Game On! The Best Compliance Class I Ever Taught

By Lauren Barnett
Compliance Content Specialist, PharmaCertify

Leading a live compliance training session is always a challenge. More often than not, I’m the only geek in the room that finds the minutia of the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act fascinating. So, I’ve learned that these sessions need to be engaging (good luck right) and leave the learner feeling confident they won’t go to jail tomorrow because they said hello to a physician that day. I was growing tired of all my other interactive “tricks,” and the sound of my own voice repeating  the same information. A change was definitely in order.

Then it came to me… a simple little game from childhood that could be adapted in the classroom – Bingo! Yes, Compliance Bingo. I set about creating my game. Instead of a B4 square, my game would have answers to questions the learners should know. Eureka! The day came for the class, and off I went, excited to try this out with a group of seasoned and skeptical sales representatives.

With official Bingo card dobbers in tow, I handed out the cards and explained the game.  The snickers around the room were not a good sign, but I pushed on. Within the first few calls, the snickers stopped and people were hunched over their cards, searching for answers. You could hear the whispers of discussion trying to figure out what they were supposed to know already. The first person shouted out “Bingo!” Shock of all shocks… they didn’t have it, he had missed a question! And he wasn’t the only one. As we played on, more people called out “Bingo,” only to find out they had answered a question wrong. We played for most of the class, and at the end, we engaged in an educational discussion about the questions that were missed. As I packed up my supplies, I couldn’t help but reflect on how that session had been one of the best tools for assessing just where the training was missing the mark and where people were really “getting it.”

But beyond learning valuable information about where the gaps were in the existing training, I learned just how impactful a game could be, even for compliance training.  Intellectually, I knew that games had the potential to bring excitement to a class and engage people in the subject matter, but I had veered away from games in practice. After all, we get precious little time in front of reps. Did I really want to use that time on a game, and risk people getting caught up in the fun and lose the importance of message? After that class, that answer is a resounding “Yes!”  What I intellectually thought to be true about bringing games in to the learning environment did not diminish the weight of the message.

Later that day, a member of the Sales Training team caught me in the hall. “That was the best Compliance training session I’ve ever attended,” he told me. I thanked him and thought to myself, “Me, too.”