A compliance consultant is a familiar term within the general insurance sector, but what does the role actually involve, and how many metaphorical ‘hats’ does a consultant have to don?
To help answer this question, let’s take a sideways look at job description:
Regulatory Advisor: The consultant must continually keep up to date with regulatory requirements, covering not only the financial services sector, but also covering every other regulatory or legal obligation that their clients must meet.
The process of maintaining a contemporary understanding of all the ‘boxes’ a firm must tick, requires the consultant to know what is necessary now, but also what has been and what will be in the future. There are no shortcuts; the only way to amass the knowledge required is to familiarise yourself with regulatory rule books, superseded guidance and consultation papers.
Technical author: The consultant, during their work with clients, will be required to review policies and documentation that the firm has in place. Where appropriate, the consultant will be called upon to adapt policies or highlight necessary changes.
Business Owner: Firm owners retain a compliance consultant to support them and to allow them to focus their efforts on the ‘business’ of being in business. The consultant must be mindful of the commercial pressures that firms face and work around their priorities. Likewise, the consultant must be able to offer guidance on potential efficiencies that their clients may benefit from, if applied to their business.
Employee: The consultant must be able to appreciate and understand the tasks employees fulfil and the pressures of each role, to be able to effectively provide solutions to the challenges that they face.
Trainer: The consultant must be capable of recommending appropriate training and competence activities, to help clients ensure that CPD requirements are met.
Librarian: In the event that further guidance is required, the consultant must know where to go for the right information. This will require a detailed understanding of repositories of regulatory information and a well-developed professional network of peers.
Confidant: The consultant must preserve the integrity of their relationship with the client and treat all confidential information with the utmost respect.
Counsel: Many consultants become familiar faces within the client’s businesses and effectively become part of the wider team. The consultant may even be called upon for advice, opinion, or support during challenging times.
Long distance driver: Meeting face to face still offers a significant amount of value for both the consultant and the client (although this may not be possible in the current climate due to Covid-19). To facilitate these meetings, the consultant may be required to drive long distances to attend meetings, or spend periods away from home where required.
Presenter: In the event that formal meetings are not possible or required, the consultant will utilise video conferencing (or the telephone) to conduct meetings and keep in contact with their clients. The effective use of video conferencing is a skill that the consultant must hone.
Writer: Whether corresponding with clients, writing proposals, posting on social media, recording meeting notes or issuing a blog for the company newsletter, the consultant must be capable of writing in a professional manner.
This sideways take on the multiple hats that a compliance consultant must wear has hopefully given you a flavour of the role and the challenges it brings.
A compliance consultant can offer significant value to a firm, either as the sole source of support, or alongside internal compliance staff. If you would like to discuss the support packages on offer from RWA, please contact the team today.