Continuing Professional Education (CPE) FAQs

To maintain your Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential, you are required to earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE).

FAQs About CPE

  • What are the CPE requirements to maintain my CFE credential?
    Each year, based on the anniversary of when you became a member, you are required to earn 20 CPE credits. At least 10 credits must be fraud-related, and two credits must relate directly to ethics.
  • What fields of study qualify for fraud-related CPE?
    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. 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 CPE credit earned from ACFE courses and educational events is considered fraud related. 

    Read CPE 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 credits per year are allowed from outside organizations, provided the education meets the criteria of one of the following six categories:

    1. Participant credit (unlimited)

    Participant credit is defined as instruction in a formal class or online (e.g., virtual conference or webinar) setting that includes:

    • An instructor
    • A written course outline
    • Attendance that is required and recorded
    • One hour of CPE credit is equal to at least 50 minutes of classroom time.

    How to claim this type of credit: Obtain a certificate of completion with the number of CPE credits attained.

    2. College course credit (unlimited)

    For college courses, you may claim 15 CPE credits for each semester hour completed.

    How to claim this type of credit: Request a transcript with the course name and the number of credit hours earned from your college or university.

    3. 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.

    How to claim this type of credit: Obtain a certificate of completion with the number of CPE credits attained.

    4. Self-study credit (unlimited)

    Self-study courses are acceptable for CPE credit, provided they meet the following criteria:

    • The individual passes a final examination to receive the CPE credit.
    • A certificate of completion listing the number of CPE credits attained is issued.

    How to claim this type of CPE credit: Obtain a certificate of completion with the number of CPE credits attained.

    5. Instructor credit (maximum of 10 CPE credits per year)

    You may claim CPE credit for the number of hours you present as an instructor as long as the content of your presentation is related to the above-mentioned fields.

    You may also claim a maximum of two preparation hours for each hour of your presentation. You may only claim preparation hours for the first time the material is presented. Subsequent credit for preparation of the same presentation is not permitted. 

    Instructor credits may be claimed for every instance the subject is presented, but a maximum of 10 CPE credits per year is accepted, including preparation time and presentation time.

    How to claim this type of CPE credit: 

    • For a university course: Obtain a confirmation letter on university letterhead that states the name and time frame of the class.
    • For a non-university course: Obtain written confirmation from the organization hosting the course that states the name and time frame of the class. A class agenda or course brochure should also be kept for CPE records.

    6. 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.

    How to claim this type of CPE credit: Maintain a detailed description of the book or article and keep it with your annual CPE records.

  • What should CPE documentation include?

    Generally, CPE documentation should include the following:

    • Name of attendee
    • Course description
    • Course sponsor name
    • Number of CPE credits earned
    • Date of course

    The ACFE will not accept the following for CPE documentation:

    • Registration forms
    • Paid invoices
    • Course syllabi
    • PowerPoint presentation slides
    • Excel lists
  • Where do I submit my CPE documentation?
    You are not required to send CPE records to the ACFE unless you receive a request by ACFE staff in the event of a CPE audit.
  • How many CPE credits are given for ACFE events?

    For 1-day courses, you may earn 8 CPE.

    For 2-day courses, you may earn 16 CPE.

    For 3-day courses, you may earn 24 CPE.

    ACFE conferences and other live events vary in the number of CPE credits given, depending on the length of the event. All event descriptions include information about CPE.

  • What if I get more than 20 hours in one 12-month period?
    You can roll over up to 10 unclaimed CPE credits from one reporting year to the next.
  • How do I report my CPE?
    Each year, you will be required to certify that you are in compliance with CPE requirements via your ACFE account, online chat or phone.

    You will receive reminders and notifications from the ACFE as your CPE deadline approaches. 

    Additionally, you may be asked to provide CPE documentation if you are selected for an audit or if you are involved in a disciplinary proceeding.

    CPE documentation should not be sent to the ACFE unless requested by ACFE staff. 

    The ACFE does not maintain CPE records for members. You are responsible for keeping track of your CPE and retaining CPE documentation for three years.
  • Where do I confirm my annual CPE compliance?

    You have four easy ways to confirm your annual CPE compliance:

    • Visit the My CPE page to certify your CPE compliance online.
    • Call (800) 245-3321 / +1 (512) 478-9000 to certify your compliance by phone.
    • Certify your CPE compliance via secure chat.
    • Mail in the CPE stub on the bottom of your annual membership invoice.
  • What if I cannot maintain my CPE requirements?

    If you are having trouble meeting your CPE requirements, you can apply for a CPE deadline extension via your ACFE account or by contacting a Member Services Representative.

    If you are unable to demonstrate CPE compliance, you may be subject to suspension. 

    However, we encourage you to reach out to our Member Services team. We make exceptions on a case-by-case basis if there are special circumstances that prevent you from complying with CPE requirements. Submit a written request to the ACFE citing special circumstances that make CPE compliance impossible. Any member who is found to have made a false request 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 websites. Suspended status also prevents you from voting in ACFE elections, and you will no longer be listed in the “Find a CFE” directory 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.

    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 review the alternative membership status options or contact a Member Services Representative.
  • How can I find out what CPE I have completed through the ACFE?
    You can contact a Member Services Representative to find out the courses you purchased through the ACFE, but you are responsible for keeping track of your CPE and retaining CPE documentation for three years.
  • How can I determine if a non-ACFE course will count for fraud-related or ethics CPE credit?
    Please visit our CPE Fields of Study page to view a list of both fraud-related and ethics-related fields.