The Benefits of a Compliance Diploma

Why a diploma in compliance is a good career move

Unsurprisingly, the ‘global pandemic’ tops the list of what business leaders consider the most serious risk in 2021. The ongoing impacts of COVID-19 are responsible for that, and rightly so. However, it’s interesting to note what other factors are on risk managers’ radar for 2021 and beyond.

Compliance management matters

The Allianz Global 2021 Risk Barometer survey[1] found that Australian businesses consider changes to legislation and cyber incidents among the top five events that could negatively impact their sectors. In both cases, compliance management is at the forefront of proactively preparing for these scenarios.

Legislation changes

Changes to legislation topped the list of critical incidents in the previous survey and is an area that compliance officers deal with every day. Keeping tabs on the ever-changing legislative landscape (local, state and federal) and communicating these changes within the business is an essential aspect of their job.

Cyber incidents

As more and more businesses come to rely heavily upon data and digital markets, they must monitor changes in technology and ensure compliance with the best security procedures possible. Keeping ahead of the curve offers the best protection from the impacts of technology changes that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Where are compliance officers needed the most?

There are very few aspects of any business which is not subject to compliance. Compliance officers have the critical task of ensuring a company obeys all laws, licensing and regulations that might apply to different aspects of the business.

Compliance officers are needed by heavily regulated businesses, such as mining, financial services and health care. In essence, compliance officers are an intricate part of many business’ ecosystems. Business units that have the most compliance issues include finance, auditing, and health and safety.

Day-to-day, a compliance officer might be undertaking an internal audit of compliance matters, assessing and managing various risks, ensuring records are kept up to date and advising managers and perhaps a board of directors about compliance issues affecting the business. All this requires first-rate administrative skills and attention to detail that is second-to-none because even the smallest of compliance breaches can have enormous consequences for a company (financially and otherwise).

Is compliance a good career to choose?

An entry-level compliance officer in Australia can expect to earn $66,170 and quickly progress to an average salary of about $89,000 ( Click To Tweet

Compliance is an excellent way to get a ‘foot in the door’ of an industry that interests you. There is no ‘traditional’ background, such as finance or health, which would necessarily give one candidate an advantage over another.

Earning potential in this sector is attractive. An entry-level compliance officer in Australia can expect to earn $66,170 and quickly progress to an average salary of about $89,000. Senior compliance officers can command much higher salaries, the average of which is $113,000, with the potential to earn much higher[2].

There are many benefits beyond the financial. Depending on the size of the business, compliance officers usually have direct access to the decision-makers at an executive or board level. Their work is well respected and relied upon because of its’ critical nature. The work is full of variety, given the frequency and impact of legislative or legal changes businesses need to comply with, while the job security is solid. Almost 90% of financial services executives say they find it difficult to recruit skilled compliance workers[3], meaning they’ll go above and beyond to retain the good ones.

What are the career advantages?

Compliance is a varied field, which encompasses many specialties. Among them are jobs in the areas of equal opportunity, health and safety, property inspection, licensing, or any industry that is subject to a heavy regulatory environment.

There are various ‘soft skills’ associated with compliance careers. For example, being across the detail of a new legislative requirement is not much use if you can’t influence the behaviour of those who need to implement and comply with it. That requires an understanding of human nature while developing techniques and processes that encourage compliance.

Compliance officers also play a vital role in establishing an ethical relationship between the business and the customers, given that treating customers fairly is implicit in so many aspects of the legislation. You’ll need to be across areas of the company that other workers who are work in individual units or ‘silos’ are not and develop a deep understanding of business management.

The skills you learn are ultimately transferable across different industries. For example, you’ll have the opportunity to craft excellent communication skills by dealing with different types of people. For businesses with national or global customers and suppliers, travel will be a significant part of the compliance role.

How do I Become a Compliance Officer in Australia?

What is the best compliance certification?

Heading down this career path in the right way begins with a compliance diploma.

A compliance professional’s job is equal parts preparation and implementation. Reviewing business practices and identifying risk, coupled with proper lodgement and implementation of policies, require practical and strategic thinking. Making yourself heard and facilitating change will go smoother when you are using the right soft skills. A diploma in compliance offers real-life units and case studies that will prepare your mindset, develop these core competencies and open the right doors to a rewarding career.

While there’s no set path to entering the industry, it is more often than not a career that demands minimum educational standards. Besides this, the diploma is an excellent grounding in what to expect once you land that job. It helps you learn the critical thinking and problem-solving skills essential to a compliance officers’ role.

A Diploma of Business (Compliance) (BSB50120) sets you on the right path to a rewarding career in which you can help shape the way a business operates. It’s a serious responsibility and one for which you’ll be well regarded and compensated.