Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

Counter Fraud Investigator Apprenticeship

Building on CIPFA’s reputation of championing excellence in public finance management, we now offer the CIPFA Counter Fraud Investigator Apprenticeship (CFIA).

Registration open until 12 March 2021

The first cohort for the new Level 4 course will start in April 2021 and registration is open until 12 March. Please email CIPFA's Counter Fraud Apprenticeship team on and we'll talk you through the process.

Catch up on our webinar

As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2021 (8 to 12 February) we hosted a webinar to introduce the apprenticeship. If you were unable to join us, use the links below to catch-up on the session.

Upcoming webinar: Tackling public sector fraud from the inside out

Following CIPFA's recent roundtable discussion on future changes and risks in the public sector and the implications for counter fraud at GovNet's Counter Fraud 2021 Conference, we are hosting a follow-up webinar on Tuesday 9 March (12-1pm). Join us to debate how you need to balance people, culture and financial resourcing within your organisation to create a robust fundamental foundation from which to tackle fraud at a preventative level. Guest speakers include Michael Frost, Audit and Anti-fraud Manager at Buckinghamshire Council.

Additional incentive payments

Please note that there are additional incentive payments available for employers who hire a new apprentice before 31 March 2021. More information is available here.

About the apprenticeship

At CIPFA we are committed to delivering education and lifelong learning of the highest quality. This is a market-leading programme that will deliver innovative, dynamic and relevant training to aspiring counter fraud professionals working in a range of investigative roles. The programme incorporates a blended learning approach which promotes the development of professional standards, knowledge, skills and behaviours essential in achieving professional competence in the field.

The apprenticeship will take around two years to complete and learning activity is supported by structured on-the-job training. In addition to live web classes, all apprentices have access to our virtual learning environment, CIPFA Learning where they will find online resources to support their journey. Apprentices will also have access to their Individual Learning Record, where they can monitor their learning outcomes and track their development, thus ensuring successful progression to the End Point Assessment.

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

Download the CIPFA Counter Fraud Investigator Apprenticeship brochure


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?

  • Potential for two awards: CIPFA is an approved training provider for the Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board (CFPAB) and is therefore able to offer the well-regarded Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist award in addition to the apprenticeship (optional). Please note: ACFS assessment and accreditation cannot be funded by the Apprenticeship Levy. Additional fees apply.
  • We offer a learning experience which is designed to improve best practice and performance.
  • Expert tuition will be delivered by live web classes taught by CIPFA's experienced and knowledgeable trainers who are formally accredited to deliver counter fraud training by the CFPAB.
  • Apprentices will gain valuable on-the-job experience and a relevant professional award to build a solid foundation for a career in counter fraud.
  • CIPFA ensures that high-level guidance and support are readily available to both employers and apprentices. We will regularly assess learners' progress and provide 1-2-1 support where appropriate.
  • The course is a means of direct entry into the Government Counter Fraud Profession using a practical work-based approach to training.
  • We are a proven online training provider and an internationally recognised centre of excellence.

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
  • understand, differentiate and assess strength of evidence
  • understand and use forensic evidence and forensic services
  • understand and 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 workplace skills and behavioural techniques, 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

The classroom sessions will be delivered online by our CFPAB accredited counter fraud trainers.

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.

External links

  • Visit GOV.UK to find information for employers on the benefits of apprenticeships to their business here
  • Visit the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IATE) website for the Counter Fraud Apprenticeship Standard and End Point Assessment Plan here
  • Visit GOV.UK for details on the Government Counter Fraud Profession here
  • Download the guide to the Government Counter Fraud Profession here