Compliance – what is it?
Compliance means the “act of fulfilling or observing a set of official, documented requirements”. These requirements take the form of laws, regulations, standards, and policies.
These laws, regulations, etc., set minimum requirements. They state requirements that anyone or any organization can reasonably be expected to fulfill without much effort:
• Do not kill anyone.
• Do not take what does not belong to you.
• Do not lie.
Compliance is “doing just good enough and no more”. Compliance is not aspirational. Calling for the organization to comply with the rules is not the same as calling for the organization to improve.
For example, a regulation or industry standard may require the organization to keep records of certain activities. The organization keeps those records to prove it complies with the rules or guidelines.
Is that all? Why does your organization keep records?
a) “The law says we must.”
b) “We monitor the process that results in those records, using the information in those records to improve the process.”
If you say “a”, you’re meeting the minimum requirements – the same requirements made of your vendors, your customers, and your competition.
Mere compliance will not put your organization on top of your business sector, nor will ongoing compliance keep it on top. Compliance will not make your organization “best in class”, “world class”, or “a leader in its field”. Compliance is merely a necessity.
If you say “b”, you want to retain customers and gain new ones. Your organization, from the top down, places the utmost importance on continual, ongoing improvement.
Compliance is important but why settle? Why not go above and beyond compliance? Strive for excellence!