Compliance programs are designed to provide information and tools to the employees and third parties of a company to conform in fulfilling requirements, on the policies, procedures, and actions required to prevent problems with violations of the law and with unethical behaviors. Corporate compliance and risk mitigation are essential to protect every business and let them run more efficiently. Most large and global corporations already have compliance programs in place. Compliance programs are as essential to small (those with fewer than 100 employees) and mid-sized businesses as to large ones. These businesses are taking risks just like large ones, and yet are often not given the same compliance resources to protect themselves.
How does a compliance program get made? At Prae Venire, we design them specifically to the needs and structure of whatever business we are working with, no matter the field. Here are ten elements to consider when designing a new compliance program:
1. Risk Assessment. What risks are your business taking everyday? Frequently, these are things you may not even realize are risks. What can be done to prevent them?
2. Defining the Compliance Officer. As we mentioned in our Blog last month, the Compliance Officer is the in-team leader responsible for staying in charge of the compliance program management. Companies will need to choose who is best for this position and clearly define their role.
3. Policies and Procedures. What policies and procedures do you plan to implement going forward and how are they matched to your business?
4. Code of Conduct and Ethics. There include standards that carry over to every business that uses a compliance program, as well as individual ones that may be important to you personally. It reflects the company’s soul.
5. Education and Training. After creating the essential elements of the program, educating and training them to the team becomes the next priority. The method this training uses varies from team to team based on what will be the most effective for your learning styles, singularities and needs.
6. Communication. Companies should put up posters and send out emails about the implementation and maintenance of the compliance program, so all employees and third parties are aware of it and keep it and its matters top of mind.
7. Monitoring. After we have established policies and procedures, making sure that they are being followed and everything is effectively working is critical.
8. Auditing. A compliance program will include checkpoints where the team can verify how the program is working, as well as audits where others will check to make sure it remains in place and performing well.
9. Reporting Lines. Organizations should have multiple reporting avenues and everybody must feel comfortable with the available reporting lines.
10. Investigation, Remediation, and Disciplinary Measures. Follow the methods for investigation to ensure it is handled correctly and if you do find a problem, make sure the proper corrective and disciplinary measures for it are in place.
Compliance programs are designed specifically for the company they are being used on, but they do all follow these ten elements in their design. To implement a compliance program in your company, no matter the size, contact Prae Venire today! We have solutions tailored to each client’s specific needs.