If it interests you to study technical information and you like to see businesses operating legitimately, you may consider becoming a Compliance Officer.
A Compliance Officer is a person who ensures financial and other regulations are being followed in a business. His primary role is to help the senior management of his firm in observing rules and principles set by regulators.
Your job as a compliance officer within a firm may vary depending upon the size of the firm and the structure of the organization. You may be expected to perform various tasks such as:
- Advise businesses on how best to maintain compliance whilst meeting business objectives
- Communicate company policies to employees
- Help to develop training materials for employees
- Monitor sales processes, routinely checking paperwork and telephone recordings
- Approve advertisements for publication and broadcasting, making sure that they meet the in-house brand guidelines and regulatory standards
- Investigate customer complaints and any suspected breaches of the rules
- Attend meetings and to liaise with other departments, such as training, sales and accounting
Working Hours and Conditions
In this job, your working hours are usually normal office hours during week days i.e. Monday-Fri, 9am-5pm. There are opportunities for part-time and job share as well.
Your work is usually office based but you may have to travel for meetings. If you are working as a consultant on a contract basis, you may work partly from home and spend some time visiting clients in their offices.
Trainees or junior officers
£18,000 to £30,000 a year
Qualified compliance officers
£30,000 to £60,000 a year
Heads of compliance
Up to £100,000 a year
Some employers may also pay bonuses and offer attractive benefits packages.
Education and Training
You may become a compliance officer through any of the following ways:
Graduate training scheme: You get the opportunity to train yourself under an employer i.e. on the job training. Some employers may accept any degree but others may seek a degree in subjects such as law, accounting or finance.
Progression from compliance administrator: You need at least GCSE's (A*-C), including English and Mathematics to enter as compliance administrator. After gaining experience, you may be considered for training as a compliance officer.
In this job you are generally trained in-house under the supervision of experienced and senior colleagues.
Once employed, you may work towards various industry qualifications offered by The International Compliance Association (ICA):
Advanced Certificate in Compliance: An introductory course of six months duration
Diploma in Compliance: For those who hold degree or appropriate professional qualification, with at least three years of work experience. The duration of course is nine to twelve months.
Certificate and Diploma in Anti Money Laundering Certificate in Financial Crime Awareness Diploma in Financial Crime Prevention
Other courses offered are:
- Qualification for compliance professionals in the retail investment sector offered by the Compliance Institute.
- Diploma in Investment Compliance for compliance professionals who work in the securities and investment industry offered by the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.
- To move up the career graph, you may also consider studying further for an MBA or a Masters degree in a subject relating to financial regulation and compliance management.
Skills and Interests Needed
To be a successful compliance officer, you need to demonstrate the following:
- Impeccable communication skills
- Pay attention to detail
- Good problem solving skills
- Excellent organizational skills
- Technical know-how
- Good inter-personal skills
As a compliance officer, you may find employment with:
- Insurance companies
- Firms of independent financial advisers
- Investment specialists’
- Foreign exchange trading houses
With experience you may be promoted to the role of a chief compliance officer or become a head of various compliance officers.
Finally, this job that may seem to be lucrative is only for very responsible individuals. A small negligence on your part may risk the functioning of business and your employer may have to pay huge fine.