Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist (ACFS)
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The ACFS is the recognised industry standard award for counter fraud professionals working in the UK and has been since its inception in 1998.
Here at PDA, we have fifty years’ experience working in the counter fraud investigation community, including the design, development, and delivery of professional counter fraud learning. Organisations whose investigation staff have benefitted from attending our ACFS Programmes include central government departments; local authorities; housing associations; leading firms in the UK accountancy industry and several smaller private companies and charitable organisations.
Our aim is to provide a comprehensive suite of modules which, on successful completion, equips students with all the practical skills and knowledge to confidently and professionally investigate allegations of fraud.
What the ACFS Programme covers
The Programme is mapped against the Counter Fraud Professional Awards Board (CFPAB) core syllabus and the Government Counter Fraud Professional Standards – Investigation Core Discipline. The syllabus is constantly reviewed and updated to take account of changes in legislation and best practice.
The topics covered are as follows:
We believe it is important that students develop their skills in a number of proactive areas enabling them to take a holistic approach to countering fraud. Using case studies and practical exercises students can develop skills in the following areas:
- Performance Management
- Fraud and Investigation (General)
- Developing a Counter Fraud Strategy (including Measuring Fraud Loss)
- Collaborative Working
- Stakeholder Engagement
Using a series of case study scenarios, students learn how to apply the relevant sections of the following criminal legislation:
- Fraud Act 2006
- Theft Act 1968 and Theft (Amendment) Act 1996
- Bribery Act 2010
- Computer Misuse Act 1990
- Criminal Law Act 1977
- Identity Documents Act 2010
- Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
- Criminal Finances Act 2017
Through the use of case studies and practical exercises, students learn the importance of ensuring all evidence is gathered legally and ethically by applying and using the following legislation:
- Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (Codes of Practice)
- Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act (CPIA) 1996
- Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000
- Investigatory Powers (Interception by businesses etc. for monitoring and record keeping purposes) Regulations 2018
- Data Protection Act 2018
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Freedom of Information Act 2000
- Equality Act 2010
- Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) 1998
- Digital Economy Act 2017
General Investigation and Prosecution Principles
Students further develop their learning and practical skills through the progression of a case study and learning exercises covering all the following key elements of the investigation:
- Case Management
- Note Taking
- Intelligence & Investigation Cycle
- Evidence Gathering
- Identity Fraud
- Planning & Conducting a Search
- Police Station Procedures
- Obtaining and Providing Witness Statements
- Preparation of Prosecution Files
- Reporting Findings
- Introduction to the Role of Formal Hearings
- Disciplinary and Employment Tribunal Process
- Evidence in Chief and Cross Examination
Investigative Interview Skills
An investigative interview is a key element of an investigation and at PDA we believe there is no substitute for practical hands on learning for students to assess their knowledge and skills. Using an experienced investigative interviewer as a role actor, students have the opportunity to apply their skills in a practical classroom setting that demonstrates their knowledge of the following:
- PEACE Model including Cognitive and Conversation Management
- Pre-Interview Disclosure
- Interviews under Caution (PACE Codes C and E)
Having identified our offences, gathered evidence and interviewed our suspect, we now move to the court scenario. Using a Barrister who specialises in the prosecution of fraud cases, students are cross examined in a role play scenario using the case study material.
Who should attend?
The PDA ACFS Programme is relevant to all staff working in the public, private and charity sectors. The ACFS award is regularly advertised as a ‘must have’ requirement to gain employment in the field and there is no requirement for students to have previous experience of counter fraud investigation or to have gained the Accredited Counter Fraud Technician award prior to attendance.
Students attending our programmes come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Whether you are a seasoned investigator wishing to update relevant skills and knowledge to gain employment in this specialist sector, or someone seeking the skills and knowledge to start a new career, the ACFS is the key industry standard award recognised by the UK counter fraud community.
How will you be taught?
The Programme is delivered in three parts over 21 Modules, Modules 1-20 via the Zoom platform and Module 21 over four days in a classroom setting. It is also possible to have the Programme delivered in the classroom on your premises.
The learning is delivered over 400 hours of which 120 hours are taught hours by an online learning platform, Zoom, and four days in the classroom. The balance (280 hours) consists of self-directed learning, e.g., pre-course and module reading, in-course reading and assignments. The Programmes are delivered to a minimum of six students and a maximum of eight.
The Programme is very interactive being both practical skills and knowledge based. We use a range of different methodologies to cater for all students learning. These include classroom based learning; trainer led discussion; syndicate and pair working; quiz activities; DVDs, CDs, power points, case studies, role actor (investigative interviewing practical exercise) and barrister (cross examination practical exercise).
Assessment and Accreditation Criteria
Students have the opportunity to assess their learning through the completion of multiple choice question tests, open book gap question tests, three subjective learning assignments and practical exercises. The learning is accredited by the University of Northumbria (Newcastle) and upon successful completion, students are awarded an Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist certificate.
Why choose PDA?
- PDA has the most competitively priced cost effective ACFS Programme available
- We have a proven track record in the delivery of counter fraud learning programmes
- We can reduce your costs by delivering learning programmes on your premises
- We only use qualified trainers who hold the Accredited Counter Fraud Trainer award from the CFPAB.
- Added value
- A hard copy of the ACFS Handbook published by Wiley for each student
- 40 level four credits
- Role actor for practical interview exercise
- Cross examination by a practising specialist fraud barrister
- Full evaluation with results fed back to the organisation
- Access to the PDA Learning Hub research resource
- The confidence of knowing 60% of our business is from returning customers
- We work in partnership with all our customers to provide effective learning solutions
- The learning is enhanced through the use of real life case studies
- Students get the chance to assess their level of knowledge through the completion of tests and written assignments
- Our learning provides students with the practical skills and knowledge to effectively carry out their role
- Full post Programme support is provided for students with direct access to trainers
PDA deliver their courses nationally and internationally, both online and at a number of UK based face-to-face training locations across the UK, including London, Manchester and throughout the Midlands.
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