Press Release

Compliance Industry in Need of Overhaul, According to New Book from ATD Press


L&D makes compliance training more effective and sustainable.

Compliance training is a requirement in most industries and organizations, but many compliance programs are falling short of significantly reducing misconduct. Major companies’ compliance failures often make news headlines. Traditional methods of establishing exhaustive policies and heavy-handed training programs are unpopular, costly, and ineffective at managing risk at levels tolerated by modern audiences, regulators, and executives. In his book Fully Compliant: Compliance Training to Change Behavior (ATD Press), author Travis Waugh argues that good compliance training can be effectively designed and delivered by incorporating an understanding of behavioral economics and instructional design. He provides eight steps to implementing a successful compliance learning plan that will leave people eager to engage in compliance training and hungry to learn more.

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“There are reasons traditional compliance training has evolved into its current form, and those reasons aren't going away overnight,” says Waugh. “But if you anticipate pushback and organizational obstacles, they feel much less fatal to our cause. We won't win every debate, and we can't fix all this overnight … but if training professionals keep trying and keep making the most of the opportunities we're given, we can save our employees from countless wasted hours and win back some much-needed trust for our profession. Once people see what good compliance training looks like and what it can do, they'll want more.”
Given that compliance training is mandated in organizations around the world, Waugh’s call to fix this misunderstanding about compliance training has major implications for the world economy. Not only could we be saving our employees time and allocating their effort more efficiently, we also could be solving real and persistent issues of sexual harassment, bullying, cyber security, workplace safety, and more.

“It would be irresponsible for any organization to forfeit the risk mitigation that a compliance training program provides,” adds Waugh. “The alternative is to not even pretend to care about our employee’s behavior, which is even worse than box-checking. But it would also be wrong to say that traditional compliance training has only checked boxes. If you’ve ever gone to a construction site and seen people wearing a safety harness or a helmet, you can probably thank some combination of policies, enforcement, and training … in other words, the traditional compliance program. I just think we could be helping even more, and wasting less time, if we shift the balance a little more toward real learning.”

Fully Compliant is available through ATD Press. We invite you to read a complimentary chapter.


About Travis Waugh
Travis Waugh is an instructional technologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he facilitates courses on ethical decision making and crafts the university’s annual integrity and compliance campaign. In his more than a decade of L&D experience in corporate America and higher education, he has built courses and tutorials for dozens of compliance training subjects. Travis began speaking and writing about instructional design best practices in 2012, with special interest in psychology, technology, and the use of humor in adult learning.

In addition to facilitating workshops and speaking sessions at international conferences, Travis has delivered private sessions and consultations about emerging training technology and behavioral compliance for a range of Fortune 500 companies. He facilitates ATD’s Essentials of Compliance course and has served as a bridge between the ethics and compliance industry and the L&D community. As a dedicated learning professional, Travis tries, above all else, never to waste anyone’s time.

About ATD and ATD Press
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is the world’s largest association dedicated to those who develop talent in organizations. ATD’s members come from more than 120 countries and work in public and private organizations in every industry sector. ATD Press publications are written by industry thought leaders and offer anyone who works with adult learners the best practices, academic theory, and guidance necessary to move the profession forward. For more information, visit


Fully Compliant: Compliance Training to Change Behavior

ISBN: 978-1947308-35-0 | 232 Pages | Paperback
To order books from ATD Press, call 1.800.628.2783.

To schedule an interview with Mr. Waugh, please contact Kay Hechler, ATD Press senior marketing manager, at [email protected].

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