Compliance Training: Off-the-Shelf or In-House Development? Take the Quiz to Find Out!

Brock Vaughn
Posted: March 25, 2020

You Wouldn’t Look Good in Orange!

That was an inside joke when I led compliance training teams for two large U.S. banks. Although we trained thousands each year, few liked what we did. Business leaders hated hearing from us – as it often meant they had people who were on the “bad list” for late completions.

While they didn’t like us, most leaders got it. They knew the consequences of NOT training employees to comply with laws and regulations could be harsh – fines, remediation, or worse – orange jumpsuits! Depending on the industry, failure to train employees to comply carries high risk. This graphic tells the story of just one issue in financial services – billions of dollars are at stake, and sometimes a company’s viability.

The Training Dilemma

Suppose your organization’s C-Suite has bought in to the idea that the cost of training is far less than the risk of non-compliance. They want you to help build an effective program, ASAP. But – surprise – this mandate doesn’t arrive with an unlimited budget. What’s the next step for a training leader?

A “build or buy” decision must be made. You can create training in-house with existing staff, if available. Or, you can scour the marketplace for the right vendor with a program on the topic. A third option lies in between: finding an external partner with the expertise to build a custom program.  But, how to get started?

Analyze This

There are pros and cons to each approach, so the training leader must apply business skills to make the best decision. Business skills now underpin the Foundational Competencies model used by the Association for Talent Development.

I acquired business skills early in my career, earning an undergraduate degree in Finance and holding analytical roles before discovering the field of talent development. Using my business skills as a compliance training leader was a natural fit. When faced with a build versus buy decision, I knew exactly what to consider. My decision-making process considered four factors: Quality, Cost, Time and Risk.

Just the Facts, Ma’am

To analyze the four factors, you need facts. Take the quiz below to start your analysis to find out if you’re on the right path!


Parting Shot

Quality, Cost, Time and Risk. It’s a balancing act. Managing risk through compliant behavior is the very purpose of compliance training. Some organizations manage their risk by investing in compliance training staff and equipping them with the time and money needed to delivery high quality programs. Kudos to them!

That’s beyond the capabilities of many smaller organizations. But they still need to manage risk just the same. Finding the highest quality off-the-shelf training at the best cost possible is key to driving compliant behavior in a constrained environment.

As a compliance training leader, I found partnering to be a great option, even with a talented staff. By engaging with many companies, these external partners have seen the best of the best and know how to meet tough challenges. They can bring new thinking and solutions that drive up compliant actions and user satisfaction.  Quality, cost, time and risk – the right partners can deliver.  And, they just might keep somebody out of an orange jumpsuit!

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