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What Does a Compliance Officer Do?

It is the job of a compliance officer, also referred to as a compliance manager, to monitor the activities of an organization to ensure they are within the standards, guidelines and laws of all governing bodies pertaining to the organization. Such bodies consist of industry state and federal governments, as well as any international jurisdictions with which they might come in contact. This role carries a great deal of responsibility within an organization and is crucial to its function.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the duties and expectations of compliance officers.

Job Description

While these professionals can work in any industry that is depends upon complying with outside regulations, compliance managers are commonly employed within the sectors of healthcare and finance. They are usually directly accountable to the CEO or COO of an organization and are quite important in determining the how a company is run. Compliance officers manage risks and work to avoid lawsuits or fines. They also help companies to remain in good standing and maintain positive reputations within their industries.

In addition to thoroughly understanding business law and the regulations that surround their industries, compliance managers need to have an in-depth understanding of their company’s culture and inner workings. It is the compliance officer’s responsibility to develop organizational policies and educational initiatives that increase the likelihood of compliance among staff at all levels.

Qualities and Characteristics

Beyond a strong knowledge of business and legal practices, there are a number of personal qualities that a good compliance manager should have in order to be most successful and satisfied in their job. Because they must make sure all members within their organization and familiar with and acting in accordance with pertinent policies, one of the most important characteristics of someone in this position is to be a clear communicator. They also should have great interpersonal skills, as relating to individuals in the workforce to motivate and inspire the team to follow the policies put in place.

A compliance officer must be highly ethical so that there is no question regarding the means in which enforcement to policy is carried out. Critical thinking is necessary to handle issues as they arrive and to arrive at the most appropriate conclusions. Compliance officers also need to be dedicated to learning because staying on top of the newest laws and policies is essential. A proactive ability to see problems as they arise and to act on them right away will take someone far in this role. Finally, the officer has to be someone who is willing to follow through and stand by convictions. There are many times the compliance manager must be the “bad guy” in order to enforce policy.

As you can see, this position is one of tremendous responsibility. It also offers a great deal of variety. There is always something new to learn, and each day brings different challenges. If you are someone who places emphasis on justice and order, along with having a head for business, a career as a compliance officer might just be something to consider.

See also: 20 Best Values in Occupational Safety Degree Programs

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