Compliance Training: Pre-Built vs. Custom Courses

Compliance training is crucial for L&D managers to ensure the safety, security, legality and ethical behaviour of their teams, to meet regulatory requirements and avoid exposure to risk. But there’s a dilemma that every manager using Litmos LMS needs to consider: whether to utilise Litmos’ extensive library of pre-built off-the-shelf courses, or take on the task of building or commissioning custom compliance projects.

Building bespoke courses need not cost the earth or be too labour-intensive. With Litmos’ Content Authoring Tool, you can create customized courses catering to your company’s individual needs. However, with compliance courses, building content is only half the battle. It requires legal expertise, processes, reviews, and sign-offs to make sure content is conveying the standards of conduct and legal requirements before you can even start building the course.

It’s important to note that the choice between off-the-shelf and custom eLearning courses depends on your organization’s specific needs and resources. In some cases, a combination of both, with off-the-shelf courses serving as a foundation and custom content addressing specific requirements or risks, may be the most effective approach. For example, off-the-shelf training won’t be available for the specifics of evacuating your office building, nor would it be used to train employees who have very specialized roles or responsibilities.

Let’s look at the benefits of each type, of off-the-shelf and bespoke compliance courses – and remember, compliance courses are not as simple as one size fits all!

Benefits of Off-the-Shelf Compliance Courses

While custom-built compliance eLearning courses offer several advantages, off-the-shelf compliance eLearning courses also have their benefits, especially in certain situations. Here are some advantages of using off-the-shelf courses:

  1. Cost-Effective: Off-the-shelf courses are typically more budget-friendly than custom solutions. This can be especially beneficial for small to mid-size organizations with limited resources to write and build their own.
  2. Time-Saving: Pre-built courses can be deployed quickly since they are pre-packaged and ready to use. This can be crucial when there is an immediate need for compliance training.
  3. Broad Coverage: Off-the-shelf courses often cover a wide range of compliance topics, making them suitable for organizations with relatively standard compliance requirements such as HR compliance and minimal health and safety needs.
  4. Expertise: Many off-the-shelf courses are developed by subject-matter experts who are well-versed in compliance regulations, providing credible and accurate information on an ongoing basis.
  5. Benchmarking: Off-the-shelf compliance courses can serve as a benchmark or starting point for organizations new to compliance training. They provide a foundation of compliance knowledge for employees that can be supplemented with custom courses over time.
  6. Less Development Overhead: There may be less need for in-house development or a dedicated L&D team to create and maintain pre-built compliance courses. This can reduce the workload on your organization’s training and development teams.
  7. Updates and Maintenance: Off-the-shelf compliance courses from Litmos are updated regularly, ensuring they align with the latest compliance regulations and standards.
  8. External Expertise: Using off-the-shelf courses may allow you to benefit from the instructional and digital expertise and experience of eLearning content providers, which can be valuable for organizations with limited knowledge of eLearning design.
  9. Scalability: Pre-built compliance courses can be scaled up quickly to accommodate a growing workforce or changing compliance needs.
  10. Reduced Risk: While custom content may introduce the possibility of errors or omissions, experts regularly vet off-the-shelf courses, which can reduce the likelihood of including inaccurate or incomplete information in compliance trainings.

Benefits of Bespoke Compliance Courses

Custom-built compliance eLearning courses offer several advantages over off-the-shelf alternatives:

  1. Relevance: Custom-built courses can be tailored to address your organization’s specific compliance requirements, risks and challenges. This ensures the content is highly relevant to your industry, company policies, and regulatory environment.
  2. Alignment with Company Culture: Custom compliance courses can reflect your organization’s unique culture and values, making it easier for employees to connect with the material and understand how compliance relates to their daily work.
  3. Engagement: Tailored compliance content is more likely to engage and resonate with employees, as it can incorporate real-life examples, scenarios, and case studies specific to your industry and organization. This engagement can lead to better retention and understanding of compliance concepts.
  4. Flexibility: Custom courses can be adapted and updated quickly to reflect changes in regulations (although your organization’s ability to quickly update materials may depend on its access to legal counsel), industry standards, or internal policies. Off-the-shelf courses may offer a different level of flexibility.
  5. Interactive Elements: Budget allowing, custom eLearning can incorporate role-specific simulations and business-specific bespoke assessments, making the learning experience more engaging and effective for specific tasks or niche job functions.
  6. Branding and Design: Custom courses can be designed to match your company’s branding and style, creating a consistent look and feel. This can help reinforce the association your employees make between your organization and a commitment to compliance.
  7. Localization: If your organization operates in multiple regions or countries, custom courses can be localized to address specific compliance requirements in each location, including language, legal nuances, specific processes or procedures in that country or region and cultural factors.
  8. Targeted Training: Custom-built compliance courses can focus on areas where your organization has specific compliance challenges or needs. This targeted approach can help address weaknesses and reduce the risk of compliance breaches.
  9. Employee Feedback: Custom courses can be adapted based on employee feedback and evolving compliance requirements. This iterative approach allows for continuous improvement.

In navigating the complex landscape of compliance training, L&D managers face a crucial decision: off-the-shelf or custom-built courses? As you can see from the extensive list of benefits and drawbacks above, the choice isn’t always a simple one. Yours may hinge on your organization’s specific needs and resources.

While off-the-shelf courses offer cost-effectiveness, quick deployment, and broad coverage, bespoke courses provide relevance, engagement, and alignment with company culture. The decision between custom and pre-built compliance courses may not be binary; a strategic blend of both approaches could be the key to creating the best compliance training solution for your organization. To discover more best practices for enhancing your compliance training program, download Litmos’ Compliance Made Easy Guide.