• Compliance and Learning – a love story

    by  • April 11, 2015 • OD and L&D • 0 Comments

    What would you say if I told you that Compliance and Learning are made for each other?

    What would you say if I told you that Compliance and Learning are made for each other?

    For some, this sounds like a sensible idea. For others, a cruel joke, or something to do with “chalk” and “cheese”.

    In my experience, Compliance and learning are not laughable. They are not even sensible. They are made for each other.

    If you open up your Compliance and Learning functions to each other, they can work miracles to accountability, engagement and creativity.

    Compliance *heart* Learning

    Imagine something happened in your company. Say… a mistake. That mistake is puts your company at risk, because it broke a rule.

    What happened next in a world where compliance and learning finish each other’s sentences?

    Compliance and Learning work together to build some workshops, interactive scenarios and gamified interactions that make use of that mistake and allow learners to experiment with it in a safe environment: explore how it happened, explore its potential implications. Explore ways in which it could happen again. Explore ways to prevent it from happening.

    By making it public, the blame game is replaced with a learning game, one that raises awareness, shares the burden of creating a meaningful way to prevent the mistake from happening again and increases accountability.

    Why don’t we live in that world?

    Usually, because at times when mistakes happen, organisations are so terrified, they tend to create a mind-bogglingly complicated means of preventing mistakes from happening again. Ever.

    Also because compliance auditors tend to perceive the requirement for education and learning (which is something most regulatory frameworks insist on) as just another tick in the box.

    And also because L&D people tend to not like compliance. It’s boring, and it’s easier to outsource (sometimes cheaper too).

    Let love rule

    It’s time we brought Compliance and Learning together to fulfil their potential as partners. So:

    Learning folks, you need to know this:

    • Compliance is behavioural.
    • Compliance is not throwing the rule book at people.
    • Compliance is only dull if you make it dull.
    • Compliance is a fantastic way to gain street cred. Do this well, and you will win a long-lasting partnership with a fantastic bunch of people who will carry the learning banner for you all the way to the top.
    • This is a great way to open your mind, create, practice and implement really creative and impactful learning.

    Compliance folks, you need to know this:

    • Learning is not fluffy stuff / airy fairy / other superlative you often use to describe L&D people.
    • Learning can help you embed the behaviours you need to foster to create a more compliant organisation that is risk-aware and more accountable.
    • Learning can help create open and safe ways to explore existing and potential issues, and come up with ways to prevent them.
    • Learning can help you make compliance topics more engaging.
    • It’s a great way to get your head out of the regulator’s rulebooks and really understand who’s on the other side of your role in the organisation.


    What do you think? Is there a love story to be had between Compliance and Learning? Let us know! Comment below.

    We also love a good email. Please send us one.


    Photo credit to jan-willem via sxc.hu.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *