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  • Robert Bell

How to Make Compliance Training More Effective

Compliance training is often seen as dull and difficult, a perception that blights most compliance officers. If the audience anticipates a complicated session of tedious policy and regulation-packed content, they will have switched off before they have even entered the room. The danger with some types of training is that they’re often viewed as a necessary tick-box exercise, something to get through before getting on with the real job.

Compliance training is the teaching and learning of the components that keep financial services – and our firms – running smoothly; understanding the rules isn’t just necessary, it’s essential. So why wouldn’t we want to deliver training that is designed to be retained?

How to Make Compliance Training More Effective



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Teaching compliance subjects is about ‘the rules’ and there’s no getting away from that. But importantly, it’s also about best practice, with an emphasis on practice. Some parts of the job are less common than others and can call for confidence in a skill set that takes a while to acquire, particularly in areas such as speaking to vulnerable customers. Presentation of a customer’s vulnerability can run the gamut from those who don’t want to engage to those who are under the influence of substances, and navigating these conversations can be complicated. The one thing they have in common, though, is that they will all be different.

There are ways to guide the conversation, and some tried and tested techniques that help staff make decisions about when to broach the subject and what questions to ask to make sure the customer is able to talk at that moment. Some of these frameworks help staff to let the customer know it is safe to discuss their circumstances, how their information will be used, and to gather the types of information needed to be able to match an appropriate support option. After all, this is the main aim – making sure that the customer receives appropriate service and support for their needs.

These techniques are all well and good when the conversation runs smoothly, but the potential that a conversation will turn difficult to manage can make some staff uncertain or wary, and given that – particularly in the case of vulnerability – we often rely on staff to make initial identification, the main aim here has to be to train staff in managing difficult conversations so they have the confidence to know that they can do it.

This is where Game Based Learning comes in.

The platform can offer the opportunity to practice skills that could only otherwise be learned via in-person role-play, opportunities for which are few and far between, and on-the-job training, which is where fear of failure can hamper progress and learning.

A competitive game can present real-world situations and challenges, and take users through a set of interactions, offering them the chance to choose how they respond. Realistic responses allow players to learn what works well to guide the conversation back on track.

The ‘fear of failure’ is removed – or at least reduced – in GBL. Knowing that you will have the opportunity to test your learning on small challenges and that if you get it wrong, you can rectify it next time means the awkwardness of failing to pass is no longer a factor, and instead what’s actually being learned is allowed the full focus of the mind. Games are also able to provide the kind of immediate, positive feedback that individual trainers can’t. When you win a game and progress to the next level, you get that hit that keeps you moving on to bigger challenges.

And this translates into the real world too. Practising difficult subjects before they are needed in the workplace instils confidence that could make every difference for the customer and for the business.

If you are interested in a completely FREE trial of our game-based learning platform, simply email


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