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The job description for a compliance officer

The basic title of compliance officer can be applied to a wide range of occupations. From banking to finance to labour, a compliance officer reviews policies and procedures according to specific organizational guidelines. For example, a compliance officer assigned to employee safety can work in several sub-branches of compliance to ensure safe working conditions in a business environment. The National Bureau of Labor establishes procedures for the licensing and certification to work as a compliance officer under Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) guidelines. Other occupational titles for compliance officer are compliance manager, compliance specialist and compliance auditor.


A compliance officer inspects all aspects of a business to ensure OSHA standards are followed by employees and management. The compliance officer may instruct a business to examine discrepancies found during a review of operations and apply corrective measures to fix the issue. Compliance officers establish time frames for implementing changes and provide a safety report to management of problems which can endanger employees in the workplace. Businesses which usually don’t meet OSHA requirements are recommended by the compliance officer to cease operations.

Features and Job Functions

A compliance officer reviews and implements updated OSHA policies and procedures. He or she must be familiar with labour laws concerning health, safety and management initiatives to protect employees. A compliance officer may investigate complaints of employees who feel their safety or health is in jeopardy of a business practice or issue. Businesses can be fined for not complying with OSHA standards so many businesses have hired in-house compliance officers to communicate OSHA policies to all employees. The in-house compliance officer creates an audit schedule to ensure OSHA requirements are followed throughout the organisation.

Required Skills

A compliance officer must have excellent written and verbal communication skills. There can be a large amount of forms used by a compliance officer to conduct an audit. A compliance officer must have knowledge of computer application software to process reports, spreadsheet data and schedule audit review. Through the use of information systems, a compliance officer can access by query, programs which assist in doing their job, audit histories and archived reports.

Work Environment

A compliance officer can work in many environments. An industrial compliance officer might work at a construction site, while a hospital compliance officer may be assigned to a public health care system examining the distribution system of pharmaceutical drugs to clinical or hospital patients. The work hours can be long which depends on the type of compliance officer duties and management standards for the position.

Education and Salary

A compliance officer is required to have a master's or bachelor's degree in business management. According to Pay Scale's website, as of June 2010 the average median salary for a compliance officer with five to nine years of experience is within the ranges of £32,698 and £45,334.

About the Author

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