Why the SCCE and HCCA Don’t Care

By Adam Turteltaub

With a combined membership of over 17,000 dues-paying individuals, the SCCE and HCCA are, obviously the go-to resource for compliance professionals.  And, it’s also the go-to resource for vendors wanting to reach compliance professionals.

And, from time to time, those vendors will ask for an endorsement, to offer special discounts to our members, or want their product or work formally recognized.  Inevitably, and to them dismayingly quickly, we say no.

While it would be tempting to cash large checks for endorsements, revenue sharing on discount sales deals, or even for bestowing membership in a preferred pool of vendors, we won’t do it.  We don’t think it’s good for the association or the compliance profession.

Why not?

First, it’s easy for an association to end up captured by the vendors.  When a substantial part of the organization’s operating budget is dependent on big, fat checks from suppliers, it’s difficult to say no to those providers when they ask for special treatment of some sort, such as a speaking slot at a conference.

We believe our members come to our meetings because we offer the best speakers, not the speakers who paid for the right to stand on the podium.

Second, we think you should decide what the best solution is for your needs, not us.   Every company is different, every compliance program is different.  Saying Company X is the preferred vendor for the association members just wouldn’t make sense.  To do it right we would need to have dozens and dozens of categories like “Preferred Compliance Training Provider for Companies with 3,000 – 8,000 employees, operating in six or fewer countries and with a Corporate Integrity Agreement currently in force.”  It’s just not going to happen.

Third, as soon as we extended recognition to one company we would hear from all the others complaining about why we made the wrong choice.  And, in fact, even before we got to that stage, we would have had to set up a complicated process for making the initial selections.  It’s not a good idea to have our staff do that instead of all the work they do to make sure the meetings are relevant and run well, the magazine gets published and certification hums along.

Finally, we don’t do it because we’re here to be the association for the entire compliance community.  The price for a member is $295 for an individual.  It doesn’t matter if you’re working in-house in a compliance role, at a solution provider, a consultant, outside counsel, or working in enforcement.

As soon as we pick favorites, we end up excluding others.

So, technically speaking, it’s not that we don’t care which vendors are or aren’t better.  Instead, we care about creating an association where there’s room for everyone to participate.

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  1. I am new to the compliance field and plan to join SCCE as a member because of the access to information, industry expertise and training. I am happy to read that the organization walks the talk by choosing to remain impartial and not put itself at risk of being potentially influenced or beholden to any vendor or group that might expect to receive special favors in exchange for financial contributions or relying upon its most favored status.

  2. As a member of both HCCA and SCCE you will find that both associations non-partisan and open to all types of compliance professionals and compliance vendors. I love networking and learning from speakers and colleagues about hot topics and ways they have found to help ease the day to day compliance challenges! Getting ready to kick off the first preseason at the HCCA Insitute and hear about FCA and ongoing investigations!

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