University Hurdles Created The Frame Training Method™ to dramatically improve legal and compliance training

May 21, 2024

The Preframe 

In this article, How My University Hurdles Created The Frame Training Method™ to dramatically improve legal and compliance training, I share how my university struggles and creative thinking led to the development of The Frame Training Method™. 

The Frame Training Method™ is a revolutionary but simple approach that transforms legal and compliance training into a memorable, engaging experience, whatever the topic, length or even content.  

My backstory 

At school I would sit in class doodling. The teachers thought I was doodling instead of doing my work, but I was actually doing it because I had finished my work and was bored. I was just able to see the answer or write the sentence or read the passage quicker than others. I have since learned that this is because I am a creative thinker. I see the big picture rather than the detail. I focus on the outcome and because of this I can fit the detail in.  

But over time, with well-meaning teachers telling me off for doodling too much, I learned to slow myself down so as not to draw attention to myself. 

It was only when I went to university that I realised that ‘fitting in’ wasn’t working for me. I had too many new subjects and too much information to get by thinking ‘traditionally’. In fact, in my first semester I barely scraped by with a pass – WHAT!  

I had moved out of home and for the first time had to completely look after myself, had a job and a social life. How was I also going to fit in study to perform to the standard I wanted to be at?


A new employee 

Let’s just compare my situation at university to the situation of a new employee in a large company.  

Suddenly they have to learn all about a new company as well as travel to a new site, meet new colleagues and perform their role. And on top of that we are asking them to fit in compliance training and follow up compliance processes. I am not sure that many employees would achieve a pass mark in all of this in the first few weeks.  


I needed a reframe and so do employees

At University, I started with a goal: I decided I needed to work smarter and get better results. I realised I needed to go back to my big picture way of thinking again. So, I started taking small actions and improving.  

It’s the same with our employees. If they start their compliance and legal journey into a new organisation with the thought of ‘how can I fit all of this in’? then we are setting people up to fail.   

They need a reframe to understand how compliance is not an addition to their role, it’s part of their role and will actually help their role.

Preframe and Post-frame    


The whole process took some time to refine, but in my final year (the year that really mattered) I had perfected my process.  


  • Before each lecture I did a 5 to 10 mins review of the notes or topic before I entered the room. I asked myself some key questions – how did this fit in with what we already learned? What’s the key principle here? And I picked out key words. (Pre-session notes). 
  • In the lecture I would take notes – still with lots of doodles, but this time the doodles were about the points I was learning. My notebooks were, and still are, filled with drawings, coloured headings, mind-maps and basically my thoughts in real time.  
  • Then after the session (the post session) I would spend 5 to 10 mins summarising the key points using two underlying questions: What do I need to remember most?  How can I remember this? adding a few more doodles.  

Preparing for exams and preparing for ethical decision making   


When it came to exams and studying, I concentrated purely on answering previous exam papers. I did an exam paper every morning and, if necessary, I checked my post-lecture notes. Usually seeing a quick doodle brought me back to the lecture and the principle/case name.  

The result: I achieved the third highest mark in my year, and I achieved a high enough mark to satisfy the heft requirements of the top law firms I wanted to work in.  Plus, I had minimised my time studying and created a repeatable process, all without any cramming and hardly any review of my notes.  

Many years later and I worked out that there is a science behind my process. It’s because it’s how our brains work.  

I now know that we learn through a 4-stage process according to the research of German Psychologist, James Zull in The Art of Changing the Brain. This process is: 

  1. Gathering
  2. Reflecting 
  3. Create Meaning
  4. Active Testing 

Little did I realise that:  

  • By finding out what I was learning before I went into the session, was priming my brain to learn and be able to reflect on the information it was gathering.   
  • In the session, I was creating meaning about what I was learning through my creative note taking.  
  • Then post session I was taking an action, allowing me to retain the information in my long-term brain without the need to study.  
  • Then the exam questions I was doing a few months later allowed me to reconnect with all the information and practice using it.  

All of these early study habits were a precursor to the method I use with clients to create training and to teach them to do so: The Frame Training Method™. Preframe, Reframe, Postframe.

    The Postframe 

    • Reframing challenges as opportunities can significantly impact success.  
    • Compliance training should be integrated into employees’ roles rather than seen as an additional task. This makes it more relevant and easier to manage. 
    • Adopt a structured approach to training, involving some form of pre-frame for learners, active engagement during sessions, and post-frame review. This method enhances retention and application of knowledge. 

    Practical Application in Training:  

    • Applying Psychological Principles: Leveraging the 4-stage learning process (Gathering, Reflecting, Creating Meaning, Active Testing) can enhance training effectiveness and retention. This doesn’t mean that employees enjoy the training, but it does mean that they use what they have learned.  
    • You can achieve this with The Frame Training Method™:
          • Preframe: Prepare and set context before the training session. 
          • Reframe: Adapt and integrate new information during the training session. 
          • Postframe: Summarize and solidify understanding after training 


    Next steps: 

    1. Download The Frame Training Method™ Workbook

    Real-life application of structured and creative learning methods can help employees better understand and incorporate compliance requirements into their daily roles. 

    And the great news is that I have developed a workbook that goes through the whole methodology in detail. You can download the workbook here. 

    2. Sign up for our workshops on The Frame Training Method™ 

    Thanks for reading. 


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