What is compliance management? A helpful career guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 11 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Compliance management focuses on staying current with legal and regulatory practices. Understanding business risks and knowing how to reduce them is important for a company's success. As a compliance manager, you may use skills from law, finance or other relevant fields. In this article, we answer 'What is compliance management?', explain what the job requires, list the top skills for this role and look at some key tips for best practices.

What is compliance management?

If you're interested in the legal and ethical aspects of a business, you may wish to know the answer to the question 'What is compliance management?'. Compliance management involves implementing regular education on the latest laws and regulations and strategies to help reduce a company's risk. Compliance managers do this via regular reviews, evaluating team members' knowledge, educating team members on relevant laws and regulations, developing policies and rules for the company to adhere to and improving parts of the business that may not comply with regulations.

Related: How to use risk identification within a risk management plan

How to get a job in compliance management

To practise as a compliance manager, employers look for related training and education, such as:

1. Educational requirements

To work as a compliance manager, employers may require that you hold at least a bachelor's degree from a relevant educational institution. You might wish to pursue a degree in law, accounting, business or finance to gather the appropriate knowledge and skills. Some candidates may pursue a master's degree in business, finance or another relevant subject area to learn more about best business practices in these fields.

2. Training requirements

Many compliance managers start their careers in entry-level positions. This helps you to gather transferable skills by shadowing a senior compliance manager. With a mentor, you can learn about legal and regulatory requirements at the company and how the current compliance manager deals with them. Other industries where you can learn transferable skills include law and finance.

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3. Certification requirements

Employers may look for certain certifications to establish your compliance expertise. While having extra certifications is not a requirement, it can make you a more attractive candidate for a hiring manager. The International Compliance Association is the body responsible for offering the majority of compliance certifications. Some of the most popular certifications include an advanced certificate or diploma in compliance, a diploma in financial crime prevention, a certificate in financial crime awareness or a diploma in anti-money laundering.

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What key skills do you need for compliance management?

If you're interested in a job in compliance management, there are some important skills that can set you apart from other candidates. Strong compliance managers often have the following skills:

Strong problem-solving skills

Compliance managers solve problems. They can look at the current way that a company is operating to determine whether it's in accord with local regulations. If there is an opportunity for improvement, a good compliance manager can provide solutions to ensure the company complies with legal and regulatory policies.

Strong communication skills

A compliance manager is responsible for developing key policies and processes within a company. This role involtes communicating these policies to the company in a way that's easy to understand. A good compliance manager has strong written and spoken communication skills that help them accomplish this.

Read more: 25 management core competencies to develop in the workplace

Strong decision-making skills

Compliance managers make plenty of decisions in their jobs every day. It's important that you feel confident in your ability to assess situations and procedures. These decisions can have a significant impact on the processes or policies of a company. It's important that you're also able to make important ethical decisions.

Strong research skills

As a compliance manager, it's essential that you stay up to date on the latest regulations. By researching and upskilling yourself regularly, you can ensure that you're well informed of the latest updates or changes. This way, you can help the company avoid risks or fines.

Related: How to perform a risk analysis (with tips)

What are the challenges of compliance management?

As with many other job titles, there are challenges to working in compliance management. Working in a place where people enjoy flexible or remote working policies can make it trickier to ensure employees are following policies and regulations. Other challenges include climate change, fraud, compliance resilience, employee burnout and mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Key tips for compliance best practices

A compliance manager handles the overall safety of a company and its employees. Here are some key best practice tips you can follow to ensure you and your team remain compliant:

Make sure you document all policies and procedures

One of the best ways to ensure compliance is by setting clear rules and regulations. Always document any policies or procedures in an employee handbook that each employee receives when they join the company. Having these policies in writing and ensuring that you continuously update them helps everyone to know what to do.

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Be consistent

As a compliance manager, it's your job to make the rules and follow them too. Ensure that you're setting a good example by adhering to policies and procedures yourself. To make sure that you stay consistent in your actions, it's important to review your policies with all employees throughout the year.

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Ensure the policies are clear and accessible

One of the most important parts of compliance is ensuring that everyone in the company is familiar with them. Distribute both a paper and an electronic copy of policies and procedures. This way, everyone stays informed. By regularly updating your policies and procedures, you're ensuring that your team is aware of them. Where relevant, include checklists with clear steps for people to follow.

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Train yourself

The law is constantly evolving. To remain compliant, it's essential that you continually educate yourself on any new policies or changes to regulations in your industry, company or region. When any company policies require revision, act quickly to update them accordingly and communicate any changes clearly to staff.

Train your team regularly

Ensure your team is aware of compliance rules and regulations with regular training. A well-trained team is more likely to know how to avoid mistakes and stay compliant. Try to make your training sessions as interactive as possible, encouraging your team to take part and give ideas or solutions.

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Monitor and audit your team frequently

As a compliance manager, your job is to ensure your team and other employees within the company are adhering to the rules. Make sure you're aware of what your team members are doing and run regular audits to ensure they're following the policy. You can run regular audits, both announced and unannounced. If you find any discrepancies, reach out to the human resources department. They know how to help implement any necessary changes and ensure that processes run smoothly.

Invest in the right compliance management tools

Compliance management can be challenging without the right tools. Having the best software can help make everyone's job easier. Instead of relying on manual data entry, use software designed to handle billing, human resources, benefits and compliance paperwork. When choosing software, look for the most recent applications available in your area so that they're up to date with the latest legislation and policies.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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