Compliance Certifications – Guide & List

Whether you are thinking about how to become a compliance officer or you’re already working in the field, obtaining certification may help you achieve your career goals. Though compliance certification may not be mandatory, pursuing it may provide a variety of benefits. 

This compliance certification guide will help outline the benefits and different types of certifications as well as focusing on:

What is a Compliance Certification?

If you’re interested in a career in compliance, you may be wondering what is compliance certification, and is it something you should seek out? According to the Compliance Certification Board (CCB), the definition of compliance certification is a credential that signifies that an individual has met a set of criteria specified by the board. The criteria include rigorous standards for professional conduct.

In order to become certified by the CCB, which is a national accrediting agency, or by other accrediting agencies, you must typically complete educational and training requirements, as well as pass an examination. 

Benefits of Getting a Compliance Certification

Though earning a compliance certification is not a requirement for some jobs, there are a number of benefits to doing so. Some of the key advantages of compliance certifications include developing and sharpening key skills you may need in your field, enhancing your professional credibility, and potentially providing you with an advantage among your peers in terms of knowledge and experience. 

Healthcare Compliance Certifications

If you work or wish to work in healthcare as a compliance professional, it’s important to consider obtaining a healthcare compliance certification for several reasons. Healthcare is a complicated industry that is often high-risk. Obtaining a healthcare compliance certification may help you to mitigate risks. Plus, employing someone who is certified in healthcare compliance may be beneficial for healthcare providers. 

Health care providers are subject to stringent federal Medicare regulations, and lack of compliance can result in consequences. Getting trained and certified in healthcare compliance may provide you with the tools and knowledge needed to address complex medical compliance issues, and may help ensure you are taking a proactive and comprehensive approach. 

Several healthcare compliance certifications are described in detail below. 

Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC)

The CHC certification is issued by the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA), geared toward those who wish to practice in the general health care compliance realm, such as assisting healthcare organizations in understanding and addressing legal obligations, and promoting organizational integrity through the operation of effective compliance programs. This certification is accredited by CCB.

Eligibility Requirements: Candidates need to meet 20 CCB-approved continuing education units (CEUs) and work experience requirements or equivalent student experience. Renewed every two years. 

Certified in Healthcare Research Compliance (CHRC)

The CHRC certification is issued by HCCA and is accredited by CCB as well. It is designed for those who wish to practice research compliance processes within healthcare institutions and organizations.

Eligibility Requirements: Candidates need to meet 20 CCB-approved continuing education units (CEUs) and work experience requirements or equivalent student experience. Renewed every two years. 

Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC)

In addition to CHC and CHRC, the CCB also provides accreditation for the CHPC certification, which is for people who wish to focus on the privacy in compliance and the operation of effective privacy compliance programs.  

Eligibility Requirements: Candidates need to meet 20 CCB-approved continuing education units (CEUs) and work experience requirements or equivalent student experience. Renewed every two years.   

Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO) 

The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) issues the CPCO certification, which is designed to help working professionals to demonstrate their understanding of the key requirements necessary to effectively develop, implement, and monitor a healthcare compliance program in a broad range of settings. 

Eligibility Requirements: A minimum of two years of work experience in compliance and regulations and at least an associate degree in healthcare is recommended by the AAPC. Maintain AAPC membership annually. Certification holders must complete 36 continuing education units every two years to maintain their standing. 

Certified Medical Device Compliance Professional (CMDCP)

The Center for Professional Innovation and Education (CfPIE) issues the CMDCP certification. This compliance certification is for anyone who wants to work with healthcare compliance related to medical devices, and covers topics such as manufacturing, product design, clinical trials, and regulatory filings.

Eligibility Requirements: Four CfPIE administered courses. Passing corresponding course exams. 

Certified Compliance Professional (CCP)

The Health Ethics Trust issues the CCP certification. It’s geared toward individuals working in healthcare compliance who wish to demonstrate a high level of professionalism, and who meet best practice standards. 

Eligibility Requirements: A minimum of one year work experience in compliance and an educational background in the field. A letter of recommendation from a supervisor. Continuing education and renewal every three years. 

Corporate Compliance Certifications

The corporate world is dynamic, changes rapidly, and could be high-risk. Therefore, compliance professionals are important members of corporate organizations. Obtaining certification in corporate compliance may not only help ensure your organization is meeting compliance standards, but it may also help you stand out in your field and may lead to rewarding job opportunities. 

Several corporate compliance certifications are described in detail below. 

Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP)

The CCB provides accreditation for the CCEP certification, and it is geared toward those who wish to work in corporate compliance in the United States. Professionals with this certification help health care organizations develop a proactive compliance approach that is in-line with legal and ethical regulations in the United State. For those who work outside of the U.S., or whose companies have international affiliates, the CCEP-I may be an appropriate option. CCEP-F (Fellowship)  is another certification you may wish to consider. 

Eligibility Requirements: Candidates need to meet 20 CCB approved CEUs and have work experience or equivalent student experience. Renewal every two years. 

Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) 

The American Bankers Association (ABA) issues the CRCM certification. It is for people working at the intersection of financial services and compliance. The certification is useful for professionals who wish to demonstrate expertise in regulatory compliance topics such as governance and oversight, regulatory change management, and regulator and auditor compliance management. 

Eligibility Requirements: Six years work experience or a combination of three years of work experience and completion of two ABA courses. Candidates must meet 60 CEU requirements every three years. 

Leadership Professional in Ethics and Compliance (LPEC) 

The Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI) issues the LPEC certification, and it is geared toward those who work in the business compliance field who wish to help organizations develop an effective culture of integrity and managing governance. 

Eligibility Requirements: Passing a 100-question examination. Available to both members and non-members of the ECI.

NAFCU Certified Compliance Officer (NCCO) 

National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU) issues the NCCO certification, and it is geared toward people who work in compliance specifically within credit union operations. 

Eligibility Requirements: Attend the NAFCU’s six-day regulatory compliance school. Candidates must complete 24 CEUs every two years to maintain certification. 

Certified Compliance Professional (CCP) by IABFM

The CCP certification from the International Academy of Business & Financial Management (IABFM) is geared toward corporate officers who are responsible for compliance within their organizations. It is one of many certifications offered by this professional organization. The IABFM also issues the Advanced Certified Compliance Professional (ACCP) certification. As the name indicates, it is a more advanced certification and those seeking it may expect to dive into complex case studies. There are two program formats for the CCP certification—one for companies and one for banks and financial institutions.  

Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must attend a five-day training program.  

Compliance Certifications in Banking, IT, and Privacy

The fields of banking, IT, and privacy represent high-stakes environments where compliance is important. Obtaining a certification in banking, IT, or privacy compliance may help your organization mitigate risks and more effectively implement compliance practices. Obtaining these certifications may also help you stand out to employers due to the added level of knowledge and training they often represent.  

Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP)

The CIPP certification is issued by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), and is geared toward those whose work involves privacy and data compliance. Within this compliance certification, there are four concentrations focused on different regions: Asia (CIPP/A), Canada (CIPP/C), Europe (CIPP/E) and U.S. private-sector (CIPP/US). Earning this certification demonstrates candidates’ understanding of broad global concepts such as privacy and data protection law and practice, regulations and enforcement models, as well as legal requirements for handling and transferring data.

Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must pass an exam, and training materials from IAPP are available. 

Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT)

The CGEIT certification is issued by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), and it is for people whose work is concerned with the governance of enterprise compliance. It includes four domains: governance of enterprise IT, IT resources, benefits realization, and risk optimization.

Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must complete at least 120 CEUs every three years, pay an annual fee, and comply with the ISCA code of ethics. 

Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)

The CRISC certification is also issued by ISACA, and it is geared toward those who have expertise in managing IT enterprise risk and maintaining information systems control. This certification is focused on four work-related domains: IT risk identification, IT risk assessment, risk response and mitigation, and risk and control monitoring and reporting.

Eligibility Requirements: Similar to the CGEIT requirements, candidates must complete at least 120 units of continuing education every three years, pay an annual fee, and comply with the ISCA code of ethics. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Compliance Certifications 

There are a variety of factors you should consider if you want to pursue a compliance certification. Whether you are interested in a healthcare compliance certification or one in corporate compliance, there are key facts you should be aware of. 

The following section will answer some common questions related to compliance certifications.

What are the best compliance certifications to get?

The certification that will best serve your needs depends on your specific industry and job requirements. There is no formal ranking system for compliance certifications, and you should evaluate your personal circumstances in order to determine which certification is best for you. 

This guide contains information on 15 industry-specific compliance certifications, which can be used as a reference for helping to determine which certification best meets your needs.

Is it necessary to obtain a compliance certification?

There are many benefits to obtaining compliance certification. However, whether or not you should pursue a specific certification depends on your career goals, employer needs, and job requirements. Though obtaining certification isn’t a formal requirement for some jobs, obtaining certification may be a good way to differentiate yourself from your peers.

What is the process of getting certified in compliance?

As noted in the sections above, requirements vary between different certifications. Most certifications require taking and passing an exam, and meeting some form of continuing education requirement. Be sure to check with the relevant certification board once you have decided to pursue any of the certifications they offer.

What are the background requirements to apply for compliance certifications?

As explained in the detailed descriptions of different certifications above, each certification has different requirements. Therefore, it is important to research specific certifications and their eligibility requirements. Common certification requirements include work experience in the compliance field and an educational background in compliance. Additionally, most certifications require taking and passing an exam. 

Compliance certifications may be specific to a variety of fields and may benefit both you and your employer. Understanding the different kinds of certifications available and their respective requirements may help you make the best decision for your career. In addition to advancing your career through compliance certifications, you may also consider a master’s in compliance if you would like to deepen your professional knowledge. 

If you’re interested in learning about earning potential in this field and the different factors that may impact it, read our guide to compliance officer salary.

Information on this page was last retrieved in September 2020.