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The process is fairly simple. We only certify members, so joining is the first step, then complete the Petition for Certification form. You may submit your membership application and petition for certification together.



Carefully read all instructions. You will be asked to attach various documents - do so. You will be asked to provide your full name (no initials, no nicknames), critical information, and references - do so. Submit everything to the Professional Standards and Admissions Committee for their consideration.


You are strongly encouraged to submit information and documentation that will provide the committee members with insight into the merits of your petition. If, after review, you meet the criteria handed down by the Board of Regents, your petition will be granted.

In the certification process, you, our member, are asking for full membership in the ACFS with all related rights. You are also asking that we grant you a special status, one where the ACFS stands and officially identifies you as one who possesses special skills and knowledge. In doing so, we are telling the public that you are a professional they can trust with their problems. We are also telling the court of this country that you have been judged by your peers and found to be one who is set above the majority of your colleagues.

This distinction is not granted to all who seek it; 1 in 4 will fail.

In seeking certification, Candidates must never forget that the Professional Standards and Admissions Committee are our gatekeepers. The burden they bear is to ensure that each Certified Fraud Specialist is one who meets the high standards established by the ACFS. The burden you bear is proving to them that you, and the body of your work as a professional, deserve such a distinction.

Process and Timeline for Certification

The timing of "when" your application and/or petition for certification is received, as well as how responsive you are to our requests for additional information or documents, directly impacts how long the certification process will take.

Normally, the application for membership process takes up to two weeks. Upon receipt, a determination to admit or deny admission is normally made within a few days. Once the determination has been made, a letter is mailed to the applicant within one week of initial receipt of the application.

When a Petition for Certification is received from a member, it is examined for completeness. Essentially, we administratively look to see if all required information is provided and if all the required documents are attached. If not, this delays processing because the Professional Standards and Admissions Committee will not accept for review an incomplete petition.

If the petition is complete, it will be scheduled for review by the Professional Standards and Admissions Committee at their next session.

The committee meets every 6 to 8 weeks. View the PSAC meeting schedule Here.

    During the review, every committee member carefully reviews each document in every petitioners file. All actions by the committee are done by consensus - whether it is to grant certification, deny certification, or to request additional information from the petitioner and have the package resubmitted.

    The completeness of a petitioner's package, the responsiveness of the petitioner to information or document requests, as well the timing of when the petition was received impacts processing time. The burden of establishing having met the standards set by the Board of Regents rests with the Candidate.

    Once certification has been approved and the candidate notified, a shingle is ordered, foiled, stamped and signed by the Professional Standards and Admissions Committee, the co-chair and the Association's Executive Director.

    We go to these lengths to create a truly unique, personal document. Our goal is to produce a document as special as the professional it represents - and one that our member will be proud to display. When examined, this shingle bears original testimony from the leadership of your Association affirming that you have been examined, judged, and are endorsed as a uniquely qualified individual.

    While this takes time to do - usually 4 to 8 weeks - we know of no other professional group that goes to such lengths to provide a personal connection to their membership. We consider it a matter of distinction - and of pride.

    All told - from beginning to end - it can take a couple of months to go from petition to receiving your shingle. Just remember, the good things in life are worth waiting for.