Compliance Officer

Compliance officers recommend laws intended to protect citizens and make sure these laws are properly enforced.

Compliance officers usually specialize in licensing, worker rights, or environmental laws and regulations. Although compliance officers typically specialize, they all share similar responsibilities, regardless of specialty.

Compliance officers review complaints. They gather information from individuals filing complaints, interview all parties involved, and, when investigating environmental complaints, visit the location. Compliance officers develop surveys, gather facts, and analyze reports and records. They evaluate safety regulations and inspect buildings and organizations assigned to them.

Compliance officers also keep records containing inspection details or survey results. They keep report investigations and submit them to individuals and companies being investigated. If violations are discovered, compliance officers often issue citations and recommend changes. Compliance officers instruct company executives, so they're aware of what must change. They follow up with individuals and organizations during subsequent visits. Compliance officers are occasionally called to provide expert testimony at public hearings and trials.

Compliance officers typically specialize. Environmental compliance officers oversee hazardous chemical disposal, while licensing examiners review applications from individuals applying for professional licenses. Equal opportunity officers specialize in workplace discrimination cases and monitor companies suspected of violating equal opportunity laws while interviewing prospective employees.

Government property inspectors investigate fraud, inspect property, and review contracts. Financial examiners review securities and real estate transactions. When fraud is suspected, these specialists investigate it.

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Compliance Officer Job Duties

Compliance officers are found in various settings and roles. Their job responsibilities vary by setting and specialty. The following are typical compliance officer job duties:

  • Compliance officers are primarily responsible for investigating fraud and ethical violations and ensuring any breaches cease.
  • Compliance officers frequently interact with people from numerous organizations and discuss issues pertaining to compliance. They assist others responsible for investigating and resolving issues. Compliance officers frequently counsel with corporate attorneys while dealing with complex legal issues.
  • Compliance officers can be assigned to serve as security officers, bank safety officers, community reinvestment officers, bank secrecy or OFAC officers, or privacy officers, but assignments vary by organization.
  • Compliance officers execute the revision of development and standards of conduct to make sure compliance regulations, procedures, and policies are current.
  • Compliance officers organize investigations when there are suspected violations of rules, regulations, procedures, and policies.
  • When compliance officers identify breaches or vulnerabilities within a company's compliance program, they are responsible for developing timely and effective plans to resolve the problem. They must also train employees responsible for compliance how to avoid future problems.
  • Compliance officers monitor and assess an organization's compliance policies and procedures.
  • Compliance officers conduct evaluations and publish their findings to inform organizations about current and potential compliance breaches. They must make sure all compliance activities are operating smoothly and comply with organizational policies.
  • Compliance officers must report current and potential violations of compliance laws and regulations to law enforcement officials.

Chief Compliance Officer

After acquiring years of work experience, compliance officers frequently get promoted and become chief compliance officers. These specialists typically report directly to senior management, CEOs, and the board of directors. They monitor an organization's compliance policies and actions and prepare frequent, detailed reports for senior management. Chief compliance officers recommend strategies to a company's executive team and the board of directors to improve compliance. These specialists frequently work with corporate compliance committees to change compliance policies and implement new ones to enhance safety and efficiency.

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