: a Belgian reaction to a global trend

Today, in Belgium too, with the emergence of reputational risks in many areas, from improper business conducts to the failure to handle data breaches or human rights violations, which can permanently damage a company’s relationship with its customers and investors, compliance and ethics programmes are not only more and more significant on the agendas of company’s management and board meetings, they are also growingly driving business strategy and initiatives.

However, the definition and the recognition of compliance professionals in Belgium, outside from regulated sectors like the financial sector and insurance, is for a large number of companies not mature. When present, the organization of compliance might then often be perceived as the total responsibility of the legal team – sometimes with a scarcity of resources. Or some elements of a compliance programme are fragmented into different departments of the company, with a lack or an absence of coordination. Or the implementation of compliance is just a copy/paste of a global policy, which has not been really designed and adapted for the local culture of the employees and third parties.

Moreover, the human resources perspective tends to demonstrate that companies outside from regulated sectors like the financial sector and insurance can have difficulties to find the suitable profiles for compliance roles.

Therefore, because of the need for awareness, knowledge-sharing, advocacy and training in the field, the Belgian chapter of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC Belgium) starts with the support of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB-VBO) and the Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce (Belgian Chambers) the initiative that aims to offer a free dedicated platform for compliance professionals, with at least five years of relevant professional experience, to regularly gather, coordinate initiatives and organize educational events, with a first compact training of 5 afternoons during 5 months starting on 11 October 2018, during which twelve Belgian experts in Compliance will provide the participants with a unique helicopter view with all the most relevant compliance topics in Belgium.

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