A compliance practitioner's work is never done...

Written by Elizabeth Mullins on Thursday February 16, 2012

When a compliance professional receives that notification in their inbox from either the FSA, OFT, ICO or other regulatory/oversight body; what do they do?

Do they add it to the pile of regulatory changes on their desk relating to the ever changing world in which they work and book time in their diary to digest the latest offering? Do they start to consider the attendees that will need to be at the 'kick off' meeting which will notify the business of the next change that will impact their working practices or do they sit back and consider the additional time and manpower it will take to further advise the business on how to get ' it' right?

They do all of them of course.

A compliance professional is always contemplating not only how they can aid the business in everyday compliance, but how a new requirement can be turned into a positive business tool - yes; it is possible and in most cases can have an operational, commercial, or reputational effect that can be used as an advantage.

OK, so I didn't say it would be cost free and I didn't say it wouldn't result in changes that will put pressure on an already busy, lean workforce that is happy with the way ' things have always been done'. I also casually forget to mention that the debates that take place between compliance and the senior management would be ' interesting, forward thinking & always commercially viable'.

What I will say is that compliance professionals are a key tool in a business and are always aware that further requirements cause discussion and concern; compliance professionals are aware that change is not always embraced with open arms and compliance professionals are always trying to ensure that the business are involved in proposals that have an effect on operational activities.

Compliance is a function that is there to work with the business and help them achieve their targets and business expectations in the best way they can, while fulfilling all of their regulatory obligations. They are also only the messenger - so please, when taking aim make sure there are no visible bruises!

The aim is not prevent a business growing, after all a profitable business keeps a compliance professional employed - and who knows, compliance may even be able to help add to the bottom line.

 Question; When was the last time your business spoke to compliance about something other than the latest changes to be implemented? Even compliance professionals need the current office gossip, football scores and the latest soap plots; go on, knock on their door next time you're in the office. You may even enjoy the experience.....


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