Can you imagine a working world without any rules and regulations? Chaos would be the order of the day, and business would be impossible. All companies have to comply with the regulations specific to their industry, and compliance officers are hired to carry out the critical task of making sure this happens.
The role of the compliance officer
Compliance officers ensure that policies and procedures are followed, while helping the company to carry out business in a legal, ethical manner. Duties could include:
- Creating internal policies that will lessen the risk of the company breaching regulations and legal requirements.
- Keeping up to date with changes in industry regulations.
- Reviewing marketing materials such as brochures and advertisements.
- Creating legal disclaimers for external communications such as emails.
- Holding training sessions to inform employees of legal requirements and regulatory changes.
- Ensuring that systems are in place to protect the safety of employees, in line with occupational health and safety regulations.
- Providing guidance to management on the regulatory compliance of any new policies or strategies.
- Heading up internal audits of company policies and procedures.
- Assisting with disciplinary proceedings against employees.
Since they are mainly tasked with managing risk, compliance officers monitor almost all activities companies are involved in, from financial tasks to hiring policies, IT security, strategy development, and communications.
A typical day for a compliance officer
Here is what a day may be like for you as a compliance officer:
08h00 – Getting to work in the morning, you check your emails to see what the day might have in store for you. You have received an email from the managing director, who wants to know whether a new strategy complies with all regulatory requirements. You carefully read through the new strategy and plan to meet with the director later in the morning to discuss it.
09h00 – You read through a newsletter you have received from an industry regulatory body. There have been several changes to regulations in your industry. You read through your company’s policies and make notes of where changes will have to be made to comply with these regulations.
10h00 – You attend your meeting with the managing director and several other members of upper management. You confirm that the new strategy complies with regulatory requirements and give your approval.
11h30 – You receive a script from the marketing manager for a radio advertisement that your company wants to run, regarding a new product. Some of the content is controversial, and you advise that a few adjustments should be made. You also add a line about some terms and conditions.
13h30 – After lunch, you dedicate some time to internet research about the latest compliance trends in your industry. Regulations are always changing, and you need to stay up to date on these developments to ensure that your company stays compliant.
14h30 – You make a call to a government official, to discuss the regulatory changes you read about in the newsletter you received earlier. After finding out more information, you sit down and make adjustments to your company’s policies, which you then send to upper management to review.
15h30 – You meet with the human resources manager to speak about disciplinary proceedings against an employee who has broken the rules in your time and attendance policy. You advise that the employee should receive a written warning.
16h00 – You check your emails one more time before ending your busy and productive day.
A compliance officer’s work requires attention to detail, adaptability, and problem-solving skills. If these are some of your strengths, then there are few jobs more rewarding than safeguarding your company from risk and ensuring both compliance and productivity.
Learn more about compliance in your industry with these short courses:
- Oxbridge Academy Online Short Course: Introduction to the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA)
- Oxbridge Academy Online Short Course: Introduction to the National Credit Act
- Oxbridge Academy Online Short Course: Understanding the South African Consumer Protection Act (CPA)
- Oxbridge Academy Online Short Course: Introduction to the Occupational Health and Safety Act