My Compliance or Whose Compliance?


By: Ibrahim YEKU

The practice of compliance is open to anybody and everybody that desires to function as a compliance officer. However, recent trends across various organizations show that persons who occupy the position of compliance officer are not professional trained to carry out the function of the office. In as much as there is a desire to occupy compliance positions such desires must be corroborated with sound training and continuous training. Although the knowledge of organizations processes is a must have, that should not be a substitute for professional compliance trainings offered by organizations like the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) and its likes.

Aside the issue of untrained compliance officers, another prominent concern is the legalization of compliance functions. The truth is that compliance is not law or all about law. This is the mistake most lawyers and some organizations often make which can be attributed to misconception arising from emphasizing an aspect of compliance (e.g. regulatory compliance) above other aspects of compliance like ethical compliance. Some organizations share the view that compliance functions can at best be performed by a lawyer. Although the knowledge of law may be an added advantage just like other professional education, nothing warrants making compliance a legal affair.

Whenever compliance functions are legalized within an organization, the language of compliance communication may be influenced by legalese which whittles down the ethical components of compliance program implementation. Instructing acceptable corporate behaviors from ethical standpoint is more productive than from the points of law. This is because an untrained lawyer in the position of compliance officer will think more in terms of exceptions to laws and what is legally correct as against what is ethical right or acceptable. This lawyer will find it difficult to oversee a compliance program without legalizing the department. The implication is that issues that may be viewed from ethical standpoint as red flags will not be seen in that light by the untrained lawyer who is a compliance officer. This is simply the exception mindset of the lawyer justifying that action and saying the law does not forbid it in anyway. There are a lot of gaps in law which has made it impossible to adequately regulate human behaviors and conducts. Laws and ethics have their place in compliance program implementation. Any compliance professional or organization that over emphasized one above the other may just be at the verge of compliance violation.

Anybody who desires the office of a compliance officer must starts by acquiring requisite knowledge or training needed for the job. Being a lawyer does not make a compliance professional, however you can have a lawyer who is a trained compliance professional. Thankfully, the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) has created an easy platform for anybody including lawyers who desire to acquire knowledge and professional certification required for compliance function. The Compliance Academy of SSCE has proven to be of immense support in training and retraining of compliance professional globally. The SSCE as an organization provides a one-stop shop for compliance training and professional development. If you think of honing your skills in compliance or acquiring mastery of compliance program implementation and administration, SCCE is the best place to start. You are encouraged to maximize the opportunities offered by SCCE and be at your best as a compliance professional.


  1. Should businesses in the near future begin paying monthly allowances to staff members of partner boot camps upon meeting with business leaders even before they are finally migrated onto the company’s permanent database? , , should this migration process be effected close to the end of the year? sometimes the beginning of the fourth quarter Ie October thereabout ? , by which time enough observation and assessment of the performance of the business would have been made by the business partners and stakeholders to merit their migratory approval ?, and how soon or when should business leaders reach out to the boot camps ? , should it b e as soon as funds can be accessible for the payment of their allowances ?. More advice and suggestions pertaining to business activities and operations in the near and long term future from business partners and stakeholders will be greatly appreciated and welcomed.

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