Kirsten Liston on Emerging Trends in Compliance Training [Podcast]


By Adam Turteltaub

As long as there have been compliance programs there has been compliance training.  Despite that constancy, how that training is delivered has changed dramatically.  It has evolved from lawyers standing in front of the room with acetates, to online training, phone-based training, and even compliance games.

What’s driven the evolution?  Part of it is certainly technology, but as Kirsten Liston, Founder and Principal of Rethink Compliance, argues, much of it has been driven by compliance people asking, “What does it take to be effective?”  Training, after all, isn’t an objective.  It’s a strategy for helping to prevent compliance breaches.

That invites a constant reexamination of how the training is offered.  At first, PowerPoints delivered online seemed like a great leap forward, which, in many ways, they were.  But since then, Kirsten argues, the digital landscape has changed.  People have grown used to seamless digital environments where the content seems to flow effortlessly.  Compliance and ethics training that doesn’t do so can be jarring.

In addition, with more of online life being led on mobile devices, we have all gotten used to shorter messages.  That, too, calls for rethinking of training, both mobile and on the desktop.

Listen in as she discusses these issues and how to succeed in your compliance training efforts.


  1. Despite the challenges involved in being an effective compliance professional , aim very excited and pleased with my life for being a part of the compliance community , as a result I am always ready and very alert awaiting any new trend emerging from the compliance profession or industry to sharpen my skills and to be a very effective and productive compliance professional always. .Another very important thing I will like to accomplish is to see my effectiveness manifest in my workforce in order to have an equally efficient ,loyal dedicated and committed workforce , in order to meet and even exceed the expectations of my stakeholders , partners, colleagues etc.. The current digital revolution should make it easier to receive compliance materials and training at our convenience to improve and enhance efficiency and performance in all aspects of our lives both professionally and even socially.

    • Thanks, Mona! I learned a lot from the book Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. Lots of good academic research that shows how important retrieval is to retention — the more we’re forced to access knowledge, the more firmly it’s established in our brains.

      It convinced me that we could do even more testing in compliance learning than we do now — including delayed testing.

  2. Thanks to you both for the great discussion! I really appreciated the idea that good training can also be short and to the point. Our profession so often seems to value the quantity of words as a sign of seriousness or credibility. Lots of paragraphs of training and policies might help us feel like we are delivering a lot of “value,” but we lose people’s interest.

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