This overview highlights some key aspects of our compliance program. It is by no means exhaustive, but is meant to illustrate our methodology and capabilities.
It is helpful to think of our approach in three parts: Advisor Eligibility (controls focused on our Advisors), Project Compliance (controls to support individual projects) and Oversight (Guidepoint’s own surveillance and the tools we provide to our Compliance clients to enable their real-time oversight of their firms’ interactions with experts).
a. Advisor Eligibility
The foundation of Guidepoint’s compliance program is the Guidepoint Global Advisors Terms & Conditions. It is a comprehensive set of conservative rules that govern every consultation between our Advisors and our clients. Each Advisor must agree to the Terms and Conditions upon joining our network. Then, before each consultation may take place, the Advisor must agree to conduct that consultation in accordance with the Terms and Conditions. These rules contain broad prohibitions on the transfer of material nonpublic or otherwise confidential information and engaging in any consultation that presents a conflict of interest.They also require Advisors to maintain the confidentiality of information they receive and directly address sensitive subjects such as government employees, clinical trials, employers and competitors. You may review a Summary of Key Rules or the full Terms and Conditions for greater detail.
Guidepoint provides its Advisors with several compliance training tools, the centerpiece of which is the Mandatory Advisor Compliance Tutorial. It is a web-based, interactive training that includes questions that permit the Advisor to consider the Terms and Conditions through the prism of the fact patterns we present. Each Advisor must take the tutorial upon joining Guidepoint Global Advisors and thereafter within 12 months of any consultation. Additional training tools include the Summary of Key Rules and our answers to frequently asked questions.
Guidepoint runs periodic background checks on all new Advisors that join our network and an annual check on a substantial sampling of Advisors who have performed consultations through Guidepoint within the prior 12-month period. This check is conducted through a global risk intelligence service and encompasses, among other things, criminal histories in the U.S. and foreign jurisdictions and selected civil histories, including U.S. FDA debarment actions, matters before the SEC, DOJ, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and information in the U.S. government System for Award Management.
Guidepoint will not knowingly attach to a consultation the employees of any company that does not permit its employees to participate in consultations. To support this policy, when Guidepoint learns of any such prohibition, it records the company in the Guidepoint Employer Database Registry. All Advisors who are employees of a company added to the Employer Database Registry, or its subsidiaries, are automatically deactivated from Guidepoint’s roster of available Advisors. Advisors remain deactivated until Guidepoint is informed and confirms that the Advisor no longer works for the company recorded in the registry.
Guidepoint uses a third-party corporate information service that feeds data, including companies’ affiliates, into our IT platform, to assist us in implementing our compliance controls. By tracking our Advisors to their current employers, we are able to identify immediately if an Advisor is the employee of a publicly held company or a government entity and apply appropriate controls.The data feed also supports Guidepoint’s ability to deactivate any Advisor whose employer is listed in the Employer Database Registry.
b. Project Compliance
Initial Project Screen
At the commencement of each project, a member of the Guidepoint service team reviews the Client request to determine whether the Advisors and information sought comply with Guidepoint’s internal policies and our Terms and Conditions. The service team may request additional information from Clients and Advisors to service requests, and will consult with Guidepoint’s Legal and Compliance Departments as needed.
Client Customized Protocols
Some clients may elect to apply additional, bespoke compliance controls that Guidepoint implements on their behalf. Whether to implement any and, if so, which controls is entirely within the discretion of the Client; past controls have included qualifying rules, restrictions on certain types of Advisors, Client compliance officer pre-approval, and affirmations and/or questions that Advisors must satisfy before they may be added to that particular Client’s project. Typically, these controls are automated into Guidepoint’s IT platform and Clients can track compliance online.
Compliance Reaffirmation For Every Project
To accept a project, an Advisor must reaffirm that he/she will conduct the consultation in accordance with Guidepoint’s Terms & Conditions. Prior to every consultation, our Advisors also affirm that they have taken our Mandatory Advisor Compliance Tutorial at least once within the 12 months prior to the consultation.
Proprietary IT Platform
We have made a substantial investment in our proprietary IT platform that enables review of projects at all stages, and provides a complete audit trail of requests, communications and consultations.
Clients have real-time access to a rich store of compliance and usage data through Guidepoint Global’s Client Portal. Client users and compliance personnel can review open project requests, lists of Advisors presented, Advisor biographies, scheduled calls and completed consultations. Our Client interface gives Client compliance personnel real-time visibility into and control over their organization’s use of our services and provides a portal through which they can review and approve Advisors, view compliance screening questions and responses and run historical usage reports of past consultations that can be downloaded and stored. The Client’s online archive documents all prior services received, including telephone consultations, surveys, Quick Polls and meeting invitations, for easy access and comprehensive record keeping.