How Compliance Officers Enforce Good Business Practices

Norwich Pro

June 11, 2020

How Compliance Officers Enforce Good Business Practices

Every business must abide by a set of laws, regulations and ethical practices in their operations, depending upon industry and scope of business.  For example, healthcare organizations must comply with mandates associated with HIPAA privacy, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) rules, drug regulations, patient care standards, and more.  An enterprise with international business dealings must adhere to additional rules associated with product imports/exports, licensing agreements and foreign transactions.

As local, state, federal, and overseas prosecutors increase enforcement of corporate misconduct, fines, penalties and other sanctions can cost an organization millions of dollars. In 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services collected a record $28.7 million from healthcare providers and insurers for inadequate responses to data breaches, reported Modern Healthcare.  These fines often open organizations to lawsuits and settlements that further impact the bottom line.

A study by the Ponemon Institute on the True Cost of Compliance found that while the average cost for compliance for an average organization is $3.5 million, the cost for those enterprises experiencing noncompliance-related problems is $9.4 million. 

Many companies are creating corporate compliance programs to mitigate risk by enforcing good business practices that align with regulations.   Through compliance programs, organizations determine which rules apply to them and how to observe them to avoid penalties, litigation, operational risks and loss of reputation.  These formal programs outline the internal protocols, policies, and procedures that employees must follow to ensure compliance with laws and regulations.  The enforcement of these policies and procedures within the organization relies on leadership from the compliance officer. These strategic and hands-on leaders coordinate compliance activities at all levels of an enterprise.

For those interested in pursuing one of the fastest-growing careers or adding depth to their existing credentials, Norwich University offers an online certificate program on Corporate Compliance and Investigation that focuses on important topics such as risk management, due diligence, and continuous compliance improvement.

Corporate Compliance Officers Provide the Leadership

A compliance officer is known by many names such as corporate compliance analyst, regulatory affairs specialist, compliance specialist, qualify compliance consultant and compliance manager.  The main objective of these positions is typically the same - corporate governance over legal and ethical standards to ensure a business operates within laws and regulations of its industry.  As part of their duties, compliance officers must:

  • Create, execute and enforce policies and procedures to ensure the company operates ethically and within the law.
  • Ensure corporate policies and procedures remain current within their regulatory framework on a local, state, federal and international scope.
  • Maintain regulatory knowledge in different areas.
  • Review and update policies to ensure ongoing compliance.
  • Investigate or audit suspected violations and take correct corrective action.
  • Prepare and file required documentation while serving as liaison with inspectors and other legal entities.
  • Develop and conduct employee training.
  • Interact with different departments such as information technology, legal and logistics for a greater understanding of compliance demands and issues.
  • Communicate with management who typically enforces the internal controls within their departments.

Ideal Competencies of a Compliance Officer

In addition to having at least a Bachelor of Science education and experience in a relative field, successful compliance officers often share common traits that position them for success. shares some of them:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving are critical in recognizing, evaluating and solving problems.  
  • Reading comprehension to thoroughly understand the content of a multiple of different documents.
  • Organized to manage multiple tasks in tight timelines.
  • Leadership to enforce and maintain standards throughout the company and having the initiative to address issues and work with management to make necessary changes.
  • Ethical decision-making that includes a strong sense of right and wrong to make the right choices – however hard or unfavorable they may be.
  • Writing to communicate important information and directives to different levels of the organization.
  • Public Speaking to conduct meetings or training on different practices or issues.
  • Technology Astute in understanding which software best supports compliance in specific areas of the company.

Gain Expertise through Norwich Online Certificate Program

As many organizations require that their compliance officers are experts in their fields, attending a certificate program in this discipline can deepen skills or introduce new ones.  The Norwich University online certificate program in Corporate Compliance and Investigation is ideal for aspiring or current compliance professionals interested in gaining knowledge about corporate risk and internal investigations.  Both interactive and visually engaging, online courses concentrate on:

  • Introduction to Corporate to Compliance Investigations that discusses factors in developing an effective modern-day compliance program.
  • Risk Assessments, Policies and Internal Controls that outline steps in creating sound codes of conduct and policies as well as fostering a culture of compliance. Real case examples justify the importance of risk assessment.
  • Due Diligence and Internal Investigations that offers an understanding of when internal and external investigations are necessary and best sources of information for each investigation.
  • Organizational Culture and Continuous Compliance that reflects on the role of strong leadership, causes of compliance program failure, and practical steps that compliance officers can take to encourage and maintain ethical, compliant behavior through the organization.

Upon successful completion of the online certificate, students receive 2CEUs equivalent to 20 contact hours or professional development units.  

Wall Street Cites Compliance Officer as a Hot Job

field range from $67,870 to over $107,00 reports The Bureau of Statistics.  Salaries range based on market, certificates, and experience. Top-paying sectors include highly-regulated industries such as the gas industry, securities, and computer manufacturing.  Opportunities also exist in state and local government as well as consulting companies. 

A Corporate Compliance and Investigation Certificate from Norwich University can put individuals on the path to greater career and salary advancement.  Find out more about this online program here.


For information on Norwich Pro’s complete roster of certificate programs that develop and deepen professional skills to get ahead in careers or enter new ones, visit

Have questions? Contact Norwich at or by email at


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