School’s Back in Session – How to Stay Updated on Regulations

By: Sue Wells, Senior Consultant at A-LIGN

One of the most important areas that clients of compliance professionals count on is that their third-party “expert” will stay current on relevant regulations. I’d like to share some of the ways compliance professionals keep current with regulations, which will also work for busy industry and technology professionals.

There is an old adage that says that the best way to learn something is to teach it. Successful compliance professionals make it a practice to “teach” several times each year. In much the same way, after attending a class that is being presented by a compliance professional on current topics, an industry professional can always go back and share the learnings with other team members, even if it is not in a formal seminar environment.

Fitting in the time to stay current in a compliance firm requires team work with members who specialize in various areas and can share their learnings with others in a way that can fit into everyone’s busy schedule.  Many firms utilize frequent “lunch and learn” sessions to accomplish this. During a “lunch and learn” session, one member of the firm will “master” a topic and share it with the rest of the firm during the lunch hour.

The same “subject-matter-experts” who teach in-house “lunch and learns” will often be the presenters of seminars and, more commonly, webinars offered to the clients of compliance firms. In addition, many subject-matter-experts will also volunteer to present for industry-specific groups such as payroll professional organizations, collection company professional organization, and state lottery groups.

Reputable compliance professionals maintain several licenses such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), which require them to complete continuing professional education (CPE) each year. These licensing organizations also provide professional journals to members to assist the professional in staying current.

In summary, to stay current with regulations, A-LIGN recommends that industry and technology professionals take the following steps:

  1. Attend seminars or webinars that are offered by the compliance firms currently serving your business.
  2. Attend professional conferences where compliance professionals are presenting on the current regulations in your industry.
  3. Read professional journals and articles
  4. Share what you learned with your team