Most businesses have specific mission statements and goals that are to be met. Certain companies also have rules that have been set forth as company policy. These rules are not arbitrary and must be adhered to for the good of the company. In essence, a compliance manager is the person who ensures the rules are followed.
Here is an example of the type of work a compliance manager may be involved with:
A law firm in New York City had a policy that all its employees must wear a suit and tie or other dress attire when taking public transportation to and from the job site. Wearing casual clothes and changing into dress attire at the office was forbidden. So, employees were required to "dress up" even if they were going to the gym many hours before work commenced.
Compliance managers were required to make sure employees understood the critical need to present an air of professionalism and seriousness at all times. The law firm did not want to present itself as anything less than professional at all times and realized potential clients may be observing employees during the commute. Additionally, if the employee had a medical issue or other underlying problem and would benefit from casual dress during the commute, the compliance manager would help convey such information to management or the appropriate HR department.
Company policies are not the only rules enforced by a compliance manager. The manager might also help all employers understand changes in the law and new regulatory rules issued by the government. In many ways, the ability to communicate effectively in writing and speech is the most critical skill all compliance managers must have.
As far as educational requirements are concerned, a compliance manager could procure a special certification from an accredited source. An undergraduate or master's degree in an area of business administration related to compliance, such as human resources, is extremely helpful. Developing experience early in this area of the corporate world is recommended. An internship in public and private industry would be helpful. Interning in a compliance division can provide extremely helpful experience. The same could be said of interning in a government office that drafts and issues business regulations.
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