CFE Credential Eligibility

Below are five requirements to earn your Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential.

To find out if you qualify to earn your CFE credential, read through the five requirements below. For each requirement that you have not achieved, there are recommendations on what steps you can take next to earn your CFE credential.
The ACFE is a diverse, active, global community of professionals who share a passion for preventing, finding and fighting fraud in all forms. If you're ready to join us in our mission, become a member of the ACFE.

You can earn points for education and fraud-related work experience.

Many CFE credential applicants have a minimum of a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an institution of higher learning, earning 40 qualifying points. No specific field of study is required. If you do not have a bachelor's degree, you may substitute two years of fraud-related professional experience for each year of academic study. For example, if you successfully attended college full-time for two years, you would earn 20 points and still need an additional four years of professional experience to meet the education requirements. Any points claimed for education must be from an accredited institution of higher learning.

Fraud-related work experience may also be used to earn points. There are more details in the next section about what types of work experience are accepted. Use our points calculator to determine if you meet the points requirement. Remember, you need 40 points to take the CFE Exam and 50 points to become certified.

At the time you are certified, you must have at least two years of professional experience in a field either directly or indirectly related to the detection or deterrence of fraud. If you do not have two years of professional experience, you can still take the CFE Exam as long as you have a minimum of 40 qualifying points. Once you have the 50-point minimum and two years of professional experience, you can be awarded the CFE credential.

The ACFE’s Board of Regents has established the following categories as acceptable fraud-related experience.

Please note, if your work experience does not fall into one of the categories below but your job responsibilities include the detection, investigation or deterrence of fraud, your experience may still qualify. 

Fraud-Related Work Experience

  • Accounting and Auditing
    Your work experience may qualify if you have experience as an accountant or auditor (e.g., internal or external auditor) and have responsibilities related to the detection and deterrence of fraud. Eligible work experience includes evaluating accounting systems for weaknesses, designing internal controls, determining the degree of organizational fraud risk, interpreting financial data for unusual trends and following up on fraud indicators.
  • Criminology and Sociology
    If you have work experience in anti-fraud education or you research fraud and white-collar crime areas of sociology or criminology, you may claim experience under this category. A background in general sociological fields is insufficient.
  • Fraud Investigation
    If you have experience in the investigation of civil or criminal fraud, or of white-collar crime for law enforcement agencies or in the private sector, your experience qualifies. This includes federal, state or local law enforcement (e.g., IRS, inspectors general and district attorney investigators). Insurance fraud investigators and fraud examiners working for corporations, businesses or associations qualify as well.
  • Loss Prevention
    Security directors for corporations and associations who deal with loss prevention may claim this experience as credit. Security consultants dealing with fraud-related issues are also eligible. Experience as a security guard or equivalent is insufficient.
  • Law
    Your experience in the legal field might qualify, provided your work history deals with some consideration of fraud. Examples include prosecuting lawyers, fraud litigators and others with an anti-fraud specialization. 
The CFE Exam tests your knowledge of the four major areas that comprise the fraud examination body of knowledge: Financial Transactions and Fraud Schemes, Law, Investigation, and Fraud Prevention and Deterrence.
All members of the ACFE are expected to be of high moral character. When you join the ACFE as an Associate Member, you are asked to agree to the Code of Professional Ethics. You will be asked again when you apply for the CFE Exam. And you must abide by the Code of Professional Ethics throughout your tenure as a CFE.

Still Have Questions?

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