In this episode of The Compliance Handbook, I asked the Great Women in Compliance (#GWIC) co-hosts Mary Shirley and Lisa Fine to talk about some of their best practices around written standards for a compliance program.

The definition of a successful compliance program is not foreign for many compliance specialists. However, the challenge is to understand what it truly means for a compliance program to be effective. 

Most organizations claim that the central meaning of compliance is to define and enforce guidelines and standards that can minimize the possibility of a violation of compliance. Though, the truth remains that if misconduct exists, your attempt to highlight that your compliance policy conforms with regulatory requirements will increment your culpability score and contribute to a noticeable difference in fines and jail time.

To help you paddle through your compliance programs, I recently met two influential women in compliance, Lisa Fines and Mary Shirley. These phenomenal women will add transparency to these ethics and compliance concerns. We will dive into written compliance and touch base on #GWIC (Great Women In Compliance) and how it has become a powerful platform that supports compliance practitioners.  

Key takeaways discussed in the episode:

  • Know what is written compliance inside out. Understand that everybody needs to know what the rules are. But, it should not be lawyer-written, 20 pages long. Use the simplest terms possible, break things down to the absolute essential thinking. 
  • Call to mind that the code is our ethos, and the policies are the regulations to explain them. If possible, get your message across in the shortest possible time using the least words possible.
  • Hark back to the truth that there is no one size fits all compliance program. Thus, make learning come to life and apply it to people’s job roles. As much as possible, tell people what the expectations are and help facilitate their decision-making.
  • Factor into that it’s natural to maintain your relationships with former colleagues, but It’s not okay and could be risky if you talk shop with them.
  • Support Women Empowerment and appreciate their contributions, especially in compliance. Learn how #GWIC grew into a community of great women who share valuable resources and support compliance practitioners.

The Compliance Handbook, 2nd Edition incorporates the most current government pronouncements governing best practices compliance programs, including the 2019 Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs released by the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice, and its 2020 Update; the updated FCPA Resource Guide 2nd edition; the Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments; and the 2019 DOJ Antitrust Division’s Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs in Criminal Antitrust.

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