Level 4 Counter Fraud Investigator Apprenticeship

Our Counter Fraud Investigator Apprenticeship is a market-leading programme that delivers innovative, dynamic and relevant training to aspiring counter fraud professionals working in a range of investigative roles. The blended learning approach promotes the development of professional standards, knowledge, skills and behaviours essential in achieving professional competence in the field.

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Download the Counter Fraud Investigator Apprenticeship brochure

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Our Level 4, levy-funded apprenticeship is the most cost effective way for your organisation to access counter fraud training and to boost your fraud defences.

Contact us

Our next Counter Fraud Investigator Apprenticeship programme will begin in autumn 2024. Enrolments close on 31 July 2024. To start the process or find out more about CIPFA apprenticeships get in touch with our team today: apprenticeships@cipfa.org

About the apprenticeship

The apprenticeship takes around two years to complete. Learning activity is supported by structured on-the-job training. In addition to live web classes, all apprentices will have access to online resources via our virtual learning environment, plus a week-long block of face-to-face training to cover the practical aspects of the programme. 

CIPFA's Counter Fraud Apprenticeship team will be on hand to provide support to apprentices and employers throughout the course of the programme.

"Work-based learning coaches provide good support to apprentices to help pace them through their studies. Coaches liaise effectively with employers to make sure that over the course of the programme, apprentices gain broad and relevant experience, linked to what they learn."
Ofsted report, 2021


The Level 4 Counter Fraud Investigator Apprenticeship funding band has been approved at £15,000 to pay for the training of each apprentice. Employers in England can use their apprenticeship levy accounts to fund the training costs of their new and, in some cases, their existing counter fraud employees.

Why choose CIPFA's apprenticeship?

  • As an approved training provider for the Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board (CFPAB), we are the only provider able to offer the Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist (ACFS), the benchmark professional award for counter fraud practitioners in the UK, in addition to the apprenticeship - this is optional and additional fees apply.
  • Our programme has been mapped to the Government Counter Fraud Profession (GCFP) investigation core discipline and provides direct entry into the GCFP.
  • A learning experience designed to improve best practice and performance, with a focus on developing fully competent, well rounded investigators.
  • Expert tuition delivered by CIPFA’s experienced and knowledgeable trainers who are accredited by the CFPAB.
  • Apprentices gain valuable on-the-job experience and a relevant professional award.
  • High-level guidance and support for both employers and apprentices.
  • Regular assessments of learners' progress and one-to-one support where appropriate.
  • We are a proven online training provider and an internationally-recognised centre of excellence.
  • Our apprenticeships were recently awarded a "Good" provider grading by Ofsted.

What will the apprenticeship cover?

Apprentices will learn how to:

  • develop professional knowledge of relevant legislation and regulatory requirements
  • plan investigations and prepare case files
  • differentiate and assess strength of evidence
  • use forensic evidence and forensic services
  • apply the Regulation of Investigation Powers Act 2000
  • take evidential notes and produce witness statements and transcripts
  • gather evidence, applying and adhering to continuity of evidence rules
  • conduct searches such as search of premises, person, business records and digital data
  • correctly identify, classify and handle incoming and outgoing information
  • conduct briefing and de-briefing activities
  • apply the PEACE framework for planning and conducting an interview
  • conduct PACE and CJA compliant interviews
  • recognise and respond to the varying demands of witnesses
  • draft concise reports, briefings, letters, emails and other items of correspondence
  • prepare applications and orders for court
  • comply with the provisions for disclosure
  • understand how, when and why to refer cases internally and/or externally
  • obtain, record and present evidence in court during proceedings
  • be aware of the differences and associated risks in parallel investigations
  • understand fraud from a civil law context
  • work with stakeholders
  • categorise fraud and report outcomes with recommendations

What workplace skills will be developed?

Apprentices will also gain valuable professional skills, including:

  • adoption of the investigative mindset
  • critical thinking
  • leadership and decision making
  • researching and problem solving
  • resistance management
  • ingenuity and persistence
  • understanding and applying professional scepticism
  • effective organisational skills and multi-tasking
  • commitment, conscientiousness and accountability
  • ethics, integrity and impartiality
  • being inquisitive, open-minded and objective, adding value to the organisation
  • demonstrating courage, resilience and flexibility
  • team working and collaboration with stakeholders

Entry requirements

Apprentices without level 2 English and Mathematics (GCSE grades 9 to 4 or A* to C) on entry will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End Point Assessment.

Prospective apprentices are fully assessed against all of the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the professional standard prior to being accepted for an apprenticeship. Those with prior learning are not automatically precluded but they must meet the conditions of eligibility to enter the programme.

Study modes

Classroom sessions are delivered online by our CFPAB accredited counter fraud trainers.

We also offer a week-long block of face-to-face training to cover the practical aspects of the programme, including investigative interviewing, operational briefings, searches and cross examination. This training is currently run in London but we will consider other locations, based on demand. Please discuss this with the team when registering your interest in the programme.

Other study modes include e-learning, workshops, extensive written materials, mini projects, directed self-study and structured workplace tasks and learning activities.


Full time apprentices will typically spend 24 months on-programme working towards the occupational standard, with a minimum of 20% off-the-job training.

Further information

Catch up on our webinars

CIPFA's Level 4 Counter Fraud Investigator Apprenticeship: CIPFA's Head of Counter Fraud Training, Les Dobie and CIPFA's Counter Fraud Apprenticeship Manager, Heidi Loren de Sousa explore the UK counter fraud landscape and the apprenticeship.

Tackling public sector fraud from the inside out: CIPFA's Senior Counter Fraud Consultant, Marc McAuley, CIPFA's Counter Fraud Apprenticeship Manager, Heidi Loren de Sousa and special guests discuss how to balance people, culture and financial resourcing in order to create the best possible foundation for preventing fraud.