Executive Master in Compliance & Integrity Management

First programme in Compliance

Our post-doctoral Executive Master's programme in Compliance and Integrity Management (previously Master in Corporate Compliance) was founded by Prof. Jean Frijns as the first programme in the field of Compliance in Europe. Regulators, companies from various sectors, academic experts and alumni all contribute to maintaining a challenging and up-to-date programme.

Practical information
The programme lasts for 21 months and starts in late August / early September.

Frequency and location of lectures
Lectures are generally held almost every week, from 15:00 to 21:00 (with the exception of school holiday periods). The lectures are held at VU Amsterdam.

PE Points
It is possible to be awarded PE points for following this programme. This falls under VU Amsterdam's Executive Education Programme.

Structure of the programme: four blocks (semesters)

The programme is made up of four blocks. Blocks 1 to 3 each comprise an average of ten to twelve lectures days. There is also a significant amount of independent study which you will be expected to complete, averaging 8 hours per week. The total study load is around 1.000 hours (35 ECTS).

First three blocks
The first three blocks are all concluded with a written exam, one after each block. In addition to these exams, you will also work regularly on case studies during the first three blocks - sometimes in groups or sub groups - which you will give presentations on. To complete the programme, it is necessary to pass the exams and examined components.

Fourth block: final thesis
In the fourth block, the emphasis is on writing your final thesis. In order to guide you through this process, you will attend a number of thesis seminars. These will alternate with topical lectures, in which recent developments in the professional world of compliance and integrity will be discussed.

Diploma: Executive Master of Compliance

Once you have completed all the examined components of the programme, you will receive the academic degree of Executive Master of Compliance (EMoC). This title is, incidentally, not equivalent to an MSc or MA.

Content of the four blocks

Block 1: People & Human behaviour
In this first semester, students learn to recognize compliance and integrity risks, including conflicts of interest, competition and fraud, and to understand the essence of those risks.
Culture and behaviour can, in itself, form a breeding ground for compliance and integrity risks, enabling issues to emerge and escalate. We use management theories to analyse how a compliance and integrity-oriented organizational culture can be created and how compliance can be 'sold' within the organization. Students gain insight into identifying issues in organizational culture and behaviour and possible forms of intervention.

Block 2: Organizations & Risk Management
In the second semester, students attend lectures in the field of basic risk management (including the COSO ERM Integrated Framework), corporate governance (including governance codes), designing an organization on the basis of management frameworks and typologies (e.g. Tol model and Levers of Control), monitoring, reporting and auditing (on the basis of control by external and internal auditors).
In addition, several thematic lectures are also given, including stakeholder and reputation management and board room dynamics.
Students also learn to reflect on compliance and integrity risks and to incorporate these considerations in organizational design and risk management vis-à-vis strategic and operational goals.
The principle is that compliance and integrity form part of an organization's integrated risk management: risk assessment, policy formulation, internal control (including monitoring), internal and external accountability, and internal and external auditing.
This semester also covers the relationship between risk management, corporate governance and organizational culture.

Block 3: Regulation, Supervision and Enforcement
This block looks at the cycle of regulation, supervision and enforcement. The starting point is that regulation is built into all matters involving corporate organization (through legislation); this process is then subject to supervision and, if it is found to not be working, or insufficiently, enforcement will occur. The block examines the rationale behind regulation (the theoretical framework), particularly from an economic perspective, and then considers supervision in the broadest sense. There will be discussion of questions such as 'what is supervision, e.g. market supervision?', 'why do we need supervision?' and 'which strategies do supervisors adopt?'. A themed lecture, linked to this subject, will address the still relatively new phenomenon of behavioural and cultural supervision, as practiced by the De Nederlandsche Bank as well as the Authority for Financial Markets. To conclude, the subject of enforcement will be examined. This will include the theoretical basis of enforcement (e.g. the criminological perspective), as well as enforcement in practice, as carried out by market regulators and public regulators.
The lectures on regulation and - leading on from these - on legislation (including the Financials Supervision Act) will, for practical reasons, take place during block 2 to form a transition into block 3. In block 3, lectures will alternate between subjects relating to the cycle previously outlined, such as duty of care and liability, privacy, financial & economic crime (FEC), competition and managing conflicts of interest.

Block 4: Thesis and current developments
The knowledge that you acquire during the first three blocks will form the springboard to a more detailed piece of research: the final thesis. Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, you will carry out research on a subject of your choice within the field of compliance and integrity. You will follow lectures, which, in part, take place during blocks 2 and 3, to help you to carry out scientifically sound research. You will regularly be required to give presentations on the progress of your research.