Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Compliance
What are the CPE requirements to maintain my CFE credential?
CFEs are required to earn 20 hours of CPE per 12-month period. At least 10 hours must relate directly to the detection and deterrence of fraud, and two hours must relate directly to ethics.
What fields of study qualify for fraud-related CPE credit?
Fraud examination, forensic accounting, fraud auditing, law related to fraud, and specialized knowledge and applications used in a fraud examination generally qualify for fraud-related CPE requirements. Other fields of study may also qualify if the subject is related to the practice of fraud examination or one of its related disciplines (law, accounting, criminology and investigation methods). All ACFE events and self-study courses qualify for fraud-related CPE. Read CPE 101: Acceptable Fields of Study for a more detailed description of fraud-related CPE categories.
Can I use CPE credits earned outside of the ACFE for my CFE credential?
Yes, unlimited CPE hours per year are allowed from outside organizations, provided the education meets the criteria of one of the following categories:
Participant Credit (unlimited) – An unlimited amount of participant CPE credits may be claimed for each year. Participant credit is defined as instruction in a formal class or online (e.g. webcast or webinar) setting that includes:
a written course outline
attendance that is required and recorded
One hour of credit is equal to at least 50 minutes of classroom time.
The required documentation for this credit to be accepted is a certificate of completion with the number of CPE hours attained.
College Course Credit (unlimited) – College courses may be claimed and computed at the rate of 15 hours CPE for each semester hour completed.
In some publications, Certified Education Unit (CEU) is used. In most cases one CEU is equal to (1) 15 classroom hours, (2) one college semester hour, or (3) 15 credits of CPE.
The required documentation for this credit to be accepted is a transcript with the course name and the number of credit hours earned.
In-House Training (unlimited) – In-house training is acceptable, provided it is offered in a formalized setting and meets the above criteria for participant credit. Informal, on-the-job training may not be claimed.
Self-Study Credit (unlimited) – Correspondence and self-study courses are acceptable for recommended CPE credit, provided they meet the following criteria:
The individual must pass a final examination to receive CPE credit.
A certificate of completion listing the number of CPE hours attained is issued.
Instructor Credit (maximum of 10 CPE credits per year) – Instructors may claim CPE credit for the number of hours actually presented, plus a maximum of two hours preparation for each hour of presentation for the first time the material is presented. Subsequent credit for preparation of the same presentation is not permitted. Full teaching credit may be claimed in every instance the subject is taught. A maximum of 10 CPE credits per year is accepted, including preparation time and presentation time.
The required documentation for this credit to be accepted is one of the following:
Teaching a university course: A confirmation letter on university letterhead that states the name and timeframe of the class taught.
Teaching a non-university course: Written confirmation from the organization hosting the course that states the name and timeframe of the class taught. A class agenda or course brochure should also be kept for CPE records.
Author Credit (maximum of 10 CPE credits per year) – Time spent preparing articles and books related to the above-mentioned fields will be accepted for a maximum of 10 CPE credits per year.
The required documentation for this credit to be accepted is a detailed description of the book or article. It should be kept with annual CPE records.
What should CPE documentation include?
Generally, CPE documentation should include the following:
Name of attendee
Course sponsor name
Number of CPE hours earned
Date of course
Powerpoint presentation slides
How many Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits are given for ACFE events?
For 1-day courses, you may earn eight CPE hours; for 2-day courses you may earn 16 CPE hours; and for 3-day courses you may earn up to 24 hours of CPE. ACFE conferences vary in the number of CPE hours given, depending on the length of the conference.
What if I get more than 20 hours in one 12-month period? Can I roll them over to the next year?
Yes. You can carry over up to 10 unclaimed CPE hours of any type from one CPE year to the next.
How do I report my CPE credits?
You are not required to report specific CPE credit hours. You will be required to certify, via your account at ACFE.com, using our online chat system or by phone, that you are in compliance with CPE requirements each year. Additionally, you may be asked to provide proof of CPE if you are selected for an audit or if you are involved in a disciplinary proceeding.
CPE records should not be sent to the ACFE unless specifically requested by ACFE staff. The ACFE does not maintain CPE records for members. CFEs are responsible for keeping track of their CPE and retaining, for three years, supporting documents for CPE credit they earn, such as proof of attendance and completion of courses.
Where do I confirm my annual CPE compliance?
You have four different routes to confirm your annual CPE compliance:
What if I cannot maintain my CPE requirements?
Any member who is unable to demonstrate CPE compliance is subject to suspension. CFEs can apply for a CPE deadline extension via their account at ACFE.com or by contacting a Member Services Representative. Special circumstances preventing CFEs from complying may exempt them from their CPE requirements and are handled on a case by case basis. A written request must be sent to the ACFE citing special circumstances that make CPE compliance impossible.
Any member who is found to have made a false certification may be subject to discipline including expulsion from the ACFE.
What does it mean if my CFE credential is Suspended?
Suspended status prohibits you from representing yourself as a CFE to the
general public and using the CFE credential in any form. Examples include, but
are not limited to, business cards, business or personal correspondence,
résumés, certificates of membership, and/or Internet sites. Suspended status
also prevents you from voting in ACFE elections, and you will no longer be
listed in the “Find a CFE” search on ACFE.com. Unauthorized use of the CFE
credential by a member in suspended status or untruthful representations about
CFE status may result in additional disciplinary action.
January 1, 2015, CFEs with five or more years of CPE suspensions will be placed
into Associate member status. Should these individuals want to reinstate the
CFE credential they will be required to take the CFE exam.
I am no longer working in a fraud-related field. Do I have to comply with CPE requirements?
If your employment status has changed and you no longer use the CFE credential professionally, please contact a Member Services Representative to find out about other status options.
How can I find out what CPE I have completed?
You can contact a Member Services Representative to find out the courses you purchased through the ACFE, but CFEs are responsible for keeping track of their CPE and retaining, for three years, supporting documents for the CPE credit they earn, such as CPE certificates, letters of attendance or letters of completion. The ACFE does not maintain CPE records for members.
How can I determine if a non-ACFE course will count for fraud-related or ethics CPE credit?
Please visit our CPE 101: Acceptable Fields of Study page to view a list of both fraud-related and ethics-related fields.
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