immediate feedback from the participants.

    Conclusion: virtual training can be just as effective as classroom training

    Clearly, the new normality presents challenges. But it is clear that companies do not need to cut back on their compliance training, in fact conducting training remotely could make training more scalable. Even without normal classroom events it is possible for trainers to convey relevant content clearly and efficiently.

    In addition to training a compliance programme has numerous other pillars such as the whistleblowing system, communicating workplace policies, monitoring gifts and hospitality and conducting internal investigations. In many cases the Corona crisis has revealed weaknesses in these existing processes.

    Compliance organisations now have the opportunity to put existing processes to the test and to drive forward the digitalisation of their compliance programme. On our overview page on the new normality, we look at the effects on numerous other compliance pillars. Have a look!

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    Moritz Homann
    Moritz Homann

    Managing Director Corporate Compliance – EQS Group | Moritz Homann is responsible for the department of Corporate Compliance products at EQS Group. In this function, he oversees the strategic development of digital workflow solutions tailored to meet the needs of Compliance Officers around the world.