Compliance professionals make sure that an organisation acts in accordance with all the relevant requirements of laws and regulations.

Compliance is a crucial for all sectors, particularly those operating in financial services.

With compliance’s importance continuing to grow it offers strong career opportunities for financial professionals.

Under the guidance of the organisation’s leadership, compliance professionals ensure the principles and rules of government and regulators are adhered to.

Entry and progression

Financial services, accountancy and legal practices are among those who employ compliance teams.

Junior compliance roles exist for those with little or no relevant experience.

Employers may require compliance/governance officers to obtain bespoke compliance or anti-money laundering qualifications.

Compliance career progression can be financially rewarding.

Experience in compliance forms a good basis for a career in more accountancy-specific roles.

ACCA develops the skills and knowledge required by forward thinking professional accountants, including those who work in compliance and governance.

Performance objectives

Remember it's not just about exams. You need to have the right experience so that you are competent – you have the experience and knowledge – to start and continue a career in compliance and governance.

Performance Objectives (PO) which would provide great experience and must be signed off as part of the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) could include:


High level competencies required by compliance/governance officers include:

  • Governance, Risk and Control

    A. Evaluates organisational structures and governance to protect the long-term interests of stakeholders.

    B. Recommends appropriate strategies to ensure adherence to governance structures and application of best practice internal controls.

    C. Identifies and manages risk appropriately.

    D. Uses risk management for the best interests of an organisation and its stakeholders.

    E. Monitors and applies relevant legislation, policies and procedures.

  • Stakeholder Relationship Management

    A. Positively develops relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

    B. Communicates and gains commitment from internal and external stakeholders.

    C. Uses emerging technologies to collaborate and communicate effectively with stakeholders.

    D. Applies professional and ethical judgement when engaging with stakeholders.

    E. Aligns organisational strategic objectives with stakeholder needs and manages expectations.

  • Ethics and Professionalism

    A. Develops advanced ethical values and professional skills in the promotion of public interest and the profession.

    B. Demonstrates personal effectiveness in fast changing environments.

    C. Encourages innovative thinking within the context of professional scepticism.

    D. Thinks proactively about the future, applying professional judgement and commercial intelligence and seeks specialist input when needed.

    E. Communicates effectively and influences others.