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Training and accreditation

Authorised Professional Practice

This page is from APP, the official source of professional practice for policing.

First published
Written by College of Policing
5 mins read

There are a number of roles within each force that routinely use financial investigation. Officers should be aware of these roles and their responsibilities.

Financial investigation training is available for:

  • financial investigators (FIs) and accredited financial investigators (AFIs)
  • non-specialist police investigators
  • managers and senior officers

Specialist and non-specialist staff will be required to work together during the investigative process.

Roles and resources

Financial investigators and accredited financial investigators

Financial investigators (FIs) are police officers who have attended and successfully completed the proceeds of crime course.

Accredited financial investigators (AFIs) are members of the police staff who have attended the same course and have been accredited as FIs.

FIs can be used in many ways on all levels of investigation. Specialist FIs knowledge is a valuable investigative resource and should be used to assist local staff and improve investigative performance.

Some forces deploy teams of officers trained as FIs or financial intelligence officers (FIOs) at a localised level so that Proceeds of Crime (POC) legislation is used in mainstream policing. FIs, AFIs and FIOs require training in the collection and recording of intelligence as part of their accreditation.

Managers should note that some officers and staff who are accredited as FIs may not have completed the confiscation and restraint training course. Confiscation and restraint will only be conducted by FIs who have had the correct training and accreditation.

Financial intelligence officers

In order for FIOs to manage financial intelligence effectively they require training in the collection and recording of financial intelligence and an understanding of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA).

Other staff

The following resources may be required in support of investigations into criminal finances:

  • legal support to conduct cash detention or forfeiture hearings
  • staff to act as a central reception point for suspicious activity reports (SARs)
  • support staff to carry out administrative tasks (this is more efficient and cost effective than using FIs)

All members of staff in the intelligence department would also benefit from having a basic understanding of financial investigation and proceeds of crime matters. By training staff to recognise opportunities forces will maximise the potential benefits of financial investigation for the force and community. In particular some key roles should be targeted, these include:

  • custody staff
  • supervisors
  • SIOs and crime managers
  • criminal justice managers
  • other operational staff


It is essential to train by role type. This ensures that those who must be accredited in order to exercise the powers available under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) receive full and adequate training, and those who do not require the same level of knowledge receive appropriate and relevant training. 

Analysts with financial investigation training

An analyst with financial investigation training can assist in a wide range of investigations. In some forces, analysts working in Force Intelligence Bureau (FIBs) are trained in the use of financial investigation techniques. This can be useful in maximising the use of SARs.

Training for non-specialist police

Financial investigation training should form part of a force’s routine training and development programme for all management, investigation and intelligence personnel. Basic financial investigation training should be aligned with APP on intelligence management and professionalising the investigation processes (PIP) training. It should also be integrated into the:

  • initial crime investigators development programme (ICIDP)
  • initial police learning development programme (IPLDP)
  • force trainee investigator programmes
  • force SIO development
  • force intelligence officers’ and probationers’ training

The following additional courses are also relevant for those involved in financial investigation:

  • SMT intelligence learning and development programme
  • intelligence specialist course
  • national intelligence course

Training for managers and senior officers

Managers do not necessarily require the level of training and awareness provided by financial investigation-specific courses. It is however critical that commanders and senior staff have a basic understanding of financial investigation. It is likely that non-specialist senior staff will need to take responsibility for analysing management data concerning financial investigation. Staff performing this role must be competent in data analysis and the production of action plans to improve performance as appropriate.

Investigative managers in particular, need to ensure that:

  • all officers are using financial investigation effectively
  • all officers are applying POCA legislative tools at the appropriate time throughout the investigation
  • appropriate information is included in all training courses
  • all officers understand where to go for help from specialists

Financial investigators training

The Proceeds of Crime Centre (PoCC) provides the training for investigators who specialise in tracing criminal assets and other areas of financial investigation. The courses are:

  • financial intelligence course
  • financial investigation course
  • confiscation (including restraint)
  • tutor financial investigator course
  • senior appropriate officer course

Other training courses available through the PoCC that fulfil financial investigation training and awareness needs are the:

  • proceeds of crime management course
  • intelligence officers development course

Forces must provide adequate funding to finance training as required.

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