What is compliance?

Compliance is more than just obeying laws

‘Behaving in accordance with applicable law’ – this is one of the official definitions of compliance. However, compliance means much more, that is to say, the degree of compliance with rules. Those who are compliant not only adhere to law and order, but ideally also to the organisation’s policies and system of values. Complying with these rules is unavoidable, particularly in the business world.

As such, compliance means more than avoiding violations of the law. In addition to mandatory rules it also covers rules that companies voluntarily submit to such as standards, as well as rules companies impose upon themselves for example, as part of a code of conduct.

Non-compliance can have serious consequences to both individuals and for the entire organisation in general. Compliance is a key requirement for long-term sustainable success. Reliability, continuity and trust can only exist in an organisation if it is clearly committed to compliance.

What responsibilities does this involve for companies? Learn more in the ‘Compliance management’ section.

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