The Gamification of Compliance Training and how it could actually be great fun – Interview with Steve Brett, co-founder of E3 Compliance Training


Even when you have the right kind of culture in your firm and colleagues understand the importance of compliance, training is often considered boring and dull, a check-box exercise or a waste of precious time. However, training is a key aspect in a good compliance regime and should help protect a firm from harm in the form of enforcement action. It aims to make sure that the staff has and maintains the required knowledge and expertise to perform their roles. But there is hope: Gamification, the application of typical elements of game playing to other areas of activity to encourage engagement, could be the solution generations of compliance officers have been waiting for.

We spoke to Steve Brett, co-founder of E3 Compliance Training, who have come up with a seriously fun compliance training.

  1. Steve, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and your education?

I have a background in mobile and financial services having worked both in the UK and abroad – mostly setting up new business lines. Recently I worked for a free to play mobile game company which led to the opportunities with E3 Compliance Training. I have a degree in botany from Durham and an MBA from Warwick University.

  1. Can you tell us about E3 Compliance Training?

We are a start up looking to change the way compliance training is delivered. Our aim is to make it fun as we see that this is the best way to engage employees in the important but often very dry topics. Compliance is becoming every more critical to the success of regulated companies and having entertaining training is a good way to provide effective training that impacts behaviour.

I founded the company with two others – Dave Allsop who is a BAFTA award winning game designer and Nicolas Pylpuik, a brilliant UX designer and coder.

  1. What are the advantages of an approach to compliance training based on gamification?
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By using approaches proven in both e learning and mobile phone games, we ensure that players are presented the key concepts in a way that draws people in making them think about the content. Our courses are fast paced and visually rich so we continuously give players things to think about. We show people where they sit against others in the organisation as a way to tap into the competitive element present in most teams. We see people taking the course again just to beat someone else in the office!

All our courses are designed to play on a smartphone in an offline mode so people can take the course wherever works for them – on the daily commute, in breaks between meetings or when travelling. We also provide the courses on Mac and PC for staff without a smartphone but most people value the flexibility that a mobile based course gives them.

A unique aspect of our courses are the “mini games” where we test how players apply the knowledge they have learnt by presenting a series of real world scenarios in rapid succession to reinforce the behaviours that we want to see back in the office.

The key areas for Compliance Officers is that we provide a wealth of information about people’s performance on the course, a low effort way to chase employees to complete the course and a means to test players with company specific questions. Being based on a mobile, we can send gentle reminders via notifications which are far more effective than email!

  1. What are, in your opinion, the key ingredients for a good compliance training?

The key for me is to get people engaging with the content. If the course is seen as a “box ticking” exercise then very little will be learnt from the course and the training will not have any real impact in the office. We are key believers in making the training fun and easy to access as a way to make the training effective.

  1. What’s the current status of eLearning and gamification in general and the Financial Industry in particular?

We see that gamification is only just starting to be applied to the market and too much training today is using approaches (and technology) developed 20 years ago. Gamification is also a term that is often abused as for many, gamification is just adding leaderboards and badges rather than developing courses with the same discipline and tools for building other games. Gamification should start with how do we make this fun rather than how can I add some “whizzy” bits to this old content. We need to remove the pre conception that compliance training is boring as this sets us up for failure.

In most organisations, the majority of employees will have access to a smart phone and many will pay mobile games – anywhere from 50% – 80% depending on the demographic. Using games for training is just tieing in to this change in behaviour that has accelerated over the past few years.

  1. What is your advice for Compliance Officers when it comes to RegTech in general and gamification in particular?

I would encourage Compliance Officers to look at all the new technology that is becoming available and to start with the question of “how could this be made to work here” and put yourself in the position of others in the organisation and look to see how the technology will affect them and how could it improve the compliance regime in your organisation. You will not have the time to look at all the ideas so focus on those that address your key concerns first and ensure that with any new technology you define key measures for success before you test.

The one option that is not sustainable is to keep to the current ways of working as both technology and the compliance regime are changing too quickly. Make sure that you are driving the adoption of the new technology.

  1. Are we all going to play AML training instead of World of Warcraft then?

We will really know we have succeeded if that happens! But, as long as people have fun taking our courses and the Compliance Officer see that their staff are actively learning and engaging with the compliance issues facing the organisation.

If you want to know more about Steve, E3 Compliance Training and their training courses, contact him at

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

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