To ensure compliance officers fulfil their role effectively, they have many boxes to tick. These cover a broad spectrum of areas, from health and safety and modern slavery to anti-money laundering and bribery. Meanwhile, financial services firms must also observe FCA-specific legislation.
However, compliance goes beyond meeting regulatory requirements, acting as an indication of a company's credibility. Marketing your compliance credentials can go a long way in elevating your company's reputation. Are you leveraging your compliance credentials?
Communicating compliance credentials
- How can you ensure compliance with regulations?
- How can you share your compliance credentials?
- What are some examples of compliance credentials?
- Are there benefits to compliance credential sharing?
- What should compliance officers keep in mind?
Businesses can also show they adhere to internal policies regarding environmental, social and governance (ESG). These don’t necessarily fall under the law but impact an organisation’s internal and external reputation.
To demonstrate your compliance credentials, staff training, company audits, RegTech tools, and detailed procedures come into play. Communicating your compliance position involves external and internal messaging, recruitment adverts, and creating documents like an ESG report.
How can you ensure compliance with regulations?
With rules and regulations changing frequently, how do you make sure your compliance credentials stay intact? Put simply, by having a robust compliance programme. Tips to help your compliance team stay abreast of legislation include:
- Monitor websites of governing and regulatory bodies. Regularly check these sources (and their social media) for updates. For instance, financial services businesses can keep an eye on related news and check for regulatory body handbook updates. An RSS feed reader is also useful for improving efficiency.
- Subscribe to newsletters. For example, sign up for daily FCA alerts, and keep up with health and safety regulations via HSE eBulletins.
- Join seminars, conferences or webinars. These inform you on topics like how to enforce new regulations.
- Keep a regulations database. Input relevant information here, including approval/amendment dates and implementation status within your organisation.
- Invest in compliance software. Platforms like these improve efficiency and performance while managing and reducing risk.
- Review internal procedures. When laws are introduced or modified, your processes must reflect that.
- Inform clients about regulatory changes. Tell them how they’re impacted and what they must do to comply, via email or in person.
To let employees and stakeholders know about new regulations or amendments to existing ones, you need to establish a communication strategy.
How can you share your compliance credentials?
There are several ways to show your compliance credentials to ensure that you are leveraging them to have the best impact on your business. These include the following:
- External messaging
This is the primary way of communicating your compliance credentials and letting the outside world know you take compliance seriously. This includes posting your compliance credentials, awards and achievements on social media and featuring compliance badges and credentials in your employee email signatures.
Tailoring your website to showcase corporate governance is another method of external messaging. Including company policies and procedures in the website footer and having a cookie warning which allows users to opt in or out are indicators of a company's commitment to compliance.
- Recruitment Communicating your compliance credentials through literature is another way to leverage these credentials to attract the best professionals in the business. Using your compliance credentials as an asset to market the business to potential employees through job adverts or posts on LinkedIn.
Gen Z, for example, are concerned about the environment, and this plays a role in their career choice. A UK study found that 64% of 18-22-year-olds consider it important for companies to act on environmental issues. While 40% of millennials have chosen a job based on company sustainability.
- Internal messaging
Channels such as email, Slack and Microsoft Teams are quick and easy ways to keep employees informed and direct them to your compliance portal.
- Annual Report
A company's annual report offers employees, investors, the public and government agencies an overview of financial performance, key activities and accomplishments. This is a perfect opportunity to
- ESG Report
A transparent way for businesses to highlight the ESG risks, opportunities and achievements they face, helping them attract investors and showcase their company culture.
- CSR Report
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) documents publicly share data and qualitative evidence about metrics that extend further than financial performance. The information spans subjects like greenhouse gas emissions, preventing ethics violations and charitable donations.
- MLRO Report
A Money Laundering Reporting Officer's (MLRO) report is one of the most meaningful tools for a regulated firm’s senior management and board. It helps demonstrate compliance around financial crime prevention.
Examples of companies marketing compliance credentials
Here are a few ways some companies are showcasing their compliance credentials:
McDonald's website footer
Google website banner
Google has a ‘Carbon neutral since 2007’ banner at the base of its homepage, which markets its commitment to tackling environmental issues and its aim to be sustainable in its operations.
Netflix's cookie pop-up
Netflix is just one example of a website including a cookie notification where users can either accept, reject cookies or change their cookie settings. This is a clear indication of GDPR compliance.
Skillcast's email signature
In the Skillcast employee email signature, some of the company's main accreditations and achievements are shown as compliance badges. This markets Skillcast's commitment to leading in the way in compliance.
What are some examples of compliance credentials?
There are several types of compliance credentials, ranging from tech-forward digital solutions and regular training to company audits and comprehensive policies and procedures.
1. Digital solutions
Digital tools help ensure your firm is compliant. Our RegTech tools manage all your compliance needs, provide you with a compliance audit trail, and, by using these tools, your firm earns compliance credibility:
- Policy management software
- Assign relevant affirmation requests to employees
- Allocate policy review, editing and reporting to specific departments
- Access reports to confirm employee training and attestation
- Create granular analytics regarding employee training completions
- Compliance declarations tool
Paper-based procedures are slow and inefficient. Moving towards a solution that simplifies, centralises and streamlines the whole process is more effective. Our platform allows you to make disclosures around board memberships, conflicts of interest, display screen assessments and outside business interests.
- Compliance Registers
Our compliance registers tool allows you to document employee actions and incidents like GDPR breach notifications and receipt of gifts, helping you manage entries and mitigate fines.
- SMCR 360® toolkit
The FCA’s 2016 Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) requires dozens of time-consuming accountability checks. SMCR 360® centralises and automates processes as well as improves efficiency by alerting you to overdue requirements and forthcoming tasks.
2. Regular employee training
Compliance concerns your entire organisation, so it’s crucial you keep up to date with current regulations and revise your training material accordingly. A Learning Management System (LMS) can help here, which allows you to deliver all your digital training content.
However, compliance training goes beyond digital courses, including on-the-job coaching and in-person seminars. It's important to record all offline activities and integrate them with online records.
3. Company audits
Compliance audits prove you meet legal requirements and internal guidelines. They also help avoid penalties and bolster your reputation. An audit report covers the following:
- Strength of compliance preparations
- Security policies
- Risk management procedures
- User access controls
4. Comprehensive policies & procedures
How you operate your business impacts your compliance credentials. Having robust compliance policies and procedures that are easily accessible helps:
- Prevent poor conduct
- Minimise risk
- Ensure proper governance
- Maintain your reputation
- Provide a better working environment
Are there benefits to compliance credential sharing?
Relaying your compliance credentials to employees, stakeholders, and third parties increases awareness and solidifies your compliance programme, ensuring it becomes part of the company's fabric. In turn, that creates a culture of compliance and ethics.
By shining a spotlight on compliance and communicating your organisation's values and integrity, you show a commitment to honest and responsible behaviour.
Highlighting your company’s dedication to compliance also demonstrates your adherence to applicable regulations. This reaps the benefits both internally and externally, attracting potential employees and investors.
What should compliance officers keep in mind?
Modern-day compliance officers are agile and adaptable advisors; they fulfil a complex and varied role, ensuring compliance with regulations and internal standards. Compliance indicators range from audits and thorough procedures to regular staff training.
Introducing compliance software and RegTech tools is also recommended, helping you digitise, centralise, automate and streamline processes.
Meanwhile, internal messaging, information-sharing and formal reports are effective ways to disseminate your compliance credentials and showcase credibility to employees, stakeholders and the general public.
Looking for more compliance insights?
We have created a series of comprehensive roadmaps to help you plan and execute compliance in your organisation.
Our best-selling Compliance Essentials Library and award-winning LMS provide a one-stop compliance training solution, including compliance refresher courses.
And our searchable compliance glossaries explain key terms and regularly report on learnings from the largest compliance fines resulting from regulatory breaches.
We also have 100+ free compliance training aids, including assessments, best practice guides, checklists, desk aids, eBooks, games, posters, training presentations and even e-learning modules!
If you'd like to stay up to date with compliance learning best practices, industry insights and key trends across regulatory compliance, digital learning, EdTech and RegTech news, subscribe to the Skillcast Compliance Bulletin.
Last but not least, you can interact in person with thought leaders and your peers at one of our popular live webinars and face-to-face events.
If you've any questions or concerns about compliance or e-learning, please get in touch.
We're happy to help!