Compliance Programmes: Why They Fail and How to Avoid Failure

Compliance programmes have many moving parts. So what does failure mean for corporate compliance? The programme can fail at certain tasks (i.e., timely reporting of issues or monitoring of third parties) but this only means the programme is ineffective at certain things.

Nowadays, DPTM Certification (Data Protection Trustmark) is available to help organisations show accountable and responsible data protection practices. In addition, the DPTM Certification is used to pit organisations against different data protection assessments.

Secondly, organisations can upskill their staff in the field of governance, risk and compliance compliance management. This is especially important in risk management.

Why Failures Happen

Below are some of the possible reasons why compliance programmes can occur:

Lack of executive support

If the senior management and board will not take corporate compliance seriously, the programme will likely fail. Also, if executive support for the compliance is weak, no one else will likely take the compliance function seriously as well.

Not responding accordingly to complaints

Compliance functions should respond to individuals that report any suspected misconduct.

Ineffective use of technology

Most organisations use technology to further improve their compliance programmes. The real challenge however, is whether technology has been used effectively. For instance, if you rely primarily on spreadsheets to document due diligence, it’s not really wise.

Spreadsheets can be inaccurate and word documents can be edited easily. Both options can also be outdated, misplaced, or overlooked. Only good technology that is properly configured is deemed a good option.

Overlooking employee engagement

Compliance programmes should respond to staff wisely. If you want to create a strong compliance programme, below are things you need to prioritise:

  • Commitment to a culture that’s ethical
  • Effective risk assessments
  • Procedures and policies that work
  • Documentation and measurement

Essentially, consumers, business partners, shareholders, and regulators won’t dwell on the compliance programme structure. They will focus on whether the programme can minimise the risk of non-compliance of misconduct.

How to Give Your Compliance Programme an Edge

Begin data analytics early

Most people understand the significance of data analytics. However, the department might not have analytics expertise or advanced visualisation software with monitoring solutions and robust reporting.

The sooner the analytics is started, the better. The compliance programme can become more responsive to the actual conditions in the company. This makes data analytics a crucial force multiplier.

Test internal controls constantly

Strong internal controls are crucial to compliance. However, you won’t be able to gauge how strong it is until they are tested out. In similar cases, they can become a force multiplier that will hinder a compliance failure.

Integrate ethics into employee training

A strong ethical foundation should help employees with the most dangerous risk—the one your compliance programme did not anticipate. Eventually, your employees might encounter a problem that your policy manual or Code of Conduct does not address. This is when ethics will guide their decisions.

Safeguard confidentiality in internal reports

Anonymous reports are more challenging to address. Confidentiality will require a lot of procedure, testing, and policy to ensure the protection protocols work. They are still considered worth it since they can help employees trust that the organisation or company will take their concerns seriously.

How You Can Have a Successful Compliance Programme

Successful compliance programmes can help effectively gain the trust of the workforce since good compliance can be painstaking, where the CCO will ask others to make sacrifices. The sacrifices however are worth it since success will depend on winning support, working together, or building alliances.

It is also important to remember that a compliance programme is not a one-size-fits-all affair. To craft an automated programme that’s right for your organisation, it is crucial to first comprehend the critical components of a programme and then tailor each of the elements to the needs of your business.


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