5 Compliance Skills To Help You Succeed In 2023

Dynamic workdays, ever-evolving landscapes, fast-track career progression, and a wealth of opportunity – the world of compliance is anything but mundane.

As long as there are ethics to uphold and customers to protect, businesses will need to rely on the highly versatile skillsets of compliance professionals.

But what exactly do these skill sets look like? If you’re hoping to kickstart a successful career in compliance, it’s worth exploring the fundamentals.

Compliance Skills That Can Help Your Career

Here are five compliance skills that can make a huge difference.

Proactivity Is One Of The Key Compliance Skills

Regulatory compliance has never been as important as it is today. Both individuals and organizations must be held accountable, and the natural leadership of a talented compliance officer can be relied on to make sure that this happens.

As the regulatory environment twists and turns, solving modern problems requires proactive thinking skills. Similarly, a willingness to seize the initiative and make autonomous decisions with confidence is part of what it means to be a leader.

Compliance professionals need to utilize proactive thinking skills to stop problems from occurring in the first place. Whether it’s data protection or the safeguarding of FinTech, the costs of failing to catch a problem early are astronomical.

As new technology emerges, unfamiliar threats arise, and customer expectations change (just look at the wide call for more ethical working practices), a preventative approach to compliance can be the difference between success and failure.

A proactive mindset benefits from natural curiosity. The most effective compliance professionals tap into current risks and opportunities through a genuine desire to learn, acquire new industry knowledge, and follow the latest trends.


It pays to be pedantic in compliance. As regulations change and technologies evolve, cultivating a granular, up-to-date understanding of the latest requirements is a must.

A keen eye for detail is instrumental in the effort to understand any and all subject matter, and this includes subject matter across different regions.

Developing a healthy compliance infrastructure is no mean feat, especially when you consider the depth and complexity of the regulatory landscape. From legal and tech to industry operators and data control, strong attention to detail needs to be present at every cornerstone of the business.


Compliance professionals have an opportunity to enact positive changes within a business, provided they can adopt a pragmatic decision-making approach.

A realist tends to apply an objective lens to the working world, enabling them to make suitable, unbiased recommendations in any given scenario.

Compliance is evolving. In many ways, it’s a process that’s been accelerated in the conditions of a post-COVID world. The mass adoption of hybrid working represents brand-new compliance challenges, as does a turbulent economic landscape, shifting employee attitudes, and an uncertain global outlook.

When resources are stretched thin, a completely rigid compliance function will likely fall short of the mark. To uphold their ethical responsibility, compliance professionals need to ask difficult questions, challenge paradigms and advocate for progression.

This all hinges on an informed and pragmatic approach to work. In a world where change is the only certainty, forward-thinking compliance experts stay a step ahead through realism, not idealism.

Diplomacy At Every Level

Articulating ideas and navigating intricate conversations is part of day-to-day compliance, and some of those conversations can be extremely testing.

Compliance will have you talking to a huge array of different people, from investors and policymakers to board execs and, of course, commercial partners.

Effective communication is a large and vital part of the job – it’s not all just spreadsheets and data (there will be spreadsheets and data).

By streamlining internal communication and keeping everyone in the loop by articulating compliance clearly, a better company culture is much easier to cultivate.

Diplomacy becomes particularly valuable when liaising with actors in different regulatory jurisdictions, a common requirement in most modern compliance jobs.

In today’s climate, managing client expectations requires a diplomatic approach. Meaningful connections can’t be built without effective diplomacy, nor can interests be protected on either side of the conversation.


Contrary to what many believe, empathy is an incredibly powerful compliance skill, a key differentiator that helps build a more equitable future for all.

Empathy helps people take the wants and needs of others into consideration when making decisions, an integral element of diplomatic success.

Moreover, empathy is a critical leadership skill – it underpins nearly every other skill, and those who know how to manage it efficiently often enjoy increased insight, better critical thinking, and a heightened level of emotional intelligence.

It Doesn’t End There

Proactivity, diligence, pragmatism, diplomacy, and empathy provide a robust set of foundations, but they aren’t the be-all and end-all. In reality, compliance professionals are always learning new skills and approaches, forming meaningful connections, and developing their already-robust skillset.

Compliance can be a thoroughly fulfilling career path, one that greatly rewards those who value consistent learning and professional development.  

This article was first published by the International Compliance Association (ICA), the leading professional body for the global regulatory and financial crime compliance community. For more information on the benefits of becoming an ICA member, including access to the ICA’s complete content library of articles, videos, podcasts, blogs, and e-books, visit: Become an ICA Member – Application Form (int-comp.org)

About the author

Broadgate is the people-first staffing specialists for the business protection and enablement sectors. Since 2015, it’s been delivering community-led recruitment solutions to organizations all over the world. 

Underpinned by its DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging) hiring methodology, its specialized consultants empower tech-enabled businesses to scale and thrive, creating a space for individuals to be the best versions of themselves. To find out more about Broadgate visit their website.

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

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