Maine Law’s Compliance Certificate fills training gap

Professor Andy KaufmanIn the past, Maine businesses, nonprofits, and NGOs seeking compliance training were forced to hire expensive consultants or pursue programs out of state, options that can be costly and inefficient.

In the fall of 2017, Maine Law stepped in to help meet the growing demand for an effective, accessible compliance training program. The Law School launched the Compliance Certificate in collaboration with the University of Southern Maine’s Office of Research Integrity & Outreach and the Center for Technology Enhanced Learning. Unum, WEX, and the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce were inaugural sponsors.

Now in its second year, the program is designed for non-lawyers and teaches the fundamentals of compliance, including essential principles and language, the structure of a solid compliance program, and how to incorporate compliance into an existing organization, in alignment with the organization’s goals and vision.

Maine Law Professor of Practice Andrew Kaufman, who is the program’s director, explains that, “We’re focusing very pointedly on skills development and looking to make this a program that will introduce and train cohort members in principles of compliance that are not narrowly focused on a single industry.”

Over the course of five intensive weekend classes, students address these broad principles through the hands-on application of skills and concepts, with a focus on direct experience that can easily translate to their own industries.

Ross Hickey ’01, director of the Maine Regulatory Training and Ethics Center at the University of Southern Maine, says, “The Law School provides access to subject matter experts who can draw on years of real-world experience. They are all invested in teaching key skills that are transportable across various sectors so we can retain experienced professionals within the state, while allowing them to have mobility within the
compliance field.”

The program’s inaugural year saw nine students earn a Certificate in Compliance. Among them was Beth Hanson, compliance and risk management business partner at WEX, Inc.

“Targeted educational opportunities like this in the compliance space are hard to find locally, so I was eager to participate,” she says.

“Maine Law’s program provides a unique opportunity to connect with fellow compliance professionals and compare practices – as well as to learn from top-notch instructors, who are recognized experts in their fields.”

This year the Compliance Certificate Program has expanded in a number of ways. There will be seven weekend sessions in the 2018-2019 program, up from six last year. Students must complete five of these courses to earn the certificate. The total number of participants is set to double, to an estimated cohort of 20.

The program has also continued to forge new relationships with businesses in the community, expanding its sponsorships to include Maine Medical Center Research Institute and Avangrid, the parent company of Central Maine Power.

Kaufman’s goal is to develop and expand the entire Compliance Certificate Program and to make it accessible online. In fact, the final two courses of this year’s program, in March and April, will be available both in person and online.

For more information on the program, and to register for courses visit: