1 What Is a Compliance Program?

There are many definitions of a compliance program. On a very basic level it is about education, prevention, detection, collaboration, and enforcement. It is a system of processes, policies and procedures, and controls that are developed to ensure compliance with all applicable rules, regulations, contracts and policies governing the actions of the organization. A compliance program is not merely a piece of paper or a binder on a shelf; it is not a quick fix to the latest hot problem; it is not a collection of hollow words. A compliance program—an effective compliance program—must be a living, ongoing process that is woven into the fabric of the organization which demonstrates commitment to the values and ethics of the organization as well as compliance with applicable laws and regulations. An effective program assists individuals within the organization to be aware and understand the expectations to do the right thing.

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