Excellence in Compliance

by | Mar 16, 2009 | Articles

Does e-learning deliver improved compliance standards?

75% of organisations who had a need for compliance training (from the last Towards Maturity survey) believe it does. Maturity in e-learning brings greater success in the quality of compliance delivery and reporting: 86% of mature implementations believe that they have received improved compliance compared with only 55% of the less mature organisations.

So what can we learn from practical examples of e-learning maturity and compliance in the workplace?

Test options
Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks created individual tests for each learner by the use of question banks, the probability of two learners seeing the same test is low. Previously only three versions of compliance tests were available which made re-testing problematic. Now a limitless number of versions of tests are available causing much less concern over the security of re-testing. It is possible to customize tests for learners, perhaps based on their past performance.

Eliminating Paper
Not only environmentally friendly, more secure (with proper attention to IT security) but is much cheaper. The Pensions Regulator justified a business case for e-learning simple on reducing printing, warehousing and distribution of learning materials. The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment in Northern Ireland saved money with the online submission of students exams followed by onscreen marking. Delivering examinations and tests direct to learners simplifies the distribution of material.

Faster marking
Some assessment have to be read and marked, others may be scored by computer. In the former case scripts may be marked immediately an exam finishes; the results collated electronically, no waiting for scripts to be collected, posted securely and then distributed to examiners. In the latter case marking and collating of results is instantaneous. This brings the other asset of immediate reporting. A large accountancy’s Virtual Campus provides customised enterprise wide reports to meet the needs of external regulators; these are readily modified to meet local internal needs. Money is saved as well; HBOS reports a £44K per annum saving by eliminating manual marking.

Closer to workplace conditions
The A-level in the Moving Image Arts is examined electronically. This enables students to be assessed in skills that cannot be practiced on paper.  In all topics computers present workplace scenarios more realistically than on paper. Assessment moves beyond knowledge testing to reasoning skills. Learners are assessed in a wider range of skills, not yet manual skills but all mental skills and some elements of interpersonal skills. Simulations are better predictors of job performance than knowledge tests. Designers of assessment must exploit the interactive and processing capability of the computer. It may be assumed that tests that mimic workplace decisions and actions are more valid than those where knowledge only is regurgitated. The RSC introduced compliance with workstation assessment, as close to the real work place as is pssible; and a good starting point for more e-Learning.

A better experience
Learners frequently prefer on-line assessment. In some cases because it is less stressful; presentation of tests can be more imaginative, there is less peripheral hassle; just sit down and log on. Timing can be flexible.

Reliability and Validity
These are two essential features of any assessment regime. Reliability: does the test, or different versions of the test produce the same results each time it is used. Validity; does the test measure performance that is appropriate for the job that has to be done. Confirming reliability and validity are statistical exercises but vital in proving to the business, and to an external regulator that assessment processes are fit for purpose.

What does excellent e-learning compliance training deliver?
It does provide proof that employees are compliant in respect of learning and training that they are required to do. Learners do not necessarily go and learn other thing either to improve their job performance or enhance their careers. It does save money; Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks saved a staggering £1.4 billion from eliminating classroom delivery.

However our Towards Maturity research highlights that improved compliance quality does not automatically help to build a learning organisation or deliver embedded e-learning essential for ongoing business and staff impact.

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