This guest blog post is provided by the Competition Bureau, an independent law enforcement agency that ensures Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace. Headed by the Commissioner of Competition, the Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (except as it relates to food), the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act.

It does not take a master chef to create a credible and effective competition law compliance program. As with any recipe, using the right ingredients will make it a success. We asked our chefs at the Competition Bureau to list their finest ingredients for making the best corporate compliance programs and here are their recommendations! Make sure your program contains all seven to ensure a five-star rating:

1.  Management Buy in and Support
A credible and effective compliance program starts with a commitment by those who run the business.

2.  Assessed Compliance Risks
You need to identify and assess the activities and staff positions that put you at risk of violating the law.  

3.  Policies and Procedures
Every business needs compliance policies and procedures showing how it can avoid breaking the law.

4.  Training
All staff, especially those whose work makes them more vulnerable to engaging in illegal conduct, need to learn how to comply with the law.

5.  Monitoring, Verification and Reporting
An effective compliance program includes reporting mechanisms and regular check-ups to ensure it is being followed.

6.  Discipline and Incentives
Your compliance program must include clear disciplinary procedures to address breaches of the law, as well as incentives to help ensure that employees follow the program.

7.  Evaluation of the Program
A regular examination of the compliance program ensures its effectiveness, especially in the case of any change to the business or its market.

These seven ingredients are essential components of a credible and effective compliance program, but, depending on the size of your business, you may need to tailor them as required. In our following posts, we will explore in more details each of these topics in a series of seven blogs.

Bon appétit!

For more information, see the Corporate Compliance Programs bulletin available on our website.