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Compliance Officer

What is a compliance officer and what do they do?

A compliance officer is responsible for advising a company or organisation in relation to the regulatory framework in which it operates. This may be for ongoing, regular matters or when something new is undertaken.

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What are the different types of compliance officer?

In recent years, the regulatory environment for the financial sector has increased significantly, which has led to considerable growth in the size and importance of Risk and Compliance teams in this sector. However, compliance is not unique to finance and there are opportunities wherever there are legal or professional regulatory frameworks which impact on an organisation - right across the private sector as well as charities, not for profits, and the public sector.

What qualifications are needed to become a compliance officer?

Because of the breath of opportunities for compliance work – there is no single qualification or route. There are many ways to enter this field often starting in a related junior role or by converting from a ‘front-line’ position into a role focussed on compliance. For example, it can be very helpful (or even essential) to have a financial qualification before going on to take responsibility for financial compliance and in some roles – such as a legal compliance officer in a law firm – being an experienced and qualified solicitor is a prerequisite.

In certain sectors – particularly the most regulated and most complicated, there are qualifications that can or must be taken, for example in the financial sector, professional qualifications cover money laundering and financial crime prevention.

At the University of Law, we offer these courses to help you to become a Compliance Officer?

What skills do you need?

Despite the varied organisations a compliance officer may work in, there are some overarching skills that apply.

  • Analytical skills and the ability to understand complex information
  • Attention to detail
  • A pragmatic approach to apply the principles of the regulations in complex and uncertain scenarios
  • Assertiveness and confidence as you are required to argue for compliance with the rules perhaps in opposition to the immediate commercial interest of your employer.

How much do compliance officers get paid?

Salaries will depend entirely on the sector in which you work and the level of experience and responsibility. In the financial sector entry level positions may be around £20,000, but reach the more senior positions, perhaps in relation to cross border or multi-jurisdictional compliance, and salaries in the region of £100,000 are possible. In other sectors, however, even the more senior roles will attract salaries of half that amount.

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