Best Practices for Updating Compliance Courses

Sep 28, 2015


I need advice on how to handle requests for compliance course updates. I have found that our SMEs typically don't find out about these updates until 1 or 2 months before the course needs to go live. These updates often include additional modules to be added, as well as changes to voiceover, etc. The SMEs contact us to make the updates, and by that time, our schedule is fully booked with other courses. How does your team make time to update compliance courses while also working on other projects?  Any advice would be appreciated!

Thank you!


4 Replies
Bob S

Hi Alyssa,

It can be challenging for sure.  Here are a couple things we've done in the past;. not all of them may apply to your particular kind of compliance training, but hopefully you will find some value.

  • Find out the "season" for your particular regulatory changes. Depending on the industry/topic, often the changes happen on a semi-regular cycle  (even if some SMEs don't realize it!).   It might be following the big national meeting, it might be Q1 of each year, it might be after the recurring bi-annual review,  etc.  In any case, try and find out if such seasons exist for your topics.
  • Estimate and build-in time for compliance changes.   Look back over a long period and you are likely to find that that you can roughly predict you will have X amount of changes per year. When you schedule your projects, be sure and allow a cushion that takes this X amount into account.  If it turns out no compliance changes were needed that year, you just won the training resource lottery!   ;-)
  • Consider modularity for compliance courses. You may well find that the kinds of changes that happen often fall into a couple of recurring areas such as contact/agency info, updated statutes, etc.   Consider pursuing a more modular approach to you compliance courses so key pieces can be updated more quickly while retaining the core messaging.  For example.... Explaining what Money Laundering is and why it's bad to be involved with doesn't change. Invest in making those areas interactive and shiny. Then have more mundane "chapters" about each new rule  that can easily be changed/updated without reworking the entire course.
  • Proactively engage with your SMEs.  Don't wait to be asked, but instead create a semi-regular cycle of soliciting for any upcoming changes.  For example... "Hi Sue, we are planning for the back half of the year's projects and wanted to know if you are expecting any changes regarding XYZ topics in the next several months."   This sets the expectation with the SMEs that they should be looking long term and that you are counting on them to do so.

Hope this helps!

Daniel Brigham

Bob, as usual, is right on. Along with his modularity suggestion, I also try to think ahead as I set content to music. Questions like, "Hmmm, this is content that could very well change, how bout I set it as on-screen text instead of audio? That way I can switch it out quickly." As time goes on, you'll get a feel for what might change. As a general rule, don't build courses that will be a bear to update. Of course there are reasons to go against this rule. 

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