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Overview of the role

Understanding, investigating and negotiating with individuals and organisations who, by accident or with intent, may not be complying with or are deliberately evading regulation or law

Reference Number: ST0708

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in supervisory and regulatory organisations and authorities across the public sector, who monitor and investigate levels of compliance.  This occupation is distinct to the public sector, as only the government can apply civil and criminal penalties, or pursue public prosecutions.  Compliance staff need to understand, investigate and negotiate with individuals and organisations who, by accident or with intent, may not be complying with or are deliberately evading regulation or law.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to protect the UK’s public interest, money and services, driving improved customer compliance that supports the honest majority who meet their obligations and makes it hard for the dishonest minority, identifying potential acts of criminality and supporting civil or criminal proceedings.  This raises standards of compliance across the UK, treating everybody fairly and with respect, applying the law impartially with integrity and honesty. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with colleagues, working independently with a team of Compliance Officers/Investigators, reporting to a senior manager.  Employees liaise with other specialists and professions, including policy and legal teams.  They will interact with customers that range from individuals to large corporate organisations, identifying and investigating possible or apparent anomalies in documentation or other sources of evidence.

Employees may also interact with 3rd party agencies in order to support their work, such as local authorities or law enforcement agencies, as well as representing their organisation at tribunals or in court. An employee in this occupation will be responsible for conducting risk-based compliance checks and investigations by applying appropriate legislation, case law, policy and procedure, so that casework can be carried out with integrity and minimal opportunity for technical error. They will work independently to obtain evidence through various fact-finding methodologies, which may range from reviewing documents to contentious interviews.  They will exercise judgement and discretion within specified parameters to test credibility and will make evidence-based decisions and recommendations, including when to escalate an issue, and to whom.  Compliance Officers/Investigators will make recommendations and judgements within defined parameters, obtaining authority to proceed from a Senior Manager for decisions that fall outside those parameters.

Typical job titles

Typical job titles include Compliance Officer, Regulatory Officer, Casework Investigator, Compliance Investigator, Compliance Manager, Assistant Inspector.

Occupation duties


Criteria for measuring performance


Duty 1 Collate, analyse and interpret data, (such as personal, commercial and financial data), research potential evidence and use relevant risk assessment methodologies to plan risk-based activities/responses.

Quality and effectiveness of  outputs and plans from interpretation of data and evidence

K2 K3

S2 S3 S5 S7 S12


Duty 2 Review activities/responses as risks to compliance evolve, detecting unusual activity, themes or trends, and responding by developing and identifying new mitigation plans and appropriate courses of action.

Effective revision of plans in accordance with organisational operating procedures

K1 K2 K3

S1 S2 S3 S5 S7

B2 B3 B4

Duty 3 Work with personal, confidential and highly sensitive information, (such as personal, commercial and financial data), following a strict legal duty to maintain the confidentiality of information and fully adhering to organisational policies and guidelines.

Comply with organisational policies, standards and wider legislation

K1 K4

S1 S2


Duty 4 Evidence that consideration is applied based on individuals’ needs and circumstances

Evidence that consideration is applied based on individuals' needs and circumstances


S3 S7 S10

B1 B3 B4

Duty 5 Manage a range of activities at the same time (such as cases, events and reports) meeting numerous critical deadlines and prioritising activity appropriately.

Effective planning and prioritisation of tasks and activities

Meeting agreed deadlines and following  organisational case management processes

K1 K5

S4 S5 S6 S10

B2 B3

Duty 6 Maintain case management systems in order to document decisions, progress actions and build knowledge management

Work within  organisational case management processes and systems ensuring accuracy in completion of documentation


S2 S6 S12


Duty 7 Systematically gather, examine and analyse records/data/information using relevant legislation, organisational policies, principles and standards to test credibility and identify potential inaccuracies, anomalies, non-compliance and criminality.

Evidence of sound examination, analysis and rationale for evidence-based decisions

K1 K2 K3

S1 S2 S5 S7

B3 B4

Duty 8 Collect, retain and disseminate evidence and information (including physical, digital, intellectual) in a correct and lawful manner to progress activity and protect the integrity of the investigation.

Comply with  organisational standards and procedures for evidence

K1 K5

S2 S8 S12

B1 B2

Duty 9 Create a sound audit trail to decision making including accurate recording of decisions made, rationale and interactions.

Accuracy in completion of documentation


S5 S7 S8


Duty 10 Present evidence and information in ways that everyone can understand, in order to progress cases/activities or to capture and reflect final outcomes.

Quality and effectiveness of communications and presentation of evidence


S2 S8 S9 S11 S12


Duty 11 Collaborate with own team and technical/policy specialists across the organisation and beyond (where appropriate), in order to achieve the correct and appropriate outcomes.

Individual’s ability to communicate effectively at all levels; oral, written and presentation

K1 K3 K5

S3 S4 S5 S7 S8 S11

B2 B3

Duty 12 Contribute to and make informed decisions on case progression within area of own responsibility in line with legislation and policy guidance.

Comply with organisational policies, standards and wider legislation


S1 S3 S4 S5 S7 S11


Duty 13 Identify any potential acts of criminality/non-compliance from evidence within casework or other customer/stakeholder contacts.

Accuracy in correct identification, and appropriate escalation, of acts of criminality

K1 K2 K3

S1 S3 S5 S7 S9


Duty 14 Make informed judgements and recognise when it is appropriate to escalate within your own organisation, or sign-post concerns to other relevant organisations

Comply  with organisational policies, standards and wider legislation

K1 K2 K5

S4 S5 S7 S8 S10

B1 B2 B4



K1: Legislation, policies and procedures   Understands the basic principles of the relevant legal framework, powers and legislation and how these apply to their role.  Understands the relevance and appropriate application of organisational polices (such as employee code of conduct and relevant policies concerning information technology and data governance).  Understands how relevant Data Protection and Freedom of Information legislation applies to the role and the organisation, and the potential impact on investigations.

K2: Analysing and Interpreting Data   Understands the range of potential data and other information sources; knows how to use them to make informed judgements.   Understands how to prepare and present findings in relation to irregularities in data.

K3: Commercial/Sector Understanding   Awareness of the range of business types within their sector, how they are structured and managed and (if appropriate) financed. Understands how these affect business behaviour, and knows how to use this knowledge to identify risk.

K4: Ethical Standards   Understands the ethical standards that the organisation and sector requires of its employees and the implications of these for the role

K5: Systems and Processes   Understands the systems, tools and processes used in the role, and how these impact on their team, and their wider organisation.


S1 Application of technical knowledge   Progresses and resolves technical queries by applying the relevant legislation and powers. Apply relevant organisational policies to all elements of work Effectively applies relevant Data Protection and Freedom of Information legislation and identifies the potential impact on investigations, the role and the organisation.

S2 Analysing and Interpreting Data  Gather, examine and analyse customer records/data/information from a number of sources to identify potential inaccuracies, anomalies and non-compliance.  Uses an investigative approach to establish the facts.  Identifies, collects, retains and disseminates evidence in a correct and lawful manner. Handles sensitive information securely.  Ensure all records relating to investigations are accurate and comprehensive.

S3 Commercial/Sector Insights  Delivers effective risk management and compliance by recognising and applying relevant insight knowledge regarding the business types within their sector (including how businesses are structured, managed and (if appropriate) financed.

S4 Team Working and Collaboration   Maintains effective, professional working relationships both internally and externally across organisations.  Builds and maintains new partner/stakeholder relationships with those involved in investigations to achieve progress on objectives, key initiatives and shared interests.

S5 Decision Making  Uses effective problem solving techniques to make well-informed judgements/decisions Uses information from a range of sources to determine the appropriate course of action, escalating decisions to senior managers when appropriate.

S6 Workload management   Applies organisational quality standards in order to deliver effective outcomes.  Plans and prioritises activity accordingly in line with organisational key performance indicators. Co-ordinates the structure and sequence of workload activities to effectively manage competing demands

S7 Assessing Compliance Risk   Applies knowledge of customer's business and activities to identify risk Identifies the proximity/extent of risk and address risks with an appropriate response to bring cases/investigations to conclusion. Uses organisational risk assessment methodologies as tools to support compliance/investigation Plans and undertakes interventions that target and are proportionate to the identified risk Uses reflective and independent thinking to identify the logical connection between business policies and compliance regulations Thinks creatively to generate solutions to unique compliance issues.

S8 Communication  Presents fact based evidence to customers/third parties in ways that they can understand in order to progress case/issue. Drafts concise, clear and accurate reports; writes clear and concise letters, e-mails and other items of correspondence Recognises all stakeholders (both internal and external) and demonstrates appropriate professional communication and engagement methods Recognises discrepancies and gaps in information and uses a range of questioning techniques to clarify and extract as much detail as possible

S9 Negotiation and Conflict Management  Uses diplomacy and tact appropriately to mediate and reconcile different points of view or resolve problems Manages conflict and handles dissension calmly and confidently  Explains and defends their point of view; thinks clearly and rapidly under pressure and uncertainty Demonstrates confidence and resilience when faced with tough situations (for example when dealing with external agencies such as regulators)

S10 Leadership  Demonstrates drive and enthusiasm for developing own compliance capability and that of others Engages with and inspires others to be the best Communicates goals clearly and instils in others a desire to assist in implementing them

S11 Problem Solving   Identifies problems, devises alternatives, evaluates alternatives and then implements the most viable solutions Combines innovative and analytical thinking to address problems and identify solutions Demonstrates tenacity and persistence to resolve the problem to the mutual satisfaction of all concerned

S12 IT Skills  Uses appropriate organisational technology with confidence to meet the diverse needs of customers and stakeholders


B1: Ethics, Integrity and Discretion   Demonstrates honesty and sincerity and is trustworthy in their actions. Clearly demonstrates the desire to do the right thing, displaying tact and diplomacy in their dealings with others. Maintains appropriate confidentiality at all times. Puts the obligations of public service above their own personal interests.

B2: Professional Effectiveness  Continuously develops their professional capability to meet the needs of the business and its customers.  Effectively manages their time, workload and priorities to deliver a quality service. Resolves problems and adapts to new situations. Develops and shares their professional expertise to build the capability of colleagues within their team

B3: Receptive and Responsive  Changes behavioural style or method of approach when necessary to achieve a goal; adjusts style as appropriate to the needs of the situation. Responds to change with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn new ways to accomplish work activities and objectives.

B4: Inquisitive and Challenging   Employs a healthy and positive scepticism when gathering and analysing information or in dealings with stakeholders or customer to verify the accuracy of their records and integrity of their actions


English and Maths qualifications

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment.  For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL. 

Additional details

Occupational Level: 3
Duration (months): 18


This standard will be reviewed after three years.

Crown copyright © 2019. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 3
Reference: ST0708
Approved for delivery: 1 March 2019
Route: Business and administration
Typical duration: 18 months
Maximum funding: £4000
Trailblazer contact(s): stephen.martin1@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk
Employers involved in creating the standard: HMRC, Environment Agency, Gambling Commission, Office of the Public Guardian, Care Quality Commission, Gambling Commission, Dept. for Work & Pensions

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Version log

Version Date updated Change Previous version
1 24/09/2018 Initial Creation N/A