Compliance & Integrity Management

VU Executive Master's Programme in Compliance & Integrity Management

This site provides all the information that you may need about our programme, teaching staff and activities. If you have any further questions, please contact us at compliance.feweb@vu.nl or call +31 (0)20 5982509

We offer a challenging two-year postgraduate programme in the field of Compliance and Integrity Management. Further details can be found in the folder entitled Executive Master of Compliance & Integrity Management. Every year in the spring, we organize a major symposium on a relevant theme, where discussion and debates about compliance and integrity are actively encouraged. This provides a varied stream of research publications in the field.

Accountable organizations work

More and more companies are recognizing the need to organize in a way that is visibly and demonstrably accountable and compliant. Scandals in a number of sectors have shown time and again that the consequences of corporate conduct that transcends established norms can be profound. Confidence in corporations, particularly in the financial sector, is on the wane and all the indications are that compliance and integrity must be much more stronly anchored within organizations.

But in today's world compliance involves more than just complying with laws and regulations. Quite simply, that is no longer enough for corporate entities.
They are now expected to take account of all their stakeholders - from customers and employees to shareholders and the natural environment in which they operate.

And compliance and integrity certainly do not apply to financial institutions alone. Companies outsied the financial sector also understand how important it is to ensure that their organizations are compliant and accountable. When compliance and integrity are integrated into an organization and its business processes, it will operate more effectively and efficiently. It helps to build better customer relationships and enhances the company's reputation.

But how can we formulate a comprehensive vision of compliance and integrity? And how can this be translated into policy? It is clear that a one-dimensional view will not suffice.
Legislation is not the only relevant factor - issues relating to ethics and risk also play a role. For this reason, rather than getting bogged down in the minutiae of legislation, the postgraduate programme in Compliance & Integrity Management approaches the question of compliance and integrity from a multidisciplinary perspective and at the management level.

Are you a senior professional, and would you like to address compliance and integrity issues within your organization? Then the programme in Compliance & Integrity Management can provide you with all the necessary knowledge and skills.

After completing the programme, you will be able to:

  • approach compliance and integrity from a multidisciplinary perspective;
  • assess the compliance landscape of an organization, including the national and international monitoring mechanisms that are relevant to that organization;
  • identify the main characteristics of compliance and integrity policy;
  • formulate an independent compliance and integrity policy for a particular organization and embed that policy within the organization;
  • make a reliable and informed assessment of compliance and integrity risks, and prioritize these risks;
  • link appropriate control measures to compliance and integrity risks;
  • integrate aspects of compliance and integrity into monitoring and auditing processes, as well as both internal and external accountability procedures (corporate governance);
  • apply the above to your own professional environment, and to other companies and sectors, in a national and international context;
  • apply all the above in a scientific research setting (the final thesis).

The importance of this programme

Erik van de Merwe, former Chairman of the Curatorial Panel
“Knowledge and understanding of the supervision strategies of regulators is an essential aspect of any effective compliance policy. This is true not only in finance but in all relationships between relationships between regulators and those they are charged with regulating. For example, it seems that regulators in non-financial sectors have found inspiration for their regulation strategy in the approach taken by De Nederlandsche Bank (the Dutch Central Bank) and the Authority for Financial Markets. The postgraduate programme in Compliance & Integrity Management at VU Amsterdam offers a look behind the scenes at both financial and non-financial regulatory bodies. In addition to strategies relating to supervision, the programme also focuses on integrity. After all, corporate conduct goes to the very heart of compliance."

Sylvie Bleker-van Eyk, Professor and Programme Director
“The postgraduate programme combines compliance and integrity management. But in reality, it is not really possible to separate these two areas. In practice, people struggle with questions of compliance and integrity every day. In some cases they try to deal with them separately. By linking real-life practice with new branches of science such as compliance and integrity, we aim to arrive at workable solutions that are useful for everybody - a sound scientific foundation can strengthen the foundation on which solutions are built. The added value for students and their employers is in the search for solutions to their own specific practice-related questions: science helps us to produce better and more robust solutions."

Robert van Altena, key lecturer
“In the modern world, players in the world of compliance and integrity need to be able to connect developments in society with their own corporate strategy, boardroom dynamics, risk management, control frameworks and human behaviour. This programme brings together elements from established disciplines such as private and public law, business administration, accounting, behavioural and change management and ethics. It is a unique blend. Another of the programme's strengths is its interactive character. We always encourage discussion of practical applications, both among the students and at the initiative of teaching staff, who are themselves closely involved in the real-life practice of corporate compliance and integrity."

Roger Dassen, Professor
“Companies are increasingly expected to be able to confirm that they are 'in control'. But what does being 'in control' actually mean? Does it simply mean the ability to tick all the right boxes, or does it mean having a real insight into what is happening? This is where we enter the realm of soft control. Alongside the usual hard controls associated with compliance, this programme provides an insight into the soft controls that are needed to ensure that a company not only knows whether it is legally compliant on paper, but also whether it is 'in control' when it comes to matters of corporate integrity."