Before you may apply to become a CFE, you must meet the following requirements:
Be an Associate member of the ACFE in good standing
Meet minimum academic and professional requirements
Be of high moral character
Agree to abide by the bylaws and Code of Professional Ethics of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
The Point SystemYour eligibility to be certified is based on a point system which awards credit for education, professional affiliations and experience.
In order to be certified, a candidate must have a minimum of two years professional experience and 50 points. Points claimed for education must be from a recognized institution of higher learning. If an individual has more than 40 but less than 50 total qualifying points, the individual may apply to take the CFE Exam; however, certification will not be awarded until the individual has a total of 50 points or more and two years of professional experience.
Calculate your Point Score.
Academic RequirementsGenerally, applicants for CFE certification have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an institution of higher learning. 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 only two years, you would need an additional four years of professional experience to meet the education requirements.
Professional RequirementsAt 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. Candidates lacking two years of professional experience can still take the CFE Exam as long as they have a minimum of 40 total qualifying points. Once the individual has fulfilled their 50-point minimum and two years of professional experience they will be awarded the CFE credential.
The ACFE’s Board of Regents has established the following categories as acceptable fraud-related experience:
Accounting and Auditing: You may qualify if you have experience as an accountant or auditor (e.g., internal or external auditor), and have certain responsibilities for the detection and deterrence of fraud by 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: Only those professionals with education or research in the fraud and white-collar crime dimensions of sociology or criminology may claim experience under this category. An experienced background in general sociological fields is insufficient.
Fraud Investigation: Experience in the investigation of civil or criminal fraud, or of white-collar crime for law enforcement agencies or in the private sector, qualifies. Examples include 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 issues of 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 not acceptable.
Law: Candidates with experience in the legal field might qualify, provided the experience deals with some consideration of fraud. Examples include prosecuting lawyers, fraud litigators and others with an anti-fraud specialization.
If your experience does not fall into one of the categories, but your responsibilities include the detection, investigation or deterrence of fraud, your experience may qualify as indirectly fraud-related. Submit your application along with a detailed description of your professional experience for review. If you do not qualify, you will be notified and your application fee will be returned.
Apply for the CFE Exam.
Become a CFE
Step 1: Join the ACFE
Step 2: Prepare for the CFE Exam
Step 3: Apply for the CFE Exam
Step 4: Pass the CFE Exam