Quality assurance is used in many industries, including manufacturing where it is often called stress testing or failure analysis. Optimized production assures safe drugs in pharmaceuticals, a successful return to earth in aerospace, and seamless functionality in software development. Quality assurance (QA) operations are generally intertwined with government compliance to protect the purchasers of goods and services from physical, emotional or financial consequences.
Overview of Quality Assurance in Collections
At best-in-class debt collection agencies, the compliance and quality assurance department provides moral and legal compass to the efforts of the organization and its collectors. The compliance/QA team is led by the in-house counsel and manager of corporate compliance who works in concert with a QA supervisor, QA representatives and often, other attorneys.
The compliance department’s role is to ensure that behavior within the organization meets the agency’s standards of conduct and all employees conform with:
- Federal laws, including but not limited to Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
- State laws
- Company policies and procedures
- Client-specific requirements
The department also reviews and evaluates compliance issues and concerns, monitors changes in federal and state laws and ensures that client requirements are being met.
The compliance department develops and maintains policies and procedures, monitors and evaluates collector phone conversations, and provides reports to clients as well as the agency’s management team and board of directors.
Policies and Procedures
Policies and procedures are maintained by examining updates to federal and state laws. The department also researches recent case law to ensure that policies and procedures are current.
New-hire training is a major component of compliance and quality assurance. New collectors are expected to achieve a thorough understanding of federal and state laws as well as client-specific requirements and company requirements. Training examples include policies and procedures encompassing the Red Flags Rule, consumer disputes, collection notices, TCPA compliance/consumer telephone calls and data security.
Furthermore, each collector must sign the ACA international Collector’s Pledge and pass an FDCPA exam before they are permitted to engage consumers via telephone.
Best-in-class agencies hold mandatory monthly compliance meetings. The agenda generally covers at least one section of the FDCPA as well as updates or changes to relevant federal and state laws, and details regarding the previous month’s audit results. Tests may be administered at the end of each meeting.
Managing Day-to-Day Operations
Daily operations include satisfying call-monitoring targets, conducting call-calibration meetings, preparing and updating scripts and team specifications for current and new clients, addressing special projects to identify opportunities, and reviewing disputed accounts. The compliance department also maintains and updates the collection manuals and all tools used by collectors to perform their daily tasks.
Monitor and Score Collection Calls
Clients may have a call monitoring scorecard that is customized to evaluate the collectors who are working their particular portfolio. Calls that fail to meet legal, client or company requirements result in additional training and/or corrective action. Collectors then receive feedback and one-on-one training.
Best-in-class agencies leave no stone unturned regarding compliance and quality assurance. The fast-paced debt collection industry demands daily due diligence that pays off with a favorable return on investment and exceptional brand protection for clients.
The corporate culture at Optio Solutions is designed to attract, coach, empower and retain staff. Contact us today to learn how the Optio Compliance and Quality Assurance Program can benefit your organization’s debt collection efforts.