A vision of Compliance and Integrity Management

At VU Amsterdam, Compliance and Integrity Management is seen as an emerging discipline that is located at the interface between business ethics and risk management. Compliance focuses on processes and behaviour (in the market, within the company, on the part of the regulator and the individual) which aim to reduce the risks (legal, financial and reputational) that arise from the infringement of national or international laws and regulations, company standards and societal standards.

Features of the degree programme

Rooted in real-life practice

  • All teaching staff have gained practical experience outside the academic world in addition to their academic careers.
  • Guest lecturers regularly give us their expert input to provide further depth.
  • You can choose the theme of your final thesis in consultation with, among others, your employer. The research and final product must have a scientific basis, but they also need to be applicable within your own professional environment.


  • The programme in Compliance and Integrity Management is a professional programme with a robust scientific foundation. The programme is an integrated part of the Postgraduate School of the School of Business and Economics, and is run by scientists with all the necessary practical professional experience. This ensures a balanced approach to the field of compliance and integrity.
  • The content of the programme is based on current international developments in established scientific disciplines such as law, business ethics, accounting and risk management.
  • The programme promotes the development of science in the field of compliance and integrity - by encouraging students to complete research, for example.

International perspective

  • The programme covers the practice of compliance and integrity in an international context.
  • International developments in the field of compliance and integrity are an integral part of the curriculum.
  • The literature is partly in English.

Teaching methodology

  • Current literature provides you with knowledge of the latest insights and developments in the field.
  • Working on case studies and preparing presentations makes the teaching varied and interactive.
  • Your knowledge will be regularly assessed by means of written exams.

Student testimonials

 Xuefei Li, group compliance officer at Aegon, alumnus:
“I wanted to follow the Compliance and Integrity Management programme at VU in 2009. It was the only systematic executive programme in the field of compliance in The Netherlands that supported my educational goals. But due to my Dutch language standards, I did not have the courage to sign up until 2010. It has not been easy. Professional Dutch and daily Dutch are different. Programme coordinators and various teachers have been very helpful. They provided me with additional English literature and extra office hours when requested. I was allowed to write my exam and assignments in English. All of my classmates were very friendly and helpful and we performed well together in our group assignments. In group discussions, very often it was a mixture of English and Dutch. For me, the programme was much more than just learning about compliance and integrity management. It was my Dutch lesson. It was my networking session. It has also been my team-working inspiration.”

Tom van de Laar, previously a lawyer at CMS, now a manager at Deloitte Risk Services B.V., alumnus:
“As a lawyer, I was encountering more and more companies that wanted to take preventive measures in order to identify potential regulatory and compliance issues and resolve these at the earliest possible stage. I also had clients who had neglected their obligations, and consequently sufferd adverse effects such as reputational damage and law suits.
The postgraduate programme in Compliance and Integrity Management provides you with the necessary tools and knowledge to respond to the growing demand in the field of compliance, and it also provides you with a scientific foundation. Compliance issues are addressed from the perspective of the company which is subject to supervision, the compliance officer, the external consultant, the regulator and other stakeholders. The programme is an invaluable addition to the day-to-day work of all the players in the compliance chain."

Arthur de Hart, compliance manager at Tata Steel Europe, alumnus:
“As a compliance officer in a large company, you usually find yourself working alone, and often you are a thorn in the side of your organization. So it's very helpful when you can talk things through and share your thoughts with other people. That's why I founded an alumni association with some of my classmates, which has been running for a few years now.
Ideally, in a few years from now, all students and former students of Compliance and Integrity Management will know one another, exchange knowledge via our LinkedIn group or at meetings and events organized by the alumni association - it will be an inspiring network for our field.
In 2011, the EMoC Register was founded: the title of Executive Master of Compliance (EMoC) is granted to all alumni of the programme. We have already chartered accountants and register controllers. Now we have a certified title too: EMoC. It functions as an indication of reliability for everyone involved."

Wiel Meessen, customer relations worker at the Tax and Customs Administration, alumnus:
“Across the public sector, people are looking for opportunities to work with the business community to approach supervision in a different way. Concepts like horizontal supervision, influencing behavior and legitimate trust are a few examples of this. How do you achieve compliant behaviour? What does it involve? As a regulator, I want to be a serious partner for business, and this programme has shown me a few places to start. The lectures looked at a range of different areas from a broad perspective. In fact, the majority of my fellow students didn't work in the public sector at all. That taught me a lot - hearing about their experiences of supervision in a more formal educational setting. It went much wider than just regulation and supervision by government bodies. It was very enjoyable to learn about so many different angles and perspectives. And from all four corners of the country. All age groups were represented too."

Han Pret, senior inspector of the Environment and Transport Inspectorate, alumnus:
"Quote by Sylvie Bleker (director of the programme): 'The most basic element of compliance is reflection!'
Reflection fits in very well with my philosophy on life. The teaching staff from the programme inspired and challenged me to look at the world through a 'compliance lens'. To look beyond what you think you can see and to have the courage to ask yourself questions about what you see. By attending lectures, reading scientific papers and holding discussions with fellow students, I gained new insights and developed a broader view of compliance. As a regulator, I already knew about my point of view, but this programme showed me the other side of the story, the business perspective. I apply what I learned every day in my position as a regulator and in my work helping to develop horizontal supervision.
As a regulator on behalf of the central government, I regularly visit a wide range of companies and organizations (hospitals, universities, water companies, water authorities, construction companies, hotel chains, importer of cars, manufacturers of building materials, and so on). many of those organizations are not yet fully 'in control' because they do not systematically assure compliance with the essential aspects of legislation. My thesis explains, among other things, how an organization can ensure compliance. Some of the organizations that I work with have asked me to leave a copy of my thesis for them to read."

Hadewych Padt, senior compliance officer at ABN Amro Bank N.V., alumnus:
"The financial crisis and the numerouw scandals that we have witnessed in recent years mean that behavior and culture within organizations is increasingly a focus for regulators, both in the Netherlands and internationally. Regulators see a role for the Compliance Function in this.
The way that we organize compliance emphasizes the role of the Compliance Function in corporate conduct and culture, and so our compliance organization was recently renamed 'Compliance and Conduct'. The programme in Compliance and Integrity Management is perfectly geared to this, because it does not only take in legislative developments, it also looks at developments in the field of behavioural science and the influence of behavior on organizational culture.
The programme's broad frame of reference has afforded me a great deal of new insight, particularly at the behavioural level. It's a fascinating subject, and in my view it cannot be separated from the Compliance Function. After this programme, perhaps I will try another programme in Behavioural Science. But I need to complete this programme first!"