CIPFA Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist

The benchmark professional award for counter fraud practitioners in the UK

The CIPFA Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist (ACFS) qualification covers the specialist knowledge and skills required for to tackle financial fraud in the public sector. Featuring case studies drawn from across public bodies, the syllabus set by the Counter Fraud Professional Awards Board offers practical scenarios to teach best practice methodologies when it comes to economic crime.

Students who complete both the ACFS and Certificate in Fraud Risk Management qualify for the CIPFA Diploma in Counter Fraud Management.

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A 10% discount is available to all CIPFA members. ACFS courses conducted in Scotland refer specifically to Scottish legislation and sources of law.

Who is it for?

  • practitioners with counter fraud responsibilities
  • investigators, investigator managers, supervisors and internal audit staff
  • up-to-date sources of law that set out fraud and other acquisitive crime offences, including theft, bribery and money-laundering
  • current procedural legislation and the legal framework within which fraud must be investigated
  • creating an anti-fraud culture
  • the professional investigation of reports of fraud from beginning to end and to a robust evidential standard


You will be required to complete 400 hours of learning, completed via:

  • four days of pre-course, self-directed learning
  • 15 days of classroom learning
  • three course assignments completed in your own time


You will be assessed through:

  • module exams
  • written assignments
  • role play exercises observed by your trainer
  • formative assessment via workbooks
  • group and individual exercises

You will be given a set of pre-course technical manuals, to be read in advance of each module starting.


Upon successful completion you will be accredited by the Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board.

Case study: Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)

In May 2018, seven counter fraud professionals from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) and West Lothian council became the first in the country to receive the Scotland Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist (ACFS) award – a version of the ACFS qualification specifically tailored by CIPFA for Scottish legislative and legal requirements.

Read the full case study

In-house delivery

The programme can be delivered in-house. This is especially cost-effective for organisations interested in training a number of individuals or whole teams. It also allows us to tailor the course content to your organisation's unique needs and context. For more information, contact us at


£2,500 +VAT per delegate (open course only). A 10% discount is available to all CIPFA members.

This course carries 400 CPD hours

All CIPFA training counts towards your continuing professional development (CPD). If you are a CIPFA Chartered Member, you are required to undertake a minimum of 20 hours of relevant CPD activity each year as part of maintaining your professional competence and to develop skills and knowledge.

Find out more about CPD requirements