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Q: Why should you become a Certified Financial Crime Specialist?

A: The certification responds to one of the most critical and timely trends in the field – the need for professionals with a broader, more unified understanding of financial crime that is not limited to one specific area, like fraud, money laundering or corruption. Increasingly, financial institutions, government agencies and other organizations are moving away from a “siloed” approach and seeking to leverage shared tools, techniques and expertise between different financial crime disciplines. The CFCS credential helps verify knowledge and skill across the financial crime spectrum and prepare professionals for this emerging best practice.

Q: What are the advantages of being CFCS-certified?

A: The CFCS credential is increasingly sought and obtained by professionals at some of the world’s largest financial institutions, as well as government agencies, law enforcement, and service providers in the US and globally. By becoming certified, individuals demonstrate they are prepared to address a wide range of financial crime threats, and organizations demonstrate a commitment to a higher standard in financial crime detection and prevention.

Q: What is the difference between the CFCS credential and other certifications?

A: The CFCS credential is the most comprehensive certification in the financial crime prevention field – Whereas other certifications typically focus on only one area, the CFCS credential covers 12 key topics, providing validation of knowledge and skill across the financial crime spectrum. This broad-based approach enables CFCS-certified individuals to confront the full range of financial crime risks, promotes flexibility in career paths, and assists organizations with confronting emerging threats.

Q: I currently hold another certification, should I also obtain my CFCS credential?

A: The CFCS credential can be effective as a stand-alone certification, or as a complement to other certifications in the field. Many in our CFCS-certified community also hold other credentials related to financial crime. They report that earning the CFCS certification has opened new avenues in their careers, increased their awareness of financial crime risk, and most importantly, assisted them in improving results in prevention and detection.

Q: What’s included in the CFCS Certification Package?

A: Candidates receive in-depth learning materials that cover the diverse financial crime landscape, from more established areas like fraud and money laundering to more recent hot topics like cybersecurity, anti-corruption and tax evasion and enforcement. The CFCS Certification Package includes the following:

  • CFCS Exam Study Manual
  • Online CFCS Exam Prep Webinars
  • CFCS Exam Practice Test
  • CFCS Exam fee
  • ACFCS 1-Year Membership

Q: How much does the CFCS Certification Package cost?

A: The CFCS Certification Package costs are:

  • $1,245 for Private Sector
  • $640 for Government

Q: How many questions are on the CFCS exam?

 A: There are 145-scenario based, multiple choice questions on the CFCS exam.


Q: How long does the CFCS exam take?

A: Candidates have 4 hours allotted to complete the CFCS exam.


Q: What is the passing score for the CFCS exam?

A: Candidates must score 82/125 multiple choice questions (125 are graded, there are an additional 20 ungraded questions used for test development purposes)


Q: What if I did not pass the exam?

A: Candidates can retake the exam after a 60-day waiting period accompanied by a $175 retesting fee.


Q: After obtaining my CFCS credentials, am I an ACFCS member?

A: Yes, your initial CFCS exam fees include your first one-year ACFCS membership. However, memberships do require an annual renewal to maintain a status of good standing.


Q: How do I obtain my CFCS credit hours?

A: Credit hours can be obtained through many avenues, such as:

  • Professional Experience: hours worked directly in the scope of financial crime
  • Training: ACFCS online training, webinars, conferences, and/or through reputable third-party organizations
  • Education: includes degrees earned and credits for other professional certifications in the financial crime field


Q: What is the recertification process & cost?

A: Every 3 years you must demonstrate:

  • 60 credits 
  • Private
    • Early Bird: $150
    • Standard: $200
    • Late $350
  • Government
    • Early Government: $115
    • Standard: $135
    • Late $195

Q: What is the procedure for scheduling and taking the CFCS examination? 

A: The exam is offered on an ongoing basis throughout the year, through a global network of testing centers. Candidates can schedule their examination at one of over 900 testing centers at their convenience, depending on the availability and timing offered at their chosen testing center.


Q: What types of individuals and organizations obtain the CFCS certification?

A: The CFCS credential is based on international best practices and designed to benefit both the public and private sectors. Professionals at 15 of the world’s 20 largest financial institutions hold the CFCS credential, along with regulatory agencies, law enforcement and non-financial corporations. There are CFCS-certified individuals in more than 80 countries and jurisdictions. The certification is a particularly good fit for professionals that require a broad-based view into financial crime, such as analysts, investigators, and roles in financial intelligence units. 

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