Imagine a broker landing a client with £500,000 to invest – they’d rightly be pretty happy with that. But if they can’t prove where the money has come from the deal will fall through. That’s where a compliance officer plays a vital role – making sure financial rules and regulations are adhered to.

Day to day work in compliance officer jobs.

The compliance job description is a very varied one and will depend on what area you work in but essentially means you’re responsible for ensuring all external regulations and internal policies are met. It’s a huge growth area in financial services with organisations keen to avoid fraud, money laundering, and financial mismanagement.

You’ll be carrying out risk assessments and investigating financial irregularities as well as implementing robust compliance controls and ensuring day to day operations meet the required standards. You’ll educate employees on the correct way to operate as well as raise any areas of concern.

Qualifications and experience needed.

Your qualifications will ultimately depend on the industry you work in and you don’t always need to hold a degree. It is less relevant than in other industries. Degrees such as accountancy, law or business are always popular though employers are often flexible about your degree discipline.

Increasingly the Financial Conduct Authority is becoming more involved and qualifications are growing in importance. You could get ahead of the game by getting a qualification from the International Compliance Association.


The ability to think critically and solve problems is vital. Sometimes, a situation won’t be black and white and you’ll need to be able to make an informed, intelligent and sensible decision based on the facts you do have in front of you.

You need to have more than a passing interest in the area you intend to work – chances are you’re going to be looking at matters in great detail. If you don’t enjoy the subject to begin with then you won’t find the work rewarding.


If you’re diligent, tenacious and appreciate attention to detail, then the role could be perfect for you. Being trustworthy is also a huge part of being a compliance officer and on occasion, acting with discretion.

Compliance changes regularly and you need to be enthusiastic as well as keep up with revised regulations and new laws.


Compliance officers are in short supply and there are plenty of jobs available across a wide range of industries – accountancy, financial services, charities, government organisations and pharmaceutical or property companies are just a few of the sectors where you could find a position.

Compliance is becoming increasingly important with increased globalisation so the profession is likely to continue growing with roles being created constantly. You could work in cybersecurity, risk management or auditing. 

With experience, you could move into senior managerial positions within a company.