Douglas Grindstaff died last month. It is a name which probably does not too sound familiar, unless you are a Trekkie. But you have heard his sound(s) even if his name does not immediately come to mind. For, according to his obituary in the New York Times (NYT), Grindstaff was the “sound editor who was pivotal in the creation of the indelible whistles, beeps and hums in the original “Star Trek” television series.” It was Grindstaff who created “the  whoosh of the automatic doors opening on the spaceship’s bridge, the coos of furry Tribbles in one of the show’s most famous episodes, and the unsettling wail of sirens when it was time to shift to red alert — not to mention the growl of the cartoonish reptilian alien Gorn (pieced together using, in part, the sound of vomiting) and the high-pitched tinkling of a transporter beam.” Star Trek and its audio component inform today’s post on Continuing Professional Education in an audio podcast format.

The show’s creator Gene Roddenberry “wanted a sense of realism, which meant a distinct sound for each section of the Enterprise. The engineering section, for example, had a murmur different from that of the bridge. There were specific clicks and plinks attached to certain flashing lights. When Sulu sent the Enterprise into warp speed, the ship flew off with its own unmistakable whoosh. The sound of the ship’s engines was created partly from that of a noisy air-conditioner.” The sound designer Ben Burtt was quoted in the obit for the following, “Each place that you went into on the ship had a different tonality and sound to make it clear to the audience where you were, and that hadn’t been done in science fiction.”

All of those sounds, well…sounded futuristic but they were really more grounded in the here and now (even if that here and now was the ‘60s). They were certainly more temporal and ethereal. In other words, far more Terran-bound than space, even if it is “the final frontier”.

As readers of this blog know, I am a huge fan of podcasts and on this site, as well as my other social media platforms, I am in the midst of a month-long celebration of my 1000th podcast. Just as I have also been drawn to the audio side of things in music and radio, the audio side of podcasting still fascinates and excites me. I find the podcast format offers many advantages over other forms of media, such as convenience, subject matter focus and most importantly engagement of the mind. Long ago I discovered radio was the theater for the mind and in many ways podcasting simply brings that forward. Yet, even Grindstaff and his sounds for Star Trek helped create this mental picture for me.

With this tribute to audio in mind, I am thrilled to present a new offering to compliance professionals as a way to garner Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits. I have developed a set of CPE podcasts which will not only instruct you in compliance but allow you to garner the credits you need for a wide variety of professional certifications; from law to compliance, accounting, even to fraud examiner.

If you are a compliance professional looking for a convenient and effective way to fulfil your CPE requirements, then you can select any or all of the hour-long courses. Each contains 5 lessons, a fascinating bonus, an outline document with the key takeaways from each lesson and a certificate of completion you can print out and sign. You can then take the entire series to your professional organization to obtain continuing professional education credits.

Each month I will upload four CPE podcasts consisting of five episodes for each topic. They will add up to one hour of continuing education credit. If you take all four modules you will have four hours credit each month that you can use for your professional certification.

You can download these podcasts so that you can listen to them at your convenience. Want to listen to one per day or binge listen during your morning commute or at the gym? Either way, this new CPE podcast series is for you. It allows you to consume CPE credits at your pace in the manner that suits you best.

For this first set of CPE podcasts, I focused on current innovations in compliance. The CPE podcast series are as follows:

In Strategy and Behavior in Compliance you will learn about the newest behaviors and strategies you can use to keep your compliance program up to date with podcasts on innovation strategy, design thinking in compliance, disruptive innovation and compliance, improvisation in your compliance program and putting compliance at the center of a business strategy.

In AI and Technologies, you will earn a credit, and find out about how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other cutting-edge technologies are shaking up the world of compliance, topics include AI and Compliance, finding data patterns, ComTech and compliance, blockchain and compliance and using data to improve your compliance bench strength.

In Compliance Techniques and Tools, you will discover new tools and techniques that you and your team can use to ensure your compliance program is as efficient and effective as possible. Sessions include Kaizen for compliance, superforecasting and compliance, how the OODA feedback loop informs compliance monitoring, real time monitoring and using video in compliance.

Finally, in Structure and Organization, you will learn how to organize your team and program, structure your people and communications and ensure you are maximizing efficiency. Sessions include embracing agile in compliance, the structure of your compliance program by region, using employees to innovate in compliance, what does innovation in compliance leadership look like and what does innovation in compliance look like?

What is the cost for all this? Think about a one-hour webinar, where the typical cost is $79 to $150. However these CPE podcasts are a bargain at only $30 for one series which will give you one hour of CPE credit. In any profession this is a steal.

Yet it is this audio format for CPE credits that I am so excited about to present to you. Not logged in, sitting in front of your computer but continuing education at your convenience, in the way you want to consume it. It may not be the final frontier of CPE credits but it certainly is the next frontier. I hope you will check it out and join me on this exploration.

For more information on this first set of CPE podcasts, click here.

This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of the author. The author is not, by means of this publication, rendering business, legal advice, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such legal advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified legal advisor. The author, his affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person or entity that relies on this publication. The Author gives his permission to link, post, distribute, or reference this article for any lawful purpose, provided attribution is made to the author. The author can be reached at

© Thomas R. Fox, 2018