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Duties and responsibilities under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

This advice explains how operators can make sure they and their employees comply with their obligations under The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA).

10 - Training

All operators should consider awareness training for all relevant employees so that they have an understanding of what obligations are placed upon them and what action they must take to ensure that details are forwarded to and considered immediately by the nominated officer, manager or other employee responsible for making reports to the NCA. In the case of solo operators or operators without specific AML employees, advice is available on the NCA website (opens in a new tab).

One of the most important controls over the detection and prevention of money laundering is for an operator to have employees who are alert to the risks of money laundering and who are well trained in the identification of unusual activities or transactions which appear to be suspicious. The effective application of even the best designed control systems can be quickly compromised if the employees applying those systems are not adequately trained. The effectiveness of the training will therefore be important to the overall success of the operator’s AML strategy.

Under POCA, individual employees face potential criminal penalties if they are involved in money laundering activity, unless they make a report of known or suspected money laundering activity. It is important, therefore, that employees are made aware of their legal obligations and how to correctly discharge them.

Operators should devise and implement a clear and well-articulated policy and procedure for ensuring that relevant employees are aware of their legal obligations in respect of POCA. They should also provide employees with regular training in the identification and reporting of customer activity that gives grounds for suspecting money laundering.

Operators should also take reasonable steps to ensure that relevant employees are aware of:

  • their responsibilities under the operator’s policies and procedures for the detection and prevention of money laundering
  • the money laundering risks faced by an operator
  • the operator’s procedures for managing those risks
  • the identity and responsibilities of the nominated officer (where one has been appointed) or the person responsible for making reports to the NCA the potential effect of a breach of POCA on the operator and its employees.

The content of any employee training, the frequency of training and the assessment of competence following training are matters for each operator to assess and decide in the light of the money laundering risks they identify. The Commission advises that such issues are covered in each operator’s policies and procedures.

Where a nominated officer has been appointed, they should be actively involved in devising and managing the delivery of the training, taking particular care to ensure that systems are in place to cover all part-time or casual employees.

The NCA publishes a range of material, such as threat assessments and risk profiles, of which operators may wish to make their employees aware. The information on the NCA website could usefully be incorporated into operators’ training materials.

It is also recommended that operators consult the Commission’s AML hub, which has useful information and links to other AML resources.

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