What constitutes an effective Compliance Programme?

  • By Yousouf Jhugroo
  • 29 Aug, 2016

There are essential elements that can help a business organisations to make good progress and healthy growth without having to spend a lot on correcting mistakes after and be exposed to risk of hefty fines by regulators.

 A business organisation must, at the start have a comprehensive Compliance Programme in place. Such programme must be based on trust. Trust is the backbone of any business organisation. Business leaders often ignore the cost of a breakdown of trust with their stakeholders. Relationships with customers, staff, suppliers, partners and regulators are all based on trust. Any action that leads to a breakdown of this trust will have disastrous consequences. Similarly, without a coherent and an effective compliance programme in place, this necessary trust may be severely compromised. Everyday we read in the news that companies are going down because they have made losses. On the majority of cases they relate to the absence of trust underpinning a coherent compliance culture.

The overall objective of a compliance programme is to protect the business against high risk of non compliances. It is well known that once a fault is committed, all good deeds that an organisation may have done in the past to build up its reputation will be immediately cast aside and ignored. It will always be remembered for that one fault.

Having a compliance programme in place helps. However, it is not going to solve any problem or prevent non compliances if it is not actively implemented, monitored, reviewed and maintained.

So, how exactly do you build a corporate compliance programme that safeguards the trust of your stakeholders in your organization? What in fact constitute the elements of an effective compliance programme?

Besides trust, it is essential that implementation of the programme is assigned to a leader. The ledadership must be capable of managing the programme and helping to integrate it within the operational functions of the organsiation. It means working with staff at all stages of the organisation, from top to bottom. It must have the top management buy-in and their indispensable commitments.

 Leadership of the compliance programme must be based on transparency as it will enhance the trust and ethics with your stakeholders and improve compliance governance. Transparency is achieved through regular communications with and the active participation of all staff and internal customers, including suppliers.

 Prior to developing and putting in place a new compliance programme it is essential to conduct a comprehensive organisational risk assessment. This can be executed by an internal or external team. Assessing risk will give your organisation confidence in its ability to manage an effective compliance programme, leaving no gaping holes or unaddressed compliance issues.

 Training is another key element to promoting trust within the compliance management process. Organisation must know what defines complete compliance and integrity in order to ensure that it has attained it. Only then can compliance be managed effectively.

 The next necessary elements to bear in mind are standards and controls. A successful business organisation must have a comprehensive set of standards and controls that helps in keeping its stakeholders on the same page. From leadership and staff to shareholders and customers, protocol in the event of possible noncompliances must be clear and understood by all.

 Standards and controls bind the organisation’s culture. They both define and support the compliance culture. They are the fundamentals that educate  stakeholders about  compliance and encourage the behaviours that promote it.

 Finally, the secret to keeping the compliance programme in line with business development is to ensure that it has management and board oversight from development to actual implementation process. The trained leader, who should be the Compliance Officer, accountability for overseeing the programme. He/she will help to ensure that the organisation is compliant with relevant regulations.

  CRC- The Compliance Experts can assist any organisation to build these foundations and help with the developments of an effective compliance programme that builds trust in your organisation. We will also train your staff and help in building the fundamental compliance processes that further mitigate the risks of noncompliances.

 

 

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