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With a growing body of knowledge documenting that highly ethical organizations are also high performing, enlightened business leaders are driving a new and ongoing convergence between ethics and compliance.

While ethics and compliance have always been deeply engrained in the typical compliance officer’s world view, business leaders are looking to create cultures where employees are committed to the company, voluntarily obey the rules, and trust and rely on one another—without, at the same time, opening up the enterprise to cheating and abuse of trust.

Unfortunately, when a director or senior executive asks for a state-of-the-art compliance program, compliance professionals cannot yet demonstrate that a proposed set of compliance policies and procedures truly are best in class. To do so—and make ethics a truly integral part of a company’s culture—the compliance profession as a whole must address three critical challenges:

  1. Clearly defining compliance and the compliance department’s role.
  2. Establishing measurable performance standards and certification processes.
  3. Creating a global credentials program for all compliance professionals.

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