Anyone with experience designing compliance learning programs?

I would like to re-design our current Anti-Dumping Duty and Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT). Currently very wordy, some interactivity. 

Anyone has experience creating training on these topics or any thoughts/ideas on how we can transform two boring topics into interesting training modules?

3 Replies
Bianca Woods

Hi Audrey,

Making compliance training engaging is so helpful for learners, but also so hard to do sometimes! I started out my instructional design career writing compliance training for a bank, so I remember just how dry some of this content can be at first.

Here are a few things I found helped make wordy compliance training more interesting for learners:

Lead with what's in it for them
If you're not able to fully pare down the wordiness, at least people will be more okay with the length if they know right away what the course material will do for them. Starting with the difference the course material can make to something the learners genuinely care about can help a ton.

Include stories
Dry rules and regulations can spring to life with real-world stories about how they play out in real life. Plus, real stories are a good way to help the content feel grounded in your learners' day-to-day lives.

Show what happens when things go wrong
Some of the most memorable compliance training I've experienced over the years involved showing what happens when things go bad. A story where a scammer shows his secrets for stealing people's identities. A game where a security guard tries to prevent shoplifters while also not bothering customers. A scenario where someone has a gross mess at work and has to remember the appropriate clean-up procedures. What can I say: people love a good disaster! So grab people's attention by showing what the rules are trying to prevent. Just remember to keep it within the realm of something that could really happen.

Let people test out if they already know some material
If some learners already know part (or all) of the content, one of the best way to keep their attention is to let them test out of what they already know. That way they don't feel like their time is being wasted and they'll be more likely to pay attention to the content they aren't as familiar with. And you have pre-test results to show they know the content in case of an audit or issue.


I'm sure the community will have some additional suggestions for what they've found can make compliance training more interesting. In the meantime, though, check out these articles for some additional ideas and examples: