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Company: Deloitte, Jericho, NY USA

Nomination Category: Learning/Training Team of the Year


Nomination Title: The Global Audit & Assurance Learning (GAAL) team

Team Essay

This is the story of a double global mission impossible accomplished by Deloitte’s Global Audit & Assurance Learning (GAAL) team.

With only 30 team-members, GAAL is responsible for developing the learning curriculum used by c.71,000 Audit & Assurance (A&A) practitioners worldwide.

Mission #1: make learning mandatory without impacting learner satisfaction

To ensure audits are delivered consistently globally, the business (supported by GAAL) decided to introduce ‘mandatory learning’: a directive requiring:

-Everyone within specific roles, globally, to complete relevant learning programs.
-Individual countries having limited scope to edit learning materials locally.

Consequently, there was risk that mandating learning might create discontent. The team was therefore tasked with applying mandatory learning without impacting learner satisfaction.

Mission #2: Reimagine learning

Shortly after this the A&A business introduced a major transformation in audit delivery (deployment started April-2018). Entitled ‘Reimagine Audit’, this new approach would inevitably impact the learning curriculum. But rather than simply edit content, the GAAL team (Appendix-1) was challenged by Deloitte’s senior leaders to make wholesale changes to the curriculum.


With senior leaders looking to amaze a demanding target audience trained to be ‘professionally skeptical’, and make their learning memorable and modern, the team took a radical new approach, successfully ‘reimagining learning’ by:

-Reducing time spent in classrooms, simultaneously making this time more practical.
-Introducing innovative, engaging digital learning activities/practices.
-Providing local facilitators with engaging train-the-trainer events (Appendix-2)

Achievements in…

1-Learning design/delivery
Going above and beyond, the team developed and delivered vast amounts of creative content, based on business/learners’ feedback.

To maximize impact/engagement, the team redesigned its classroom-based content to be more:
CONSISTENT: With 1.98million facilitator-led learning hours delivered globally (2018), this was no mean feat.
PRACTICAL: creating realistic examples and immersive scenarios bringing technically-heavy concepts to life.
ENGAGING: introducing activities/videos instead of theoretical presentations.
INTERACTIVE: Innovative delivery methods included animations, board games and app-based augmented reality

Acting on feedback also helped revolutionize digital learning:
-130+ ‘Deloitte on Demand’ micro-learning modules developed to provide ‘point-of-need’ learning, through short, sharp,engaging video-based content (Appendix-4).
-Digital learning materials have been made far more engaging, and more courses have been digitized

-The team undertook thorough workplace impact evaluations of the most significant new/redesigned courses (2017&2018). This involved surveying people two-months post-learning.
-Multi-course Kirkpatrick level-3 evaluation, on such a scale, is exceptionally rare.
-To drive continuous improvement, the team also met virtually to discuss every evaluation report and agree learnings/actions (Appendix-6).

3-Driving performance
The team’s ultimate goal is to drive performance improvement among practitioners. 2018 saw the first external review of performance impact, revealing an average 4.9% uplift in performance post-attendance (Appendix-6).

Double Mission accomplished!

1-Mandatory learning launched without impacting learner satisfaction
-69,580 learners undertook mandatory learning in 2018 (98% adoption)
-For the courses affected and evaluated, the average overall learner satisfaction scores actually increased, 7.5 to 7.7. This was largely thanks to the improved learning experience (see below).

2–Learning successfully reimagined
-On-demand learning is proving hugely popular. Visitors have doubled each month since February-2019, 34,000+ unique views so far.
-The time learners have to spend studying has been dramatically reduced without reducing content covered (e.g. for year-1 this has reduced by 5.5 hours).

The team’s substantially redesigned ‘Audit Excellence’ courses earned the highest evaluation scores for ‘relevance’, ‘application’ and ‘performance’ in 2018 thanks to more impactful designs and innovative delivery methods. Comments generated included “the best learning I’ve ever had at Deloitte”.

Now, in 2019, EVERY country is embracing the new strategy.

Final word FROM a managing director:

“When faced with such mammoth challenges, this team has shown extraordinary creativity, business alignment, and willingness to listen… on all counts, they have shone and delivered success.”Cal Buss, Managing Director Global A&A Quality, Deloitte

Team Summary

The GAAL team took on a double mission impossible of (#1) supporting the introduction of ‘mandatory learning’ which threatened to reduce average learner satisfaction while (#2) dramatically changing their approach to learning to act on extensive input from stakeholders. Key accomplishments include:

1. Introduced mandatory learning without negatively impacting satisfaction scores. In fact, a subsequent evaluation showed that overall learner satisfaction scores actually increased.
2. Met the challenge of ‘reimagining learning’ in a way that mirrored Deloitte’s priority to ‘reimagine audit’.
3. Innovated by embracing new approaches, such as on-demand learning and augmented reality.
4. Worked incredibly hard to redesign a vast curriculum of content for a challenging target audience.
5. Completed an exceptionally thorough evaluation to drive continuous improvement and monitor impact.
6. Successfully quantified the impact, based on the performance of learners that had attended its courses.
7. Achieved all this, globally, despite there being just 30 team-members.

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