Starting a career in compliance - Part 2

Written by International Compliance Association on Monday August 19, 2019

Welcome to part two of ‘Starting a Career in Compliance’, where we explore the many routes into a career in compliance.

At ICA, we are home to an array of rich and diverse compliance backgrounds and, as such, everyone has a story to tell. Here some of ICA’s R&D managers and course directors relay their stories, sharing valuable insight regarding careers in compliance.

Whether you are a senior compliance officer or someone looking to enter the sector, this will be an interesting and beneficial read.

Andy Clarke, MA FICA.
Course Director AML/Financial Crime Prevention, International Compliance Association

"My background in compliance began in the police. I dealt with all sorts of criminality, but proactively tackling financial crime really appealed to me."

It was great being passed a target criminal, someone who may have avoided prosecution by more traditional methods in the past; sometimes too far up an organised crime group to ever handle the drugs or meet the trafficking victims.

With the introduction of stronger UK legislation, we could consider a new approach: money laundering. Hooked on the subject, I took a Master’s degree in financial crime and began training police, wider law enforcement and UK prosecutors.

I was invited to work on several international projects (great for my CV!): I visited Kenya and the United Arab Emirates to evaluate their effectiveness in combatting money laundering and the financing of terrorism; and I worked with the United Nations and World Bank on projects, including training prosecutors from developing countries in how to trace and recover the proceeds of political corruption. After the police it seemed a natural step for me to move into compliance training and I have been with ICA as a Course Director in the TED team for the last five years.

Jon Prentice, R&D Manager, International Compliance Association

I started working in a branch of a building society, and part of induction training involved a talk and some training from one of the members of the Financial Crime Team. Having previously considered joining the police, the talk from the Financial Crime Team was something that really interested me, and following the training I told myself that I would apply for a job in the department whenever one became available.

The opportunity eventually arose, and I was lucky enough to be selected to join the small team consisting of myself and two others. The role allowed me to learn a great deal about all things financial crime related and provided me with a great platform to kickstart my career in compliance.

David Povey, R&D Manager, International Compliance Association

I had left a sales job and after taking a few months off I took a temporary role in a bank carrying out customer screening. It was only meant to be temporary while I found something else but I was good at it and it interested me; making sure the banks customers were who they said they were was something I could get behind and saw how important it was.

After a couple of years and different roles within the bank, the opportunity to move into the training team appeared which I took with both hands.

"Teaching new entrants and senior managers, that worked across the entire payments and compliance functions, about the importance of compliance was a role that flicked a switch for me."

Passing on that knowledge and doing my bit to keep customers and the public safe embedded me within the busy and wonderful world of compliance.

Rhodri Kettle, Senior Course Director, GRC, International Compliance Association

My career in the industry goes back as far as 1985. I took a temporary job in a building society that lasted 28 years, because I liked it so much. I started on the tills, learned my customer service skills, and then progressed through an admin unit through to a branch manager. I then decided to go into a Head Office role as a complaints manager, which introduced me to compliance, as at the time, the FSA had just been created, so we had to handle complaints following regulations.

Along came the regulation of mortgages and general insurance, and I found out that compliance ‘ticked all the boxes’ for me. So, I went onto a career in compliance in retail lending – and ICA qualifications! After the ICA qualifications I found that I wanted to work for ICA as a Course Director – and here I am now (since 2013).

If you're keen to start your career in compliance, register for one of our free briefing sessions to find out what options are available and what would be your next steps. 

You may also like to read: 

This article forms part of the #BigCompConvo - Join us as we explore and debate the latest challenges and issues facing you and regulatory and financial crime compliance professionals all over the world. If you’d like to contribute an article as part of the Big Compliance Conversation get in touch with us at 

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