Code of Conduct Refresher

Areas of expertise


Barrick Gold operates across twelve different locations globally and employs over 10,000 people, making it one of the largest gold mining companies in the world. It’s operations spread across several countries, each with their own laws and labour cultures, and in an industry that is already heavily regulated. It is therefore essential for Barrick’s workforce to know how to uphold the company’s Code of Conduct and legal standards in all situations.

The challenge

Learner feedback from Barrick’s existing onboarding training for new starters was that it had become increasingly inefficient and time-consuming. The previous courses were attempting to cover all the information and its complexities, whilst giving little opportunity for learners to apply their understanding in realistic situations.

Saffron solved these issues by developing a more interactive, digitally inventive, and immersive course. Barrick approached Saffron to revitalise its annual Code of Conduct Refresher course to retrain current employees with a brand new overarching narrative and an updated look and feel.

Saffron duly provided, with an advanced storyline simulation which incorporated an expansion of Barrick’s mining operations, alongside a refreshed design to match. As with any Barrick project, they didn’t just want a simple annual training for its employees but wanted a solution that reflected Barrick’s core values and their mission to Advance Together. This meant that Saffron not only had to deliver all the regulatory content concisely and effectively, covering anti-bribery and corruption to conflicts of interest, but also make the content engaging and relevant to employees who will have to take the course yearly.

The depth and detail to the learner journey and the storyline would therefore need to have the pertinence and applicability to match.

Barrick Gold places its partnership with its employees, shareholders, partners and the communities they work in and with at the heart of their values. Therefore, this could not simply be weaved into the course but would need to be the front and centre of the narrative and illustrations, to truly resonate this core value throughout the learner’s journey.

Why Saffron?

By working with Saffron on a number of projects over several years, Barrick have been able to take a clear step away from their previous learning approach to align with the digital advances in the other areas of its business. Barrick have always been impressed with Saffron’s bespoke interactions that provided flexibility and a broad range of interactiv ity which can draw learner engagement – a critical factor in delivering lengthy regulatory information. As a company that places their values at the centre of their operations, Barrick particularly appreciated Saffron’s values-led approach to compliance training.

Our approach

 The updated Refresher course utilises scenario-based assessments and Saffron’s ‘test then tell’ approach, not only holding learners’ attention amidst all the laws and regulations but ensuring the content is continuously relevant and applicable to their daily working lives. The training focuses on embedding knowledge and behaviours that staff had already learned from the Induction training and everyday experience of working with Barrick.

In Barrick’s existing Refresher course, the learner was tasked with overseeing a functional mine, ensuring that all operations are legally and ethically executed. From this, the learner was challenged to apply their existing understanding of what’s appropriate in varying situations beginning with exploration efforts and the construction of a mine to its closure and the site’s rehabilitation.


The revamped Refresher training built on these foundations through a newly developed storyline, in which the Barrick exploration group had made a “new discovery” adjacent to the mine site. Within this simulation, the learner must help the General Manager identify and organise the initial steps that must be followed during this stage of the exploration.

The learner travels to different areas of the mine in whatever order they choose to gather information along their journey, encountering potential breaches of the Code as they help prepare the site for expansion.

Not only is the scenario brought to life through hand-drawn illustrations, but the interactions at each site are also based on team communication and collaboration that learners would experience in their everyday interactions. Email exchanges, phone calls, and text message conversations provide realistic and thought-provoking interactions and decision points. The learner is presented with real-life examples of how Barrick’s commitment to legal, ethical and safe operations and its partnership values benefit everyone involved, from the local community to Barrick shareholders.

Learners are further incentivised to handle situations effectively through two complementary scoring mechanics. The “risk-o-meter” measures whether the learner’s decision increases or decreases Barrick’s exposure to ethical risks.

This reinforces a key Barrick value of protecting and working successfully with local communities by keeping ethical thinking at the forefront of their decisionmaking process.

The “annual production target” of 350k oz. shows the learner how their decision also impacts the mine’s output, reminding the learner that failure to uphold the Code not only impacts Barrick’s people and local communities, but also has an effect upon the success of the business.


The course was successfully rolled out across Barrick’s operations around the world, with high levels of engagement and positive learner feedback. The relationship between Barrick and Saffron has continued fruitfully, and both parties look forward to working together on future projects to build on this ongoing success.

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