• Major landmark reached as Counter Fraud Investigator becomes the 500th new apprenticeship approved for use
  • Apprentices could work on high-profile cases with the National Investigation Service (NATIS – Police), Serious Fraud Office (SFO), or tax fraud with the Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
  • The NHS Counter Fraud Authority, Cabinet Office and local authorities also helped develop the training programme with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute)

The next generation of fraud investigators will be trained through a new apprenticeship launched by the Institute today.

The Counter Fraud Investigator standard is the 500th new apprenticeship approved for use for employers and learners.

Apprentices could typically work for the SFO, HMRC, Department of Health, Insolvency Service, Department for Work and Pensions, and across local government. They will be trained to operate within large teams on major investigations, for example including into tax or benefits scams, or more autonomously looking into smaller criminal and civil cases.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“It is fantastic news that we have reached the 500 mark. This is a great achievement and means there are now more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities available than ever before. This new Counter Fraud Investigator apprenticeship has been developed by leading fraud experts including HMRC and the Serious Fraud Office and will open exciting opportunities to work across the public sector and help crack-down on fraudsters.”

Sir Gerry Berragan, the Institute’s Chief Executive, said:

“I’m delighted to have reached 500 standards available for use. This is an impressive landmark and we will ensure through our reviews process that they all remain relevant and in demand by employers. This apprenticeship will be vital in helping to uncover fraud and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary, also welcomed the new apprenticeship. He said:

“This apprenticeship is an important milestone for the Government Counter Fraud Profession. It represents the first means of direct entry into the profession and as such will be integral to embedding a baseline standard of highly skilled professionals across the Counter Fraud Community.
“This standardisation will provide a springboard for closer collaboration and joined-up working across government and help us to prevent loss to the exchequer from damaging fraudulent attacks. The collaborative design of the apprenticeship, led by HMRC and the Cabinet Office, will improve social mobility and inclusivity, ensuring the profession attracts a much broader range of people. This wider demographic will equip us well for the challenges ahead by bringing a broader understanding, insight and flexibility, securing the profession for the future.”
The 500 figure is a major landmark for the apprenticeship reform programme - which is introducing new employer-designed apprenticeship standards, from entry to degree level, in place of the old apprenticeship frameworks that will be switched off next year.

Mark Cheeseman, Deputy Director and Chair of the Government Counter Fraud Profession Board, was delighted the half-century was reached with a high-profile standard designed to serve the public sector. He said:

“The launch of this apprenticeship marks a step change in how we develop the public sector skills to fight fraud and economic crime. Fraud costs the taxpayer billions of pounds every year and to fight it we need skilled, capable and motivated people - who want to make a difference and aren't afraid of a challenge. This apprenticeship will develop a new generation of skilled professionals who will be at the forefront of the fight against fraud.”

Ben Thorpe, Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) Apprenticeships Lead at HMRC and co-Chair of the Trailblazer group, also said:

“All of those involved in the Trailblazer group are extremely proud to see the Counter Fraud Investigator standard now approved. We hope that giving young people the chance to work on a range of Criminal or Civil Investigations, and have duties such as searching premises, interviewing suspects and obtaining evidence against suspected offences, will excite them enough to apply for this apprenticeship.”

For background:

  • The Counter Fraud Investigator apprenticeship is the 15th standard approved in the protective services sector. You can see the other standards here.
  • The Institute’s Route Panels are responsible for ensuring that apprenticeship standards and T-Level qualifications are high quality and meet the needs of employers, apprentices and learners and the economy at large.
  • The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) has begun a series of reviews to ensure apprenticeship standards – and our Occupational Maps, which group these standards and show the technical educational options that are available – continue to deliver high-quality training that delivers the skills employers and apprentices need to thrive.