Blended Learning for Compliance Training Success
By Karl M. Kapp, Ed.D., CFPIM, CIRM
Bloomsburg University
Carrie McKeague, Ph.D.
EduNeering, Inc.

Copyright © 2002 by EduNeering, Inc. All rights reserved. 
http://www.astd.org/astd

Introduction
In today’s competitive business environment with slim profit margins, hungry competitors, and complex governmental regulations, manufacturers cannot afford to ignore training and education. Organizations that continually educate their employees grow, mature and stay competitive; those that don’t, disappear.

Education and training has become so important that Michael Moe, Director of Global Growth Research at Merrill Lynch, called an enterprise-wide approach to training the “number one source of competitive advantage in today’s economy.”  Moe’s assertion is supported by a recent study of 575 U.S.-based publicly traded firms. The study determined that companies investing the most in training experienced higher gross profit margins and higher income per employee than companies that did not significantly invest in educational initiatives. In fact, many experts believe that the ability to learn faster than one’s competitors is an organization’s only sustainable competitive advantage.

Today’s sophisticated organizations have an unprecedented imperative for organizational learning; nowhere is that imperative greater than in the chemical, pharmaceutical, medical device and food industries.

Compliance Learning Imperative

Several forces compel these industries to focus on training and education. One of the most powerful is the shrinking half- life of knowledge. The “half- life of knowledge” is the time span from when knowledge is gained to when it becomes obsolete. Half of what is known today was not known 10 years ago. The amount of knowledge in the world has doubled in the past 10 years and is said to be doubling every 18 months. This means that half of what you know today will be obsolete in 18 months and half of what you need to know in 18 months, you don’t know today. To combat the shrinking half-life of knowledge, organizations must develop new methods of deploying instruction.