If there is one thing every business, big or small, fears, it’s being on the wrong side of the law.
Every company is governed by rules and regulations that need to be followed. When a company overlooks these rules, what follows are severe penalties that could result in the cancellation of business licenses.
So how does a company focus on its core business without losing sleep about breaking the law? They hire a chief ethics and compliance officer who is well versed with legal contracting.
It’s no surprise that the demand for legal contracting professionals is going through the roof. But how do you know if you have what it takes to be a compliance officer? Read on to find out!
Responsibilities Of A Chief Compliance Officer
There are two main responsibilities that you have as a chief compliance officer has.
First, you need to ensure that the national and international regulations are adhered to. Second, all professional standards and internal control systems required to ensure compliance are followed.
Here are the detailed responsibilities of a chief compliance officer:
Managing Compliance Programs
All policies relating to the organization’s compliance program are managed and executed by the chief compliance officer.
Testing Policies For Compliance
The company’s policies and procedures are monitored and tested to ensure compliance with the current regulations.
Ensure Policies And Programs Are Followed
The compliance officer needs to track the compliance program, assess risks, and review compliance to ensure that all policies and programs are followed.
Liaising With Regulatory Bodies
Compliance professionals must liaise regularly with legal and regulatory bodies regarding compliance-related matters.
Compliance With Federal And State Laws
Ensuring compliance with existing and changing laws and regulations also falls under a chief compliance officer’s purview.
Creation And Execution Of A Compliance Plan
You need to create, update, and execute a Compliance Ethics and Program Plan. This plan lays down the rules of conduct and penalties applicable if any employee violates the rules.
Establishing A Tone Of Compliance
A standard tone of compliance needs to be established and set in the organization.
Initiation Of Investigative Procedures
If there are any violations of the Code of Conduct, procedures, policies, regulations, or rules by the organization, you need to initiate the required investigative procedures.
Periodic Evaluation Of Programs
All compliance programs created by you need to be evaluated periodically for any modifications or improvements.
Overseeing The Function Of The Compliance Committee
You need to preside over the functioning of the Compliance Committee and steer them in the right direction. This committee helps the Board of Directors in ensuring compliance with the applicable laws and regulations.
Reporting Misconduct And Noncompliance
You need to define the process for reporting misconduct and noncompliance, ensure that it is executed responsibly, and protect the company from retaliation.
Problem Detection And Corrective Action
When problems are detected about compliance, you need to guide the company regarding the most effective response to these problems and provide recommendations to ensure corrective action is taken.
Now that you know a chief compliance officer’s responsibilities, you need to have the necessary qualifications to apply for the job.
Necessary Qualifications For A Chief Compliance Officer
If you’re being optimistic, you might say that having the skills is all you need to bag the position of a chief compliance officer. But you need a formal degree for this role.
Here are the required qualifications:
You need at least an undergraduate degree to apply for this job. A high school diploma lets you work as an apprentice in a public or private sector company while preparing for your undergraduate degree.
The preferred qualification for a chief compliance officer is a master’s degree like a Master of Science in Operations Management or Master of Business Administration.
The reason for the preference for these degrees is that they have relevant experience in their chosen specialization.
When you have the required experience in corporate compliance investigation with fraud examination, you can apply for more senior roles.
The certification you need for being a chief compliance officer would depend on the industry.
- For the banking industry, you would need certifications like Certified Community Bank Compliance Officer or Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager.
- Healthcare certifications include Certified Compliance Professional and Certified Medical Device Compliance Professional.
- Certifications in information technology include Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control or Certified in Governance of Enterprise IT.
Along with the required qualifications, certain skills are mandatory.
Essential Skills For A Chief Compliance Officer
You need to assess the risk for any business decision and assign an accurate score to it. For getting the risk score right, all the factors should be considered by you since this score is critical for any decision.
As a chief compliance officer, you need to handle external agencies and tough circumstances. You need to know the laws and regulations and resolve conflicts relating to compliance.
Like any other profession, integrity is an important quality for you. To implement the regulations, you need to have the required ethics.
You need to check the latest amendments or changes to the laws and regulations relating to your industry.
You should obtain membership of the Compliance Officers Association where you will get regular updates on posts by other regulators and international bodies.
It’s not enough that you read the rules, but you need to interpret the data to understand the application. This will help you differentiate between relevant and irrelevant data.
Pay Attention To Detail
You need to understand each new notification or development in detail to understand its complete implication. This will help you defend the company against any regulatory inquiries.
As a compliance officer, you need excellent written and verbal communication skills to receive and understand the information at all levels of the organization.
The role of a compliance officer is sometimes not well-defined, so you must be both creative and analytical to resolve problems.
With laws changing every moment, every company needs a compliance officer. Sometimes companies opt for an outsourced chief compliance officer, who is not an employee but has the same responsibilities.
To be successful as a chief compliance officer, you need the right qualifications, skills, and experience. Use this handy guide and watch your career as a chief compliance officer grow!