case study

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How Thomson Reuters Helped a Global Financial Institution Revolutionise Staff Compliance Training

The Challenge

In 2020, a global financial institution asked Thomson Reuters to create an interactive refresher course on their Code of Conduct to ensure greater staff engagement with their compliance culture. They were clear that they did not want a standard course format where learners would be required to read numerous pages of group policies and factsheets. The course would also need to align with their stringent design and technical guidelines and pass multiple rounds of stakeholder reviews before it could become mandatory for approximately 100,000 employees worldwide. At that point, the e-learning course would need to be available in numerous languages and be provided in standard and accessible formats.


The global bank created in 2017 a mandatory course to ensure all employees around the world complied with their Code of Conduct standards in 15 key areas, including protecting confidential information, competing fairly in the marketplace and fighting financial crime. The course provided a large amount of written material on each topic, some of which was duplicated in accompanying factsheets and separate e-learning programmes. However, the content and presentation of the Code of Conduct course remained largely the same for the next three years, leading to learner fatigue – and the challenge for Thomson Reuters!

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The Solution

After carefully reviewing the global bank’s existing courses, gathering stakeholder requirements and working closely with their mandatory learning squad, Thomson Reuters proposed an innovative e-learning approach to enhance employee adoption and implementation of the bank’s Code of Conduct. This included separating information from the 15 key topics into three sections: must know; good to know; and nice to know. Thomson Reuters’ subject matter experts agreed to refocus mandatory learning on “must know” and “good to know” information from the group’s Code of Conduct. The bank also adopted Thomson Reuters’ recommendation of halving the course duration to 20 minutes and using interactive videos rather than text to share key messages from each of the 15 topics.

The global bank was pleased to see that the new e-learning videos designed by Thomson Reuters use a modern, creative and fun illustrative style to bring compliance concepts to life, while following their internal design guidelines. A range of characters from different backgrounds are shown in realistic scenarios within workplace environments to help employees carry forward the key learnings into their day-today working practices.

The course also provides opportunities for optional further learning. The main details of information, ranked as “nice to know”, are contained within a multi-page infographic that is referenced throughout the course. Factsheets with further details on the key messages are also published on the bank’s intranet and referenced within the course.

The e-learning programme is followed by an assessment containing 15 questions, one per topic, drawing on a pool of 45 questions across all topics. Each question presents a hypothetical workplace dilemma and asks learners to choose from a list of possible responses. The answers are then reinforced with feedback that clearly states group policy.

It was jointly decided to set the passing score at 100 percent to ensure all employees understand the core principles of the global bank’s Code of Conduct. Crucially, all learners who achieve the passing criteria are required to recommit to the group Code of Conduct before they can download their certificate of completion for the course. Users who score 80 to 99 percent are shown a results screen identifying key areas for improvement and advising them to read the infographic and factsheets. They are then presented with further questions on topics in which they did not score well in order to obtain the mandatory 100 percent score. Learners who achieve less than 80 percent are asked to retake the full assessment.

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The Results

The Code of Conduct course was successfully rolled out across the global bank’s offices after complying with internal guidelines and passing stakeholder reviews. Stakeholders noted that the bespoke course met organisational objectives, had a clear assessment approach and, most importantly, was user friendly. Employees variously described the new e-learning course as “crisp and to the point” and “comprehensive, relevant and thoughtful”. Learners also appreciated the real-time scenarios, which they said were practical and relevant to their day-to-day work in the bank.

In December 2020, Regulation Asia named Thomson Reuters as Compliance Training Provider of the Year, in recognition of the bespoke e-learning programme it created for the global bank. Regulation Asia described the Code of Conduct course as “comprehensive and unique in its approach to instructional design, course structure, content flow and learner engagement”. The independent publication also praised the interactive and customisable e-learning programme for including practical business scenarios that promote employee understanding and retention of key conduct principles.

Regulation Asia separately gave Thomson Reuters the award for Best Solution in Regulatory Change Management in 2020, in recognition of the extensive scale of its regulatory intelligence offering. A judge on the awards panel remarked that the “holy trinity of technology, expertise and data makes Thomson Reuters a force to be reckoned with”.

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