How Apprenticeships can Help Combat Fraud in Local Government

Heidi de Sousa, Counter Fraud Apprenticeship Manager, CIPFA
February 19, 2021

In a report published by by The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) last year, it was revealed that 49% of local government professionals felt they lacked fraud awareness training. This was cited as a key reason that local authorities are vulnerable to external fraud.

During the upheaval and chaos caused by the pandemic, fraudsters have sadly taken advantage of the situation by creating more sophisticated techniques; leaving local authorities and public services even more exposed than before.

Even though eradicating financial crime completely is not possible, as a community we can work together to mitigate the risks and reduce the threat. One way to do this is to ensure that staff have the skills to effectively investigate fraud, and that they feel empowered enough to actively pursue those who commit fraud against the public purse.

To support local authorities' need for training, CIPFA now offers the Counter Fraud Investigator Apprenticeship (CFIA) - a brand-new professional standard which aims to equip professionals with the knowledge and power they need.

Outcomes of the new apprenticeship include:

  • knowledge of relevant legislation and regulatory requirements
  • how to assess and gather evidence, including forensic evidence
  • conducting PACE and CJA compliant interviews
  • preparing applications, orders and evidence for court and complying with the provisions for disclosure
  • understanding fraud from a civil law enforcement context

The first cohort for the new Level 4 course will commence in April 2021 and registration is open until 12 March. You can talk email CIPFA's Counter Fraud Apprenticeship team on or meet them one-to-one at next week’s Counter Fraud virtual conference

Training and apprenticeships are an integral form of sectoral support. They are designed to help local governments efficiently recover from the impact of the pandemic, and to reduce the presence of fraud in the public sector.

Download the CIPFA Counter Fraud Investigator Apprenticeship brochure to learn more about the apprenticeship, fraud investigator jobs and what it takes to be a financial crime investigator.