How Do You Become a Compliance Officer?

To become a compliance officer, a person should first be informed on what exactly a compliance officer is, what education is required to achieve this career and what a career as a compliance officer entails. Researching these things will allow someone to better decide if this career is best for them.

What is a Compliance Officer?

A compliance officer is a person within an organization whose responsibility is to ensure that the company and employees comply with laws, rules and regulations of the company’s industry.

What Does a Compliance Officer Do?

A compliance officer functions independently and objectively to review and evaluate compliance issues and concerns within an organization. Typically, a compliance officer works as staff to monitor and report the results of compliance and ethical efforts within the company. A compliance officer may develop, initiate, maintain, and revise policies and procedures of operation to prevent illegal, improper, or unethical conduct within the company. If conduct goes against the rules, regulations or policies, a compliance officer is the one to respond to the misconduct and create reports involving the investigation, according to the American College of Healthcare Executives.

How To Become a Compliance Officer

Though the educational requirements of a compliance officer can vary depending on the desired field of the person, it is mostly agreed upon that a bachelor’s degree in the field is necessary. For example, someone wishing to enter the accounting and finance sector as a compliance officer would be best served with a bachelor’s degree related to the field. Many companies also prefer if an applicant also has obtained a master’s degree in their desired career field. It is not mandatory, as the bachelor’s degree is, but highly recommended. Research into current laws and regulations in the industry is also a must in order to truly succeed as a compliance officer.

While internships are also not required to be a compliance officer, experience in the field is almost always a must. Many companies look for compliance officers with at least five years of experience related to their field. An internship is an excellent way to start a career as a compliance officer and gain experience in an industry of choice. Even after gaining degrees and experience, some companies seek a compliance officer that has completed certification in the area they wish to specialize in. Certifications include a Certified Professional Compliance Officer and a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager.

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Researching a career field is the best way to decide if it is the career to pursue. A compliance officer is a position that works independently to assess a company’s compliance with laws, policies and procedures. A compliance officer may be called upon to develop procedures and policies and address compliance issues within a company. Though many companies look for a compliance officer with a master’s degree in their field, a bachelor’s is the minimum requirement. To become a compliance officer, many recommend also obtaining certification.