LRN Report: Ethics & Compliance Practices Converging Amid the "Long Arm" Global Impact of US Regulation

New Global Standards Edition of Flagship Report Analyzes Four Years of Global Data to Pinpoint Key Attributes for Maximum Impact

NEW YORK (September 19, 2023) – According to a new report from LRN Corporation released today, best practices are rapidly converging around the globe when it comes to ethics and compliance (E&C) programs. In particular, five key characteristics appear most significant when it comes to ensuring an organization’s E&C program achieves true impact.  

Amalgamating the past four years of data from its annual flagship research (2020 – 2023), the newly released Global Standards Edition of the Ethics & Compliance Program Effectiveness Report from LRN identifies the five major attributes of the world’s most highly effective E&C programs. More specifically, high-impact programs tend to be those that: 

  • Rely on values, for 94% of high-impact programs;  
  • Are embedded in decision-making, an aspect that has grown in importance by 20% for high-impact programs over the past four years; 
  • Are accessible and relevant, now around seven times more likely in 2023 when compared to 2020; 
  • Innovate in training design and delivery, such as the implementation of ‘test out’ options which grew from 27% to 55% of high-impact programs; and  
  • Prioritize personal responsibility, including an increase (to 79%) in the proportion of high-impact programs that consider E&C when determining executive and employee bonus allocations.  

In addition, the report underscores the increasing and truly global impact of US regulations on ethics and compliance programs, a trend that is growing when it comes to anti-corruption, trade controls, and sanctions. In the past decade alone, nearly half of all US prosecutions under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act have been against non-US companies, notes the report. 

In light of global regulators' heightened focus on holding accountability and the dynamic emergence of intricate risks, it is imperative for companies to diligently allocate ample resources and authority to their organization's Ethics and Compliance (E&C) programs,” said LRN senior advisor Susan Divers, lead author for the Program Effectiveness Reports, including the Global Standards Edition. “This necessity is particularly underscored by the findings in our report, which illuminates the increasing convergence of best practices across borders and the far-reaching influence of US regulations on E&C programs worldwide. 

“In looking back over the last four years of our research on what makes E&C programs effective, we can say with confidence that companies’ ethics, culture, and values do matter,” added Kevin Michielsen, CEO of LRN. “Our data not only documents the necessity of this convergence but the need for all organizations to implement best practices in the face of increased regulatory scrutiny. At LRN we strive to fix that gap in hopes that we can help set a worldwide standard for the benefit of the entire E&C community.” 

The 2023 edition of LRN’s yearly Program Effectiveness Report, originally released in February, was based on responses from more than 1,850 E&C professionals around the globe at organizations with more than 1,000 employees. Spanning 26 industries and 10 different countries, it is the largest and most comprehensive research of its kind. 


LRN's mission and purpose is to inspire principled performance and help people around the world do the right thing. Since 1994, LRN has worked to propel organizations forward with the partnership, knowledge, and tools to build ethical culture. More than 2,800 companies and tens of millions of learners worldwide utilize LRN services and take LRN e-learning courses to help navigate complex regulatory environments and foster ethical, responsible, and inclusive cultures. In partnership with LRN, companies translate their values into concrete corporate practices and leadership behaviors that create sustainable competitive advantage. By acting upon shared values, companies and their people find the means to outbehave and outperform. Learn more at and follow on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.