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Compliance Managers

History

As corporations grew in the 20th century, awareness of the need to monitor and inspect business activities and products increased. Government and industry regulatory organizations were established to protect the health and safety of the public and to prevent or reduce harmful effects on the environment. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was founded in 1906 to protect consumers from adulterated or misbranded food and drugs. Today the agency continues to protect public health, ensuring that producers of food, drug, and tobacco products are in compliance with health safety laws and regulations.

In the 1960s and 1970s, agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Drug Enforcement Administration were created, forcing many industries and companies to change their business operations and behaviors or risk expensive fines and possible criminal charges.

The National Society of Compliance Professionals was established in the late 1980s, in direct response to various business violations that were being exposed to the public at that time, for example, insider trading, the savings and loan crisis, and the procurement scandal in the U.S. Department of Defense. It was also in the late 1980s that the job of compliance and ethics managers started to take root as a recognized profession. Companies started to create these positions to monitor and inspect their business practices, to make sure they were aligned with government and industry regulations.

Compliance managers today work for companies large and small, from start-ups to long-standing firms, including banks, financial institutions, health care organizations, and federal and state agencies. They will continue to be needed to help companies stay aligned with government and industry regulations, and to maintain their integrity and good reputation in the public eye.

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