How to Get CFCS Certificate?

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The Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists (ACFCS) is a leading international organization comprised of professionals working in the financial crime domain, encompassing various disciplines such as anti-money laundering, tax evasion, corruption, fraud, data analytics, security, compliance, regulation and enforcement. The organization was founded with the objective of creating a global community of financial crime experts who can collaborate and share their knowledge, experiences and solutions to tackle common financial crime challenges.

ACFCS is governed by an expert Advisory Board, composed of distinguished leaders from both the private and public sectors, who have extensive experience in managing professional associations, creating certification programs and fostering the growth of the financial crime community. In 2001, ACFCS established the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists and introduced the highly regarded Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) certificate.

The ACFCS serves as a platform for its members to network and engage in professional development through its educational products and events. It is dedicated to promoting best practices and elevating the financial crime profession by providing its members with the tools and resources they need to succeed in their careers.

Key Takeaway: What is the difference between ACFCS and CAMS Certifications?

The Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) certification is a specific program offered by the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS), a subsidiary of the Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists (ACFCS). On the other hand, ACFCS is a broader organization that focuses on financial crime as a whole, encompassing various disciplines beyond anti-money laundering, such as fraud, tax evasion, and corruption.

The CAMS certification is widely recognized as the gold standard in anti-money laundering and is designed for professionals working in AML compliance, operations, audit, risk management, and investigation. The CAMS certification is focused solely on anti-money laundering and requires passing an exam to demonstrate expertise in this area.

ACFCS, on the other hand, offers a range of certifications and educational programs that cover multiple financial crime disciplines, including anti-money laundering, tax evasion, fraud, and corruption. The ACFCS certifications aim to provide comprehensive knowledge and skills in various financial crime domains to professionals looking to enhance their expertise.

How to Get CFCS Certificate?

The financial crime landscape is constantly evolving, with new challenges and risks emerging daily, making it imperative for finance companies to have a strong line of defense against financial crime. As such, there is a growing demand for financial crime specialists who possess a broad-based knowledge and a diverse skill set that enables them to tackle complex financial crime challenges.

The Certified Financial Crime Specialist (CFCS) certification is a comprehensive program designed to equip financial crime professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills to detect, prevent and mitigate financial crime. This globally recognized certification is held in high esteem in over 80 countries and is considered a benchmark of excellence in the field. It is an essential tool for financial crime professionals looking to enhance their expertise, increase their impact and advance their careers. It provides a comprehensive perspective on the financial crime landscape, making it a valuable asset for organizations and individuals alike.

CFCS provides a broad perspective on the financial crime spectrum, covering areas such as anti-money laundering, fraud, tax evasion, corruption, and more. It is ideal for compliance officers, regulators, auditors, and other professionals who are tasked with detecting financial crime. Some of the benefits of obtaining the CFCS certification include:

  • Providing institutions with the opportunity to train their employees on financial crime topics
  • Improving communication, coordination, and cooperation among different compliance teams
  • Increasing efficiency and effectiveness in detecting financial crime, leading to improved results
  • Providing individuals with a pathway to advance their careers and gain a deeper understanding of financial crimes.

The Steps for CFCS Certification

Step One: APPLY

Those who wish to apply for the CFCS certificate are expected to meet the eligibility criteria. Candidates first enroll in the ACFCS, then are eligible to take the CFCS certification exam. There are some documents required after completing and passing the CFCS review. These documents;

Two professional references, contact information, and descriptions of relations with you.

Documents showing that the candidate has earned at least 40 credits in financial crimes and related fields through experience, education, and professional certificates. Candidates must provide sufficient credits before earning the CFCS certificate. You can calculate the credit on the CFCS website. 

Step Two: PURCHASE

You must have an active membership to obtain a CFCS Certificate.  The CFCS Certification Package includes are; CFCS Exam Study Manual, Online CFCS Exam Prep Webinars, CFCS Exam Practice Test, CFCS Exam fee, and CFCS 1-Year Membership.

The CFCS Certification Package prices are $ 1,245 for Private Sector and $ 920 for Government. Prices are published on the ACFCS website; they may change over time.

There are 145 scenario-based, multiple-choice questions on the CFCS exam. Candidates must obtain 82/125 multiple choice questions (125 are graded, there are an extra 20 questions used for test improvement purposes). Candidates can take the exam again after a 60-day waiting time accompanied by a $ 175 retesting fee.

Step Three: STUDY

You can access an electronic copy of the CFCS Certification Examination Preparation Manual and access to the CFCS Exam Prep Webinar, the Online Prep Course, as well as other prep resources, and one year of membership in ACFCS after your payment is done. You can prepare for the exam individually; you can use the resources published by ACFCS or watch the Online CFCS Exam Prep Webinars.

Step Four: EXAM

You can take the exam from home using the Online Proctored (OLP) Network. Candidates will take the exam with their pc cameras open. The duration of the exam is 4 hours, and electronic devices are prohibited during the exam. Candidates who fail the exam can take the exam within 60 days by paying the exam fee again.

Why Should You Become a CFCS?

The Certified Financial Crime Specialist (CFCS) certification is a globally recognized program that provides financial crime professionals with a comprehensive understanding of the latest international best practices in the fight against financial crime. By obtaining the CFCS certificate, individuals demonstrate their commitment to staying informed and competent in the fight against financial crime and prove their ability to effectively address a wide range of financial crime threats. This certification is especially relevant for professionals working in the financial industry, such as analysts, researchers, and members of financial intelligence units, who require a broad-based perspective on the financial crime spectrum.

Holding the CFCS certificate not only benefits individuals by advancing their careers and improving their skills, but it also provides organizations with a higher standard of financial crime detection and prevention. By obtaining the CFCS certificate, financial institutions can demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that their teams are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively detect and prevent financial crime. The CFCS certificate represents a benchmark for financial crime competency and proficiency and is recognized in many countries.


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