Game-Based Compliance: How Game-Based Learning Enlivens Monotonous Compliance Training

Game-Based Compliance: How Game-Based Learning Enlivens Monotonous Compliance Training
Summary: To impart engaging compliance training, we need to transform “lifeless” compliance courses into immersive, engaging online learning resources. How do we do this? Read this article to know how game-based learning can enliven things and increase the impact of compliance training.

Delivering Effective Game-Based Compliance Training Courses

Robert is the compliance training manager of a large medical device manufacturing company. Recently, the company launched an e-learning course on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for its staff in the production department. The content was very relevant to the regular work of the employees, and Robert believed the course would be a runaway success. However, to his dismay, the course received a lukewarm response.

Robert is not the only compliance training professional who has faced such a predicament. Many in the business of delivering compliance, safety, and regulatory affairs training often find themselves in a similar situation.

The content of compliance training programs primarily deals with laws and regulatory norms, and most learners perceive it as “dry” and boring. A recent report [1] published by Towards Maturity revealed that 46% of companies believe that a major barrier to effective compliance training is the perception of learners that content is dull and delivery lacks engagement.

To impart engaging compliance training, we need to transform “lifeless” compliance training material into interesting learning resources. How do we do this? One of the ways to overcome the monotonous nature of compliance training is to develop game-based learning resources.

What Is Game-Based Learning?

Game-based learning (GBL) uses game elements to teach specific skills or achieve specific learning outcomes. Game-based learning is an Instructional Design strategy, which facilitates the exploration of game aspects in a learning context. The game is an integral part of the learning process. Consider the following example.

A firm providing IT security services, has developed an online crossword puzzle for training the new employees in its legal department on the terminology used in cyber laws. Learners acquire knowledge of the terminology, trying to solve the crossword puzzle.

Here, the objective of the training is to familiarize learners with the legal terminology and the game is an instrument of learning.

How Does Game-Based Learning Help Deliver Effective Compliance Training?

1. Games Motivate Employees To Take Up Compliance Courses

We have seen that many learners perceive the content of courses on compliance and regulatory affairs to be dull and boring. As a result, they are not motivated to take up the courses. You can remedy this problem, using game-based learning resources. The element of competition in game-based learning acts as a motivator to learn well. Consider the following scenario.

A pharmaceutical giant uses game-based online courses for training the staff of its legal department. The learner who wins the highest number of points in the game on patent laws is awarded a badge and USD 2500. This motivates employees to do well in the training.

2. Stress-Free Training Can Be Imparted

Most compliance courses must be completed within the timeframe prescribed by regulatory authorities, and this could create stress among learners. You can resolve this problem to a large extent by developing game-based compliance training courses. Games make learning a pleasure, and this increases the effectiveness of the courses and enables you deliver good training.

3. Better Retention Of Knowledge Is Possible

I’m sure you’d agree with me that corporate training initiatives can be effective only when learners are able to retain the knowledge imparted, and compliance training programs are no exception. Game-based learning facilitates the effective retention of information compared to traditional forms of training, as it helps make cognitive processing more efficient [2]. For instance, knowledge of rules acquired through game-based courses is more likely to stick longer than information “dumped” on learners through bulleted PowerPoint presentations.

2 Best Practices To Develop Game-Based Compliance Courses

Game-based learning thereby helps transform bland compliance training content into lively, effective learning materials. Following the best practices listed above will help you develop such winning compliance courses. We leave you with a couple of best practices of developing game-based compliance courses.

1. Ensure The Game Helps Learners Connect With The Compliance Training Content

This is a very important aspect you must consider when you create a game-based compliance course. It is easy for learners to get off-track, if they can’t relate the learning content to their learning needs. It is necessary to ensure that the plot of the learning game is “aligned” with the goals of the training program. For instance, one of our clients in the BFSI space has developed a game-based course for imparting mandatory training on information security, based on the movie Matrix, and the course was a big success.

2. Incorporate Scenarios In The Game-Based Compliance Course

Compliance training is all about enabling learners identify whether their actions violate relevant laws and norms and prevent breaches. Game-based learning scenarios put the learner through real-world situations where he needs to think and act. Consider the following example.

One of our clients in the insurance domain uses a scenario-based learning game to teach its learners how to prevent violations of the anti-bribery law. As part of the game’s narrative, a customer service executive meets a member of the client’s purchasing committee and offers to take him to lunch. The learner is asked whether the act constitutes a violation of the anti-graft statute. If his decision is right, he moves on to the next level, where another scenario awaits to test his skills in identifying potential violations of the statute. This will enhance his skills to prevent violations of the Act.


  1. Compliance training versus compliance performance
  2. Outcomes of game-based learning: Research roundup