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School Compliance Officer: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

School compliance officers ensure faculty, staff, and students operate within the guidelines and regulations governing an educational institution. Alternate job titles include compliance coordinator, compliance manager and compliance director. Though no specific postsecondary degree is required, compliance officers who focus on specific fields must have relevant educational or professional experience.

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School Compliance Officer Job Description

Educational institutions must meet and observe a wide variety of guidelines and regulations set by both government agencies and nongovernmental associations in order to receive financial support and maintain accreditation. A school's compliance officer spreads awareness of policies, coordinates programs to promote the observation of guidelines and reports to a top-level administrator.

In some instances, regulations may apply to an entire institution. For example, a compliance officer may coordinate the submission of every student's medical records to meet minimum health standards. In other cases, compliance officers work within a specific program or department, such as a university's athletic department, where a compliance officer must ensure student-athletes conform to academic standards and don't breach athletic association guidelines.

School Compliance Officer Duties

Compliance officers must inform and advise the faculty, staff and students of all relevant rules and guidelines set by governments and other regulatory bodies. They must stay up-to-date with current regulations, develop programs and practices to help meet guidelines, monitor these practices and maintain all records required to certify compliance. Generally, officers report to a dean, director or other department head. In most cases, the compliance officer will need to establish a relationship and communicate with the appropriate regulatory organizations.

School Compliance Officer Requirements

Compliance officers must be knowledgeable with all rules and regulations and stay current with updates and revisions. For compliance officers in specialized fields, it's common, though not required, to have a relevant degree. For example, many compliance officers in university athletic departments have postsecondary degrees in sports management. Compliance officers in the scientific or medical research branches of a school require knowledge of ethics and safety guidelines, as well as applicable laws. In some instances, a professional license may be required. Job postings for compliance officers often emphasize good communication and writing skills.

Job Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't report on the job growth of compliance officers specifically, but it does categorize compliance managers under the broader group of 'Managers, All Other'. The BLS reported that these professionals were expected to see a job growth between 3% and 9% from 2010-2020, which is slower than the average for all occupations nationally. As of May 2012, the BLS reported that compliance officers earned a median annual salary of $62,020.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics