Last week our team headed off to Amsterdam to attend Compliance Week Europe, where Mitratech was a sponsor and also participated in speaking sessions. The conference was well attended and attracted compliance professionals from many different countries around the globe.
I found that listening first hand to various inspiring compliance speakers, all experts in their own field giving their introspective view on numerous regulatory topics was particularly insightful. Topics included how to manage regulatory changes across multiple jurisdictions, AML, GDPR, 3rd party due diligence and Cyber Crime.
There were numerous case studies and workshops that provided best practices on how different companies not only manage compliance and risk issues, but also how, as an organisation, they react when a breach occurs. Several themes rang clear: it’s critical for organisations to promote good internal communication between various departments, and, that ALL employees participate in regular training programs. The overarching theme, however, was that companies must do everything they can to ensure that EVERYONE within the organization act with integrity and in an ethical manner at all times.
Another well-received topic was the panel discussion of compliance experts led by Connor Blake, head of partnerships and alliances at Mitratech, on the importance of cooperation and engagement between an organisations legal, compliance and risk departments to help mitigate risk and ensure compliance. A number of topics were discussed including how the legal, risk and compliance functions fit within the organizational structures of companies, as well as how the level of compliance maturity plays a role in the collaboration and communication between these groups.
Last, there was an excellent policy management best practice roundtable, led by our own Natalie Fitzhugh, Mitratech Solution Consultant. Three main areas were identified that companies feel are crucial to effective policy management: collaboration, version control and training.
- For collaboration, it is not enough that policies get communicated to employees, it’s far more effective if the policies are actually written in collaboration with the appropriate areas of business to ensure alignment. The compliance department should share accountability in compliance with the business units and to do that, they must be collaborated with in creating those policies.
- On the topic of version control, this is a huge headache for compliance officers. Ensuring that employees only have access to the most up-to-date version of a policy and that they cannot reference any other version was deemed to be a key challenge. This includes printed copies, electronic copies saved in emails / network drives, intranet sites.
- Last, everyone in the roundtable discussion said that they don’t just distribute the policies for employees to read – they back this up with training videos, training seminars, quizzes, etc. At one organisation they actually do all the training first before distributing the policy.
Compliance Week Europe overall was a big success – attendees truly gained insights, heard from experts and networked with peers. I look forward to next year’s event and you can count on Mitratech to be there!
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