How do I Become a Compliance Officer in Australia?

How do I Become a Compliance Officer in Australia?

Becoming a compliance officer in Australia

Finding a business compliance course for your career

A compliance officer in Australia is responsible for ensuring a business is compliant with local and international laws, regulations and other policies relating to the business and its industry. Becoming a compliance officer involves completing a relevant qualification such as a business compliance course like the Diploma of Business (Compliance) (BSB50120).

What does a compliance officer do?

Compliance officers work closely with other business functions to ensure each department is operating in a compliant way. They offer advice and leadership in risk management, work health and safety, financial risks, audits and more. They are a highly valued member of many businesses across various sectors, and the need for skilled compliance officers is only increasing.

The ‘typical’ duties of a compliance officer vary greatly and differ by industry, but key responsibilities include:

  • Carrying out risk assessments and managing identified risks
  • Investigating reported compliance issues
  • Reporting to key stakeholders on risk and compliance issues
  • Preparing for audits
  • Completing and reporting on audit results
  • Ensuring records are up to date
  • Learning about new regulations or laws relevant to the industry

Courses to become a compliance officer

Becoming a compliance officer requires a solid foundation of relevant education.

The Diploma of Business (Compliance) (BSB50120) is an excellent stepping stone into a career in compliance. You will learn crucial skillsets such as managing budgets, financial plans, business resources and business risk, reporting on quality audits and more.

A flexible business compliance course allows you to study while working and completing the coursework when it suits you.

Some businesses offer sponsorship to interested employees who want to complete a compliance course. The business compliance diploma can be completed in as little as 12 months or up to 24 months if needed. This means you can complete the course while still working in your current role.

The well-rounded diploma qualification is nationally recognised and provides real-world examples to set you up for success in the workplace. The course also features units teaching risk management, meaning careers in both risk and compliance are in reach upon graduation.

Wanting to get ahead of the competition? Consider combining the Diploma of Business (Compliance) (BSB50120) with the Diploma of Quality Auditing (BSB50920) to better manage larger scale compliance projects.

Who is best suited to being a compliance officer?

Those who have worked in finance, law, supply chain management, human resources or health and safety are particularly well suited to business compliance. However, the role is an excellent choice for those wanting to begin their career in a secure industry.

Compliance officers require attention to detail and an ability to comprehend often complex laws and regulations. Compliance officers work closely with people from both inside and outside the business, so an ability to build rapport, communicate and lead a team are all excellent skills to have, too.

Regardless of your previous experience, you’re on the right path for a successful career in compliance by completing a well-rounded diploma qualification.

How to succeed as a compliance officer

Setting yourself up for success as a compliance officer with the proper qualification and workplace skills is key to excel in your career. Three ways to accelerate success are:

Education:

Completing a diploma such as the Diploma of Business (Compliance) (BSB50120) is an excellent way to ensure you enter the workforce with practical, real-world knowledge under your belt. The course frequently references workplace applications of compliance, giving you an edge over other early-career compliance officers.

Soft skills:

Soft skills such as leadership, communication, attention to detail, problem-solving, and resilience are essential to gaining success in your career as a compliance officer. Brushing up on skills such as these will put you in good stead for a choice of roles once you graduate. These soft skills can be honed in various situations, such as networking, volunteering, joining social groups and playing a team sport. Seek out opportunities to develop and grow your soft skills as soon and as often as possible.

Work experience:

An excellent way to increase your chances of success as a compliance officer is to find work experience in a compliance-heavy workplace. You don’t need to work in a large business or a professional role in order to pick up valuable skills. Not-for-profits are a good place to apply and will be grateful for your efforts. All workplaces equip you with skills such as working with others, communication and time management. A depth of work history on your resume is looked on favourably by employers.

Career opportunities as a compliance officer

Working as a compliance officer is an exciting career choice with plenty of growth potential.

Not adhering to laws or regulations can cost businesses hefty fines, result in serious legal action or loss of reputation, or even business closure. Businesses need skilled compliance officers who can implement the right policies and procedures and ensure they are upheld by others.

Compliance professionals are a valuable asset to all businesses, no matter what industry they’re in. Some of the most common industries that require compliance officers are:

  • Financial Services
  • Building and Construction
  • Healthcare
  • Supply and Manufacturing
  • Education

Career pathways in compliance

In terms of career pathways, working in compliance allows scope for you to grow in your career, whether that be vertically into a more senior role or horizontally into another industry or role. There are also plenty of opportunities to seek out similar roles such as an auditor or work health and safety officer due to the varied and complementary skills you will possess. Since compliance officers gain a broad knowledge about all business units, career progression to C-suite roles such as Chief Operations Manager or Chief Executive Officer are also possible.

A typical career path may look something like the below:

  • Complete a relevant diploma qualification such as the Diploma of Business (Compliance) (BSB50120)
  • Seek a graduate role as a Compliance Assistant or Officer. Alternatively, you could find work in a relevant industry where you can assist with compliance-related matters.
  • Develop your skillset by keeping up to date with key industry trends and completing professional development
  • Apply for promotions within your current business or seek external senior roles
  • Gain a leadership or senior management role like Compliance Coordinator or Compliance Manager, potentially overseeing a team of Compliance Officers
  • Move into C-suite or executive board positions

How to choose a risk and compliance course in Australia

Completing a business risk and compliance course such as the Diploma of Business (Compliance) (BSB50120) is the best place to begin. Coupling your qualifications with well-rounded soft skills will set you up for success in your career, allowing you to grow into senior roles as you become experienced and confident in your capabilities.

A current shortage of compliance officers, combined with increased demand, is incentivising workplaces to offer education sponsorships. Companies realise that it is a wise investment to support employees who are interested in careers as compliance officers, particularly if the employee has a current understanding of the business. Staff can implement what they learn as they study, making it a win-win scenario. It is worth discussing this possibility with your employer.

Choosing a business compliance course is best determined by a few essential factors. These include the length of the course, flexibility to study online, the quality of case studies and units available, the testimonials from others who have completed the course, price-point, and availability of educators and learning mentors for support. You should also consider any experience you have already that can be credited to units and potentially shorten the length of the course.

Working as a compliance officer in Australia is a rewarding career choice, with plenty of opportunities to advance your career in a range of industries.

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