On June 9, 2018, the Professional Standards of Ethics and Compliance Management ("Standards") was published in the Official Gazette and came into legal force the same day. The Standards were drafted by the Ethics and Reputation Society ("Society") and submitted to the approval of the Professional Competency Board ("Board"). The Society is an association assigned and designated by the Board in accordance with the Professional Competency Board Law No. 5544, the Regulation on the Preparation of National Professional Standards and National Competencies and the Regulation on the Establishment, Duties, Working Procedures and Principles of the Sector Committees of the Professional Competency Board.
The first part of the Standards focuses on the definition of the profession and on the applicable legislation regarding the profession of Ethics and Compliance Management. Ethics and Compliance Managers ("Managers") are defined as officers coordinating the preparation and implementation of ethics and compliance programs in a given company in line with the applicable legislation, as well as the relevant service procedures, quality requirements, risk management priorities and ethical principles. Managers are authorized and responsible for determining the roles and responsibilities of other employees for the implementation of the ethics and compliance program within the company, as well as preparing the policies and procedures regarding the program and structuring the communication mechanisms. These Managers carry out informational "awareness trainings" with regard to the implementation of an ethics and compliance program within the company, follow up on violations and notifications, and ensure the proper and necessary monitoring, reporting and updating of the program. The Occupational Health and Safety Law No. 6331, the Law No. 6502 on the Protection of the Consumer, the Turkish Commercial Code No. 6102 and the Turkish Criminal Code No. 5237 are listed among other laws and legislations that are relevant and applicable to the profession.
The third part of the Standards sets out the Managers' duties, related activities and performance indexes. In other words, this section regulates the details of the specific duties presented in the job definition, such as the preparation of the ethics and compliance program in Code C and the implementation of the program in Code D.
The Society also arranges and coordinates a certification program, which is prepared in accordance with global ethics and compliance standards, for those who aspire to qualify as Ethics and Compliance Managers in both Turkish and foreign companies. In general, legal advisers, lawyers, managers looking to specialize in ethics and compliance issues, internal audit employees and auditors, employees of human resources and corporate communications departments, sales and marketing specialists and senior managers and board members choose to participate in the certification program. The instructors, who comprise academics and businesspeople from various professional backgrounds, inform and educate the participants on various topics, such as corporate ethics risk mapping, how to implement and apply labor and criminal law provisions to intra-company ethical violations, how to structure, constitute and evaluate an ethics and compliance program, issues relating to notification and internal investigation mechanisms, and white collar irregularities.
With the completion of the third certification program on June 9, 2018, 65 people have now qualified as "Corporate Ethics and Certification Managers". Applications for preregistration for the fourth term of the certification program are available on the Society's website at http://www.teid.org/ and the first session for the new program will start on October 6, 2018.
This article was first published in Legal Insights Quarterly by ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law in September 2018. A link to the full Legal Insight Quarterly may be found here.
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