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Anti-bribery Training with Impact

The UK Bribery Act has been in place for over 10 years. Despite this, surveys consistently show that company middle managers are unaware or under-aware of the Act. John Smart of Ernst & Young previously commented, “firms should ramp up their compliance procedures to ensure that clear anti-bribery policies are in place…and that relevant staff at least receive sufficient training.” This begs the questions, “who are relevant staff?” and “what is sufficient training?” both for staff and an organisation.

Who should receive Anti-bribery training?

This question is addressed by the Government’s guidance on the Act. Training should be provided widely to staff, and specifically tailored for those in externally facing, and therefore in higher corruption-risks roles, such as supply chain, government relation and business development. Certainly, all employees in middle management and above should receive Anti-corruption training – including members of the executive and Board. Training should be cascaded to junior employees, focusing on areas such as gifts and entertainment, conflicts of interest and use of company assets.

Anti-corruption Training

Secondly, what does sufficient training look like? The majority of my clients choose 2-4 hour face-to-face workshops, depending on the seniority of staff receiving training. Anti-corruption training should cover the:

i. definition of bribery (active and passive),

ii. contexts in which bribery can occur,

  1. gifts and entertainment

  2. use of company assets

  3. political donations

  4. conflicts of interest

  5. charitable donations and sponsorships

  6. dealing with intermediaries

3. prohibition on facilitation payments,

4. international legal background to the UK Act,

5. overview of the UK Act and its extra-territorial – beyond UK borders – reach,

6. cases and penalties to date (under The Bribery Act, related prior legislation and the US’s FCPA)

7. industry specific case examples and scenarios.

Make it interactive!

Most importantly, training should be memorable. And a positive memory! There’s an important distinction to be made between “training’ and “torture” which came home to me recently when seated in a training and confronted with 100+ Ppt slides! Training is and should be learning. We learn and retain most when we’re engaged – when we think, speak, do. We all learn differently – visually, experientially, aurally. Include then a range of experiences in training.

What interactive methods can be incorporated?

  1. Scenario discussion – based on actual cases or created, ideally industry-specific.

  2. “War stories” – one of the most impactful and memorable experiences in anti-corruption training inviting participants to share their “war stories” – their experiences of bribery-risk situations and how they have dealt with them.

  3. Conversation rehearsal – participants roleplay a scenario between themselves, many occurring concurrently in the training room, followed by feedback on the experience.

  4. Roleplay – humorous, dramatic scenarios performed by professional actors.

  5. Forum Theatre – a type of roleplay, providing the chance for training delegates to stop the actors and offer ideas on direction of the conversation/action). Experts in creating and presenting Roleplay and Forum Theatre are Forum Theatre Partnership (

  6. Fishbowl – delegates are seated in a circle, with a few chairs in the centre. A scenario is played out in the centre with always one chair left spare for a training delegate to ‘hop in’ and participate in the scenario/discussion).

  7. Games – learning through play. Create a story, have teams competitively solve a scenario with clues included along the way).

  8. Video – there are a wealth of anti-corruption related videos on the internet and Youtube including the “Say No To Corruption” series created by the UNDP and videos created by the OECD for the 50th Anniversary of the Anti-bribery Convention.

Measurability and Adequate Procedures

It is important for organizations to be able to produce evidence of their anti-bribery training to demonstrate to the courts, if required “Adequate Procedures.” They will need to able to demonstrate, for example, that Jeff Bloggs attended or remotely received Anti-bribery training on a certain date and his pass mark for testing. This is why measurability, an important feature of Bribery Act Now, is crucial.

Go forth and train – and make it memorable!

Michelle Witton - Director, MWEthics & Compliance

#UK Bribery Act #Bribery training #training

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