How to Become an Effective Compliance Officer

four hands clapping at the center
four hands clapping at the center

“Compliance officer” is a broad term. There are various types of compliance officers across several industries like government, healthcare, employment, and more. But, there are common threads, regardless of industry, required to be effective in the job.

A compliance officer ensures a company acts legally. In the past, compliance officers were isolated to a small number of industries. However, they are becoming an important part of many corporate organizations. So, why the uptick in compliance officers? And why do compliance officers need to be concerned with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws?

For example, the Department of Justice (DOJ) oversees ADA Compliance. Through lawsuits, settlement agreements, or mediation, many organizations are required “to designate an ADA coordinator” and/or “provide annual ADA training”. This is in addition to fines, penalties, and damages. The ADA Coordinator is on your payroll. You can hire whomever you want, but that individual has to work in tandem with the DOJ as they oversee your ADA compliance efforts.

But that’s only for ADA compliance and since you have to be concerned with multiple forms of compliance, how can you make sure you are (or you have) a capable compliance officer?

Play for multiple teams

Make the best team

Reach out to companies who are ethical, secure, and thought leaders in each of those compliance spaces. Getting information is the first part of your action items, so know who is supplying your information. Ask them if they want to partner with your company and consider a signed contract on file. That way you know who to discuss information, weaknesses, breaches, and work that can’t be completed in-house.

businessman in suit reviewing a legal document
businessman in suit reviewing a legal document

(Insert Your Name) & Associates

Don’t drop the ball or rest it

an elevator with a wide entrance
an elevator with a wide entrance

Cut a bigger entrance

A compliance officer is precautionary and an organization’s first line of defense. If you do your job, your organization won’t end up in the news for corruption or substandard business ethics. You have teams that expect much of you, a group you assemble (of the very best service and partnerships), laws to know, and responsibilities that need persistence. You’ve got this!

This post was written by Clerise Phillip Samuel

Originally published at on October 18, 2019.

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