Creating an effective Compliance function: five core principles

Effectiveness of a Compliance Function

Meeting the increasingly complex and dynamically evolving compliance requirements is hard. The key to success is shifting “compliance” from being seen only as a functional capability delivered by a skilled few, to being a core, aligned component of strategy and the business operating model. On top of this, there is ongoing pressure on costs, with Compliance functions being asked to do more for less.

Leading organisations are those that are able to shift compliance beyond the remit of the compliance function and its accountabilities and activities, instead embedding it into all core processes, systems and ways of working. They make compliance a core behaviour and expectation of all staff and successfully weave it in to all strategic decisions. In other words, they make compliance a 'culture'. 

Underpinning the compliance culture

To create a compliance culture, it goes without saying that an organisation must develop a strong and effective compliance function. At TORI Global, we've boiled this down to five core features, which we believe are essential to creating an effective compliance function:

  1. Strong core foundations
  2. Clear organisation
  3. Great people
  4. Effective core activities
  5. Track record of execution and improvement

Within each of these core principles, TORI has developed measurable characteristics to profile the relative effectiveness of that feature. For example, strong core foundations are characterised by, amongst others, a widely shared culture of compliance; a high-profile compliance function; a clear and recognised mandate for compliance; and good compliance alignment to strategy.

A profiling tool

TORI’s viewpoint is set out in a profiling tool, which enables the assessment of the current state of each of these five core features against their underlying characteristics; positions this view against the desired target state; and allows the business to make insight-driven decisions around priority areas for change and optimisation. The graphic below gives an example of the top-level summary output a client might expect from the tool:

This type of output supports clients as they make brave decisions to address weaknesses or pursue opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of their compliance function.

TORI Global provides services around the world, with our two flagship offices situated in London and New York. If you would like to find out more about our services and how we can help you across a range of operational excellence or governance, risk and compliance needs, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us using the form on our website, or call us on one of the numbers below.

TORI Global - London

T. +44 (0) 20 7025 5555

TORI Global - New York

T. +1 212 618 1970

Fergus Allan
Head of Regulation & Compliance