When assessing your anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) programme, it may be useful to identify best practices that inform the components of the most effective compliance programmes. Below we summarise the six guiding principles, originally published as, ‘The UK Bribery Act's 6 Principles for Adequate Procedures,’ to consider when assessing your bribery and corruption risk and deciding what, if any, measures need to be put in place.


The action you take should be proportionate to the risks you face and to the size of your business. You may need to do more to prevent bribery if you represent a big organisation or if you are operating in an overseas market where bribery is known to be commonplace. 

Top-level Commitment

Leadership should set a top-down example that bribery is not tolerated. Those at the top of the organisation are in the best position to guard against and prevent bribery by making sure executives, middle managers, key people you do business with, and you yourself, understand that bribery is outlawed.

Risk Assessment

This step is key for researching the markets you operate in and the people you deal with, especially if you are entering into new business arrangements or new markets abroad. 

Due Diligence around Third Parties

Knowing exactly who you are dealing with can help protect your organisation from taking on vendors that are less than trustworthy. Crucial to third-party risk, you should make adequate checks both before and after engaging others to represent you in business dealings.

Anti-Bribery Policies & Training

Setting up the right policies is a key component to getting your programme started. This includes knowing and clearly stating what your organisation will not tolerate and the steps of action to take when potential bribery is witnessed. 

Monitoring & Reporting Misconduct

Think about how employees and others will let you know if they see bribery or corruption at play. Ensure clear lines of communication are open to you and those on your team. Identify any potential cultural or reporting issues that may prevent your employees from speaking -up about a concern and ensure that your organisation has the mechanisms in place to act appropriately.

Additional Guidance

For a well-rounded programme we also recommend paying attention to the following examples of government and international programme guidance stated below. While some are largely U.S.- based they are gaining importance across the globe and are increasingly used to describe the specific factors and the common questions that that prosecutors consider when investigating a corporate entity for non-compliance.

  • OECD’s 13 Good Practices on Internal Controls, Ethics, and Compliance
  • The U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines 8B2.1
  • The U.S. Department of Justice Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programmes
  • ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management System

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