Consider Certification for Compliance Officers and Staff

Laboratories should encourage or even require their compliance professionals to obtain compliance certification. As the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) reported in its recent compliance compensation survey report (see page 1), most compliance professionals hold some type of certification. Such certification correlates to higher compensation for those certified compared to chief compliance officers and compliance staff without certification. Certification also ensures your compliance officer and staff will have compliance- specific training and, because certification programs often require completion of continuing education to maintain certification, it can ensure your compliance professionals stay up-to-date on compliance issues. So it makes sense for your laboratory to require applicants for hire in your compliance department have relevant compliance certification and encourage existing staff to pursue compliance certification.

The relevant certifications can vary based on the tasks assigned but there are general compliance certification programs that address compliance broadly. More than 50 percent of chief compliance officers responding to HCCA’s survey held the certification Certified in Healthcare Compliance and at least a third of all levels of compliance staff responding (55 percent for directors, 47 percent for managers and 34 percent for assistants/specialists) held that certification.

More specialized certifications cited in HCCA’s report included Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance, Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional, Certified in Healthcare Research Compliance, Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Information Privacy Professional, Health Ethics Trust Certified Compliance Professional, Certified Compliance Executive (CCE), and Accredited Healthcare Fraud Investigator.

In a future issue of G2 Compliance Advisor, we’ll provide more information about the types of certification available and how to obtain them.

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