Many companies have someone who is the Chief Compliance Officer who oversees such that their company is following codes of conduct and other regulatory policies. Every company is unique and services a different purpose so codes and guidelines to be followed will greatly differ. Not all companies have compliance officers and it is not a legal requirement. Although, more and more companies realize that an ethical compliance officer will only benefit and add value to their company.
Companies want to attract costumers in purchasing their products and investing in their company. If the company has codes and safe ethical practices this will build faith and trust in the business relationship. This will also build employee confidence and low turn over rate. Employees would rather work for an ethical company because this will ensure long term jobs with the lower risk layoffs.
Companies that do not follow codes and guidelines are in a sense, really are doomed to fail. The practice of following such laws starts at the top with the Chief Compliance Officer. If they do not have the proper codes guidelines set in place, or do have them set in place but choose not to enforce them, they will suffer in the long term. Those who do follow the codes guidelines will set themselves up for long term success, prove they are committed to integrity, become less likely to suffer from severe penalties and sanctions, and discourage misconduct in their company. Compliance officers should be aware of potential violations at all times and educate employees of in ethical standards. When violations are found the compliance officer should report these to the highest governing body related to their company.
Construction and building inspectors are closely related to compliance officers. Construction and building inspectors must be aware of any unlawful construction practices taking place and that the building follows all health and building codes or otherwise be reported as violations.
There are organizations that are dedicated to the education and training in compliance practices such as the Healthcare Compliance Association and the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics, Ethics and Compliance Officer Association, Open Compliance and Ethics Group, and Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics.
Those who do enter the compliance occupation must be committed to the cause of ethical business standards and have a high knowledge of business and a passion for it. Integrity is a key component of a compliance officer. Integrity must not be bought or compromised in any way, shape, or form. A compliance officer who shows extraordinary personal character is only beneficial to a company and vital to the company’s success. A compliance officer who lives by their own high moral standards can lead a company into financial prosperity. This will build confidence also with investors because ethical principles in a company will create a trusting relationship with the public.
Many compliance officers have some type of business and law degree. There is no one road to become a compliance officer. Majority of compliance officers have previous management experience in their field and are promoted within a company. Not everyone is suited to be a compliance officer because of the responsibilities that are involved. A compliance officer must not yield in the face of adversity and stay committed to their job.
A good compliance officer sets the table or example for all others to follow. If they implement codes and guidelines and ensure they are follow with strict penalties, the lower level executives will follow the same example and conduct their own ethical standards. Great organizations start at the top and trickle downwards. If bad businesses practices are conduct at the top, the entire company will eventually follow suit. It is like a house of cards in reverse. If one pulls a card out from the lower level in the house of cards it will fall down. In the real world, if the top card in the house of cards is pulled the leadership goes with it and the house of cards grumbles.
To put in plain and simple, a compliance officer will help a company stay out of harms way. Public trust in the company is extremely important and a compliance officer who is morally and ethically sound will gain the public trust.