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Home / Resources / Tesco's compliance campaign - Transforming compliance elearning

Tesco's compliance campaign - Transforming compliance elearning


Tesco were looking for a new way to deliver compliance elearning to thousands of staff worldwide. The retail giant asked Towards Maturity Ambassador, Sponge, to take on the task.

The resulting campaign called Learning Leap has helped to transform compliance training at Tesco delivering unprecedented levels of engagement. Key to the success of the award-winning initiative was the desire to try something new.

A new approach to compliance elearning

Getting compliance right is important for Tesco. Like any large retailer, there are strict regulations to comply with and significant penalties for any rule breaking. Previous compliance elearning courses at Tesco had not always been fully effective, with staff saying that they were too long, unengaging and, at times, not relevant to their role.

The legal team at Tesco, led by Regulatory, Ethics & Compliance Director, David Ward, carried out an extensive review of compliance training and decided to implement a completely new approach.

“It is hugely important that our staff understand and operate within all the laws surrounding competition and promotion,” said Ward. “The behaviour of our staff affects our reputation and relationship with customers. We want to ensure our customers trust us and that we have good business practices.”

Tesco commissioned Sponge to develop an innovative elearning package for three compliance areas - competition law, pricing and promotions, and the grocery supplier code (GSCOP).

Campaign Solution

The starting point for Sponge was to look in detail at the feedback provided by Tesco employees on previous compliance elearning. Workers had described the old training as ‘laborious’, ‘too long’ and ‘irrelevant’ while others complained the training was viewed as a once a year event and there was nothing to help refresh their knowledge.

This analysis would inform and guide the new learning solution. Kate Pasterfield, Creative Director at Sponge, led project development:

“If the training is just a task that interrupts a person’s working day then they have no motivation to learn something new. Our challenge was to get staff to want to complete the training of their own accord, with no thought of the fact it is mandatory.”

Kate and her team devised an innovative, integrated campaign approach called Learning Leap. It goes beyond the traditional idea of elearning to utilise a hybrid of techniques to deliver compliance training.

Learning Leap compliance and development elearning

At the heart of Learning Leap is a fun and easy to understand narrative where each learner is represented graphically as a parachutist. Everyone starts off in an aeroplane getting ready to jump (Leapers), as they progress they are seen gently float down to earth (Learners) and when they complete the training they have both feet on the ground, bang on the target (Landers).

Using this engaging framework, Sponge devised a whole campaign around three bite-sized, 20 minute modules. Branded emails notify staff of the course, encouraging them to take part and then post-event knowledge checks complete the process.

A real time, animated leader board shows the number of learners at each stage of the training. It gives managers a visual update on progress but, perhaps more importantly, encourages healthy competition and motivation for staff to complete the training. The first finishers get a reward and line managers receive weekly emails telling them how well their team is doing. As part of this communication, managers can click on the names of those not yet completed and contact them directly with encouragement and support.

As each category within the organisation completes all of their training, they appear on a banner at the bottom of the home screen. Once the main elearning is completed, staff receive bi-monthly emails, known as ‘PiPs’ or ‘Putting into Practice’; micro-learning quizzes related to the course topics, linked to web pages containing feedback and job aids. These help reinforce the learning and provide an opportunity for people to put their training into practice.

Evidence for Change

Over 96% of the participants in Learning Leap completed the required modules, with an average score of 84% across the three modules.

At the end of the programme, they were sent a survey asking about the relevance, design and length of the course, as well as how they thought their knowledge had been affected. There were 701 responses. More than 90% of employee liked the content, 70% thought their knowledge had been improved by the training and 74% thought the modules were the right length.

Results from the PiPs have also been encouraging, demonstrating that the learning is being retained. Tesco’s David Ward said:

"During a four week period we were able to successfully train more than 4,000 members of staff, which was a great achievement, and helps us to safeguard our reputation and protect the interests of our customers.”

Learning Leap is now in its second year at Tesco. As the project grows and develops, the retailer and Sponge are learning more and more about how this innovative campaign approach can modernise compliance training and deliver measurable and lasting results.

Tesco and Sponge won bronze for Learning Leap in the category of ‘Best use of elearning to ensure compliance with external regulations or internal policies’ at the Elearning Awards 2014.

Read more about compliance