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10 Steps to Building a Great Compliance Practice [COMPLY2016 Rewind]

By Gianna Barrere
July 15, 2016

The audience had their pens and notebooks out when the COMPLY2016 session “10 Steps to Building a Great Compliance Practice” kicked off. Speaker Chris DelSanto, the Vice President of Quality Assurance, Risk & Compliance Monitoring at EDMC and a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional, laid out the critical pieces of an effective and comprehensive compliance program.

With over 16 years of experience in Regulatory Affairs and Compliance within Higher Education, Chris shared his expertise with the audience, breaking down the 10 tactical steps that compliance departments at start-ups or established companies can follow to build or build out their programs.  Here’s a summary of his presentation “10 Steps to Building a Great Compliance Practice”:

1. Define your compliance goals.
  • Determine which regulatory bodies and standards are governing marketing within your business’ space.
  • Account for internal compliance needs such as brand guidelines, company-established best practices, and business risk thresholds.
2. Establish a functional scope.
  • Decide the volume of material your compliance program will oversee.
  • Decide on whether you will review material before it is distributed, monitor material after it’s published, or do both.
  • Establish a clearly defined process before incorporating technology solutions to build efficiencies and enhance the process. 
3. Determine staffing model.
  • Determine whom you need to hire to bring in certain qualifications, skill sets, and knowledge bases.
  • Determine how many staff members you need to complete all functions of your compliance practice.
4. Gain support from senior leadership.
  • Present a strong business case for the management’s commitment to compliance.
  • Help senior management understand the benefits of a solid compliance program for protecting the company’s ability to conduct business and be profitable, and the implications of risk associated with non-compliance.
5. Develop formal policies, procedures, and standards.
  • Establish what to do, how to do it, and how to measure it, altogether forming the core of your compliance practice.
Watch Chris DelSanto's full presentation at COMPLY2016.
 
6. Create training programs.
  • Train your compliance staff to understand the process and standards of compliance.
  • Tailor your training to each staff member’s background and function in your compliance practice.
7. Communicate with stakeholders and partners.
  • Engage in informal communications throughout the process.
  • Plan and conduct formal meetings to lay out the roll-out plan and provide regular updates.
  • Allow stakeholders to provide feedback along the way.
8. Ensure complete record keeping.
  • Determine what data needs to be recorded within a given time frame.
  • Record your compliance data in a way that your audience can easily absorb.
9. Commit to the audit process.
  • In your regular assessments, whether conducted by an internal or external team, evaluate the process, what changes have been made, and areas for improvement.
  • Welcome your internal auditors to analyze and improve your practice.
10. Stay informed of new regulations, laws, and best practices.
  • As rules and regulations change, incorporate them into your compliance practice.
  • Sometimes, new rules need to be incorporated immediately—otherwise they can be incorporated at a regular checkpoint.

Once your compliance program is in place, technology can build efficiencies and further increase your compliance oversight. Learn how the PerformMatch™ platform can help you automatically monitor and protect your brand from potential compliane violations online, in call centers, and in chat sessions.

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