A Compliance Specialist Job Description

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While specific job descriptions will vary from company to company, there are some general guidelines as to what compliance specialists in admin jobs do. In a given organization, the compliance specialist program is in charge of knowing and implementing compliance issues. So, what issues is a compliance specialist an expert on? Here are a few:

  • Familiarity with systems and general business operations
  • Investigation and interview skills
  • Thorough understanding of ethics, regulations, and laws
  • Working with management, regulators, and board members
  • Forensic auditing and reporting skills
A company's compliance specialist is generally a mid-level employee who knows all about complex regulatory and legal procedures concerning their industry. In general, they are experts on financial and regulatory issues including insurance and financial services. A compliance specialist usually reports to a higher level business manager. If the company they work for has a marketing program, the compliance specialist reviews marketing materials to ensure that they do not violate any truth in advertising or ethics laws. Often a compliance specialist will oversee lower level professionals and those in other admin jobs and help them develop compliance training programs.

One consequence of the international banking crisis of 2008 is a stronger regulatory environment. Now that there are more requirements for banking regulation, this particular area of employment is strengthening. Legal and regulatory teams in a lot of companies are hiring for the specific purpose of staying within regulations and reporting compliance issues accurately.

In a bank, a compliance specialist works with various banking officers, such as the Bank Secrecy Act Officer, the Privacy Officer, the Bank Security and Safety Officer, the Community Reinvestment Officer and others. The compliance specialist will ensure conformity with federal and state laws and help coordinate compliance audits and bank examinations. The compliance specialist will assist in training personnel on the bank's policies and procedures. On a day to day basis, he or she reviews correspondence, writes and presents reports, and participates in department level projects.

To apply for a compliance specialist admin job, the candidate should have experience working in regulatory frameworks and should have knowledge of the general regulatory environment for their industry and internal corporate control requirements. The successful compliance specialist should have strong leadership and motivational skills. It should go without saying that a compliance specialist should have unimpeachable integrity and should be organized and ready to get results. Good written communication skills are very important in the role of compliance specialist, because he or she will have to put compliance issues into terminology understandable by the typical employee. Administrative capabilities, such as skills in spreadsheet applications and word processing are good to have too.

As far as educational requirements, the compliance specialist should have a four year degree in business or a business related field. A background in administration and law is also desirable. In the United States, the typical compliance specialist is paid approximately $58,000 per year according to Salary.com.

Some colleges and universities offer certificate programs for those wanting certification as compliance specialists. While this is not a Master's program, it is for those who already have a four year college degree. Coursework generally includes the following subject areas:
  • Compliance ethics and control
  • Forensic financial investigation
  • Interviewing and investigation skills
  • Regulation of business conduct
  • Regulation within the medical industry
Compliance specialists aren't always employed in the banking industry, however. Those with director jobs in health care or information technology must have specific knowledge of laws concerning health care records, privacy, and the security of computer systems. In fact, the convergence of the specialty of health care privacy laws and computer security laws means that someone with a background in information technology who works in a health care setting may be well positioned to compete for compliance specialist admin jobs the health care field.

Other fields in which a compliance specializes might include environmental compliance, building and city code compliance, and disability law compliance. In addition to analyzing compliance issues, the compliance specialist should be able to identify areas of corporate vulnerability or risk and educate the workforce on how to decrease that risk. In addition to those with backgrounds in health care administration or information technology, people with paralegal backgrounds are often good candidates for director jobs as compliance specialists, particularly if he or she has experience in information technology law or health care law.
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