Why growth alone is not sufficient for ICA

“We do not promote qualifications – we promote knowledge. We give compliance professionals the tools and the confidence to do difficult, complex jobs, and to tackle their roles head on.” Helen Langton, Managing Director.

When ICA was founded in 2002, the goal was to create a professional body supporting those responsible for compliance in organisations around the world, at the time when ‘compliance professionals’ had yet to be given the recognition they rightly receive today given the regulatory regimes that govern society at present.

The ICA was founded by Wilmington as a professional membership association, and an awarding body for financial-crime- and regulatory compliance professionals. The founders believed that education, recognition and community were key to establishing an active regulatory risk control and by establishing ICA, they provided the opportunity for an effective community of specialists, regulators and practitioners at all stages of their careers to come together to study, to network, to grow. Working closely with Alliance Manchester Business School, the business school of the University of Manchester, the ICA has developed over 40 professional qualifications.

A woman on a mission

In the years that followed, ICA has truly risen to the global stage. It now has members in 130 different countries, offices in the UK, Dubai, Singapore and New York and has awarded more than 120,000 certifications globally.

“Our mission,” says Helen Langton, Managing Director of ICA, “is to inspire, educate and enable a global community of compliance specialists to perform to the highest possible standards of professional practice and conduct. While education is vital, we don’t promote qualifications – we promote knowledge. We give compliance professionals the tools and the confidence to do difficult, complex jobs, and to tackle their roles head-on.

“The key, as we see it, is to demonstrate to organisations the tangible benefits of investing in their people as part of a joined-up approach to tackling the growing mass of risks they face. We provide knowledge, guidance, information and practical skills as part of an ongoing strategy to constantly improve business performance.”

The rise of the compliance professional

The ICA’s chosen delivery partner for its ever-expanding portfolio of qualifications is International Compliance Training, a sister Wilmington business. Working with the ICA, ICT has helped tens of thousands of individuals and organisations realise their training ambitions in the area of risk and compliance.

Helen has overseen a massive shift in the general standing of compliance professionals. As she says, “A collaborative learning experience is a must, for our partners, students and in-house clients; equally essential is utilising cutting-edge technology to enable a fully student-centric approach. The growing number of diploma-level compliance qualifications, including post-graduate diplomas, evidences the significance – and, increasingly, the seniority – of the roles our students fulfil.”

The accompanying growth in the ICA’s membership is no surprise. With more than 12,000 members, the ICA now represents a sizeable and highly credible community of professionals around the world. Despite its explosive rate, growth alone is not sufficient – sustainability is also essential. Consequently, the ICA’s proposition undergoes constant review to ensure it remains attractive and relevant, whether that is to someone new to compliance or to someone who has worked in the profession for decades.

What next for the ICA?

Helen is under no illusion as to the task ahead. What makes the ICA what it is today she says, “is a vibrant community of specialists, regulators and practitioners that live, breathe and sleep compliance. They’re not ‘just’ compliance professionals, they are our biggest champions. And we have to keep it that way – which is no mean feat!

“Technology must play its part in the development of the ICA. We recently launched a high quality CPD portal that gives access to more than 7,000 pieces of learning, enabling members to stay current, develop and become better professionals. In today’s world, our members expect personalised knowledge, whenever and wherever they want it, and that’s exactly what we aim to deliver.”

There’s no doubt that Helen is up for the task. With a consensus-driven leadership style, she is a forward thinking, enthusiastic, inclusive leader who is dedicated to making the ICA a great place for great people to do great things.

Helen Langton, ICA Managing Director

Helen Langton, ICA Managing Director


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