Important principles for the Compliance Management System
When introducing a compliance management system, it helps to keep a few basic rules in mind:
- Clarify fundamental questions: Find out whether you need a compliance management system from a legal point of view, what content it should cover and how it should be designed. It is also of course important to ensure it will function properly.
- Clearly define the field of activity: Compliance officers cannot simply take over or replace certain aspects of the legal department. Therefore, areas of responsibility have to be clearly defined while reporting lines should be implemented to make your compliance management transparent and understandable.
- Basic awareness instead of paragraph riding: It is not the task of employees to know every single legal paragraph. Formulate the guidelines concisely and comprehensibly enough to create basic awareness of compliance.
- Process integration: Embed compliance processes into your business processes – for example, by noting requirements for accepting gifts and invitations on the forms used for this purpose. Integrate the compliance department as a point of contact that can provide information on compliance issues.
- Regular exchange: Good compliance management is not only the result of constantly issuing new guidelines, but also of an exchange with employees about training, everyday processes, etc. This will give you an insight into whether the rules are being observed. It also provides information on whether compliance is accepted in the company and how specifications or guidelines affect practical implementation. Exchanges with industry organisations and legal experts can also help your company to define practical tips and best practices.
- Leverage internal resources: When designing and rolling out compliance measures, it helps to exchange ideas with internal departments. Your communication experts help with the right approach to employees (with guidelines, for example), IT establishes the technical framework for e-learning training, the legal department reviews critical issues. Do not forget to involve the organisation’s works council.
- Transparency and documentation: Transparent handling of critical issues or violations quickly takes away from their explosive nature. Combined with comprehensive documentation, you also protect your company in the event that audits are carried out after a violation.
- Measure effects: Short, regular surveys among employees give you a picture of the acceptance of your compliance measures. In this way, you can measure effects and improve or fine-tune aspects of the programme if necessary.