Compliance officers register with CISA

SAQA recognises the Compliance Institute SA (CISA) as a professional body for legal compliance officers and financial risk practitioners.

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) recognised the registration of two legislation compliance designations by the CI; Compliance Practitioner (CPrac), and Compliance Professional (CProf), from November 2012.

The body serves primarily the financial services industry, and its 1000 members working in insurance and banks, but it also concerns itself with compliance to business and environmental legislation, and is expanding recruitment to other public and private sectors.

Compliance risk management plan for each Act

CISA is also developing a suite of compliance risk management plans for various Acts, starting with Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), Pensions Fund Act (PFA), Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) and Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act (FAIS).

Other Acts such as the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and the National Credit Act (NCA) will follow in due course, making the Institute’s offering relevant to a wide range of businesses.

The two new financial risk occupational designations will be conferred on compliance officers who meet certain “experience, knowledge, skills and ethical requirements, and who pass CISA board examinations”.

CISA CEO Julie Methven said SAQA recognition was “an incredibly important milestone, given the changing role of compliance from that of a low profile, tick-box function, to a strategic business imperative.”

Earlier this year, CISA acted as the Development Quality Partner (DQP), with the Quality Council for Trade and Occupations (QCTO), assembling a group of expert compliance practitioners to draft a compliance officer training curriculum standard, which has been submitted to the QCTO for approval.

The QCTO is one of three SAQA training quality councils, and focuses on occupational and professional qualifications. The other two training authorities at the Council for Higher Education at tertiary level, and Umalusi at a trades level.

Following the curriculum draft, CSIA applied to become the QCTO’s Assessment Quality Partner (AQP) for the occupational curriculum for compliance officers, thus to manage and moderate external assessment of the qualification and practitioners by way of exams.

Methven said that the three pillars of professionalising legal compliance practice, were the occupational curriculum drafted by CISA, the AQP function rendered by CISA, and registration by CISA.

Compliance officers should acts as an integral part of management, requiring professional standards and registration, said Methven.

CISA is “embarking on a drive to reach new sectors of the economy, both private and public. South Africa has a poor compliance culture. Failure to comply exposes organisations to a range of risks that can result in financial and reputational damage and loss, and threaten their viability.”

Established in 1995, the Institute is now the recognised body for compliance professionals, and currently has approximately 1000 members. Compliance principles and best practice are generic, and apply to all business sectors.

Through its flagship Generally Accepted Compliance Practice (GACP) framework, the Institute sets standards for professional compliance practice,

CISA aims at recruiting public service and parastatal compliance practitioners.

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