By Rachael Tiffen, Head of the CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre
CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre achieves a major milestone … its first birthday
Today is a significant day for the CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre, as we celebrate our first year in action. This is an important milestone for us and in fact for any business, service provider or organisation. Getting through the first year is tough, but for me it was made a lot easier by our talented team at the CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre. Our team is made up of skilled professionals who bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and zest to the Centre. And, it is their drive and enthusiasm which has made this first year a real success.
As part of our first year celebrations we are launching three new initiatives designed to bolster the counter fraud profession and to provide guidance, education and services to counter fraud practitioners. One of our aims is to establish a credible and evolving education platform that caters for the counter fraud profession in the public sector. As part of that work we now offer an integrated programme examining organisational integrity and building ethical environments. This new programme features e-learning packages with classroom based training and guidance covering whistleblowing, bribery and ethics.
The development of a new whistleblowing course in collaboration with one of our founding partners, Mazars, and the whistleblowing charity, Public Concern at Work, is now available. The e-learning course aims to make clear how to raise and report concerns at work, as well as eradicating ‘grey areas’ around processes, complaints and definitions. The inclusion of high profile examples and sector specific case studies brings learning to life, and highlights the importance of having a robust, transparent and supportive whistleblowing policy in place to help prevent fraud and misconduct at work.
At the CIPFA Annual Conference we also announced that for the first time in the UK, professionally accredited counter fraud practitioners can join a chartered institute as affiliate members of CIPFA. Affiliate members of CIPFA are part of the CIPFA family and therefore have access to a wide variety of benefits, offers, training and qualifications, publications, events and information services. Critically, membership of a chartered institute is a key stepping stone towards the professionalisation and formal recognition of counter fraud as a specialist genre in its own right. Leading the way in the pursuit of excellence in this field is the CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre.
Blending tools, training and practical advice with independent consultancy to ensure that the public sector is more than just ‘fraud savvy’, remains one of our key objectives for the year ahead. This is increasingly important as the landscape in which fraud and corruption operates is continually changing and evolving. Educating public sector organisations, and then equipping them to deal with fraud and corruption is a vital part of the work that we do.
Thanks to our great clients, partners, colleagues, and associates we’re already looking forward to the year ahead. We’ve set the foundations in place, strengthened relationships and we remain committed to evolving our services, including a wider education programme, and supporting the counter fraud profession as a whole. There is a world of difference from just starting out to one year on and we’re pleased to celebrate this first birthday today.