Future Compliance Officers study at the Universidad Europea

The Graduate Degree in Compliance, which starts this academic year, is the only course in Spain to offer access to CESCOM certification issued by the Spanish Compliance Association

All European businesses working in regulated sectors such as finance, energy or pharmaceuticals are legally obliged to have a Compliance department led by a Compliance Officer. Conscious of this fact, the Universidad Europea has launched its Graduate Degree in Compliance, with a program that stands out for its cross-disciplinary content and practical methodology, as well for offering access to CESCOM certification –issued by the Spanish Compliance Association and recognizing holders as Compliance Officers– and IAPP –Data Protection Officer authorization–.

Compliance Officers enable companies to control the risks of their activity, giving the organization a true ethical culture in complying with internal and external regulations. Beyond the legal requirement for regulated sector companies to have a Compliance Department, in many European countries organizations must also have a Compliance Officer (internal or external) to design, implement and update internal procedures and protocols to ensure no criminal acts are committed.

In the specific case of Spain, the role of Compliance Officer could only be found in listed companies and regulated sectors until the Attorney General published Circular 1/2016. Now, and after the 2010 reforms on the criminal liability of legal entities, major corporations and SMEs are beginning to understand the importance of having this type of professional in their organization. Nevertheless, there are still very few truly qualified professionals who hold the relevant professional certification in Spain.

Thus, according to the director of the Graduate Degree in Compliance at the Universidad Europea, Rafael M. Córcoles Valverde, “after the latest reforms to the Criminal Code and extensive legislation on corporate governance, transparency and business management, the role of Compliance Officer has become one of the main assets within an organization”. According to this expert, businesses increasingly need to “identify, assess, measure and control the regulatory compliance risks inherent to developing their activity in order to, in some cases, avoid corporate criminal liability and, in others, achieve more efficient management not just of the company’s activity but also its image in its environment”.

This situation poses very optimistic prospects for the future for those who decide to specialize in Compliance. In fact, some specialist consultants have already indicated that professional profiles associated with Compliance, regulatory compliance and regulation are increasingly in demand. However, the profiles demanded by businesses can be extremely varied depending on the specialization and experience required: from the Compliance Officer to the Data Protection Officer, including the Compliance Manager. That is why the Universidad Europea Graduate Degree program is divided into specific modules on subjects, whether in regulated sectors or not, offered by professionals implementing this in their businesses.