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Introduction: What's in a Name?

You may have noticed that some organizations have compliance programs, others have integrity or ethics programs. They are often considered synonymous, but a subtle distinction can be made between the two terms. It is generally thought that the title “compliance program” implies a primary concern with following rules and regulations, whereas the title “integrity or ethics program” puts the emphasis on values and doing the right thing. There may be differences in approach and subtleties of content, but there are basic elements common to both compliance and integrity/ethics programs. Those common elements, whatever the title of the program, are the focus of this book, although for convenience’s sake the term “compliance program” will be used throughout. Each organization must pick a title—or perhaps create an entirely new title—depending on its needs and culture. The title needs to reflect most accurately the focus of the program; i.e., values based (ethics/integrity) vs. rules based (compliance) vs. a hybrid approach for the title—which might be the organization’s Ethics and Compliance Program.

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