How Do I Become a Compliance Coordinator?

Kenneth W. Michael Wills

Contingent upon the specifics of the job description for a compliance coordinator, he or she will ensure the organization adheres to various laws and regulations set forth by outside institutions and internal policy. Compliance requirements can vary widely among industries, but most often the position will involve ensuring legal compliance, industry compliance, institutional compliance and contractual compliance. Adherence to laws, regulations, rules and policies are an important part of running an efficient organization, in particular, to mitigate associated risks on non-compliance inherent in an industry. Fulfilling the position effectively often requires someone with a solid educational background in a related major and professional experience in the specified industry. To become a compliance coordinator, candidates will need to prove the appropriate education and experience required.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Most compliance coordinator positions will require a bachelor’s degree, generally in business administration; though in some industries other degrees are preferred. For example, to become a compliance coordinator in the healthcare industry, a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration is better aligned to the task, although a business administration degree may be acceptable. Financial related industries may prefer an undergraduate degree in accounting or finance administration, rather than business. Educational institutions might require a teaching certification and a master’s degree in educational administration.

Professional experience is also important for candidates looking to become a compliance coordinator. Experience requirements vary among industries, often depending on the amount of regulation exposed to the particular industry. Many organizations will only require one year of experience in the industry specified, but for industries with exposure to intense regulation, more is usually required. Both public and private educational institutions, for example, deal with heavy regulation from public and peer oversight, requiring not only a higher-level of education, but also more experience, usually around three years. This experience does not have to be compliance oriented in most cases, but rather include exposure to the industry in a capacity that would require knowledge of or interaction with compliance requirements.

Backgrounds most suitable to become a compliance coordinator, however, are often taken into account, particularly when many applicants apply for the same position. Aside from familiarity with compliance concerns in the specified industry, candidates will also need to demonstrate an aptitude for research and reporting. Writing skills are critical to the job, and candidates demonstrating expertise in communicating through written efforts may have an advantage for those vacancies.

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