ACAMS Certification Roadmap: A Comprehensive Guide to Become an Expert in AML

11 min read
acams certification roadmap

In recent years, financial crimes are hitting the headlines and are under the spotlight. Amidst technological advancement, financial crimes are increasing at an unprecedented level. Financial crimes come in different ways such as money laundering, bribery, embezzlement, drug trafficking, etc. According to some statistics, financial crimes involving credit card fraud and identity theft cost US customers $5.8 billion in 2021 alone. Money laundering in the United States accounts for 15% to 38% of all money laundering worldwide. Whether it is money laundering or bribery, these financial crimes need to stop. As financial crimes are increasing, anti-financial crime professionals are also in demand. To fight these financial crimes ACAMS came into existence.

What exactly is ACAMS?

The acronym ACAMS stands for Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists. It is the largest international membership organization for Anti-Financial crime professionals. ACAMS provides financial crime prevention professionals with educational and networking opportunities.

ACAMS Certification Programs

ACAMS’ “certification programs” are divided into training and certification exams. The training components may be the same as “certificate courses. Although training assists individuals in preparing for the certification exam, the certification exam is considered an independent evaluation of the candidate’s ability to demonstrate competency in the certification program’s topic by applying knowledge to life-like settings. By passing the certification exam you will get the right to use the designation such as Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist- CAMS.

ACAMS Certification Roadmap: Types and Levels

ACAMS offers many certifications at different levels and within specific domains. These certifications are available in

  • Associate-Level Certification 
  • Specialist-Level Certification
  • Advanced Specialist-Level Certification
Associate-Level Certification Specialist-Level Certification Advanced Specialist-Level Certification
CKYCA- Certified Know Your Customer Associate CAMS- Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Advanced CAMS- Audit
CTMA- Certified Transaction Monitoring Associate CGSS- Certified Global Sanction Specialist Advanced CAMS- Financial Crimes Investigations
CAFCA- Certified AML FinTech Compliance Associate CCAS- Certified Cryptoasset Anti-Financial Crime Specialist Advanced CAMS- Risk Management

A Quick Go Through to ACAMS Associate Level Certifications

CKYCA- Certified Know Your Customer Associate

This certification provides organizations with a way to ensure that their front-line and operations personnel have the key competencies required for know-your-customer (KYC), customer due diligence (CDD), and enhanced due diligence (EDD) activities.

CKYCA is intended for those who are in charge of onboarding new clients, conducting periodic evaluations, and maintaining customer profiles

CTMA- Certified Transaction Monitoring Associate

Transaction monitoring is a key AML and financial crime compliance program component. This certification ensures companies manage their financial crimes risk by guaranteeing that their teams are trained to a consistent standard. CTMA is best suited for entry-level individuals who work in or want to work in transaction monitoring roles.

CAFCA - Certified AML FinTech Compliance Associate

CAFCA is intended to educate and empower the teams that FinTechs rely on to secure their business. The program ensures that individuals comprehend the fundamental principles, functions, and risks of FinTech compliance.

ACAMS Associate Level Certifications Cost

ACAMS provides a standard package that includes a study guide, online study material, exam attempts, and practice exams. The cost of the package is the same for all three certifications.

  • The standard package for CYKCA, CTMA, and CAFCA certification courses costs $1,045 for both the public and private sectors.

A Glance at Specialist Level Certification

CAMS- Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist

CAMS is a globally recognized certification that teaches the fundamental principles of money laundering and how to prevent it. Individuals and teams can become certified as Anti-Money Laundering Specialists in as little as four months.

CGSS- Certified Global Sanction Specialist

The ACAMS Certified Global Sanctions Specialist (CGSS) qualification is a global program that provides professionals with the tools they need to comprehend and interpret shifting sanctions frameworks. CGSS focuses on global sanctions concepts, legal frameworks, regulator expectations, and recognized best practices.

CCAS- Certified Cryptoasset Anti-Financial Crime Specialist

This cryptocurrency compliance certification program enables organizations to contextualize crypto assets’ threats, develop an effective risk appetite, and show regulatory compliance. This cryptocurrency AML certification is also suitable for individuals who want to broaden their knowledge and utilize their talents in the crypto business. CCAS is intended for crypto professionals who are responsible for cryptocurrency compliance and managing the risks of crypto asset-related financial crime.

ACAMS Specialist Level Certification Cost

ACAMS provides standard packages and virtual classroom bundles for CAMS, CGSS, and CCAS certification courses. 

  • If you avail standard packages, it costs $1,895 for the private sector and $1,445 for the public sector.
  • The cost of virtual classroom bundles is $2,295 for the private sector and 1,945 for the public sector

A Look into ACAMS Advanced Specialist Certifications

Advanced CAMS- Audit

It is the best ACAMS audit certification for professionals who conduct AFC audits as well as test and maintain AFC controls. The program provides applicants with the information they need to strengthen internal controls and assist their organization to satisfy regulatory requirements. The Advanced CAMS-Audit course is designed for mid-level and senior management professionals who are ready to advance in their anti-money laundering (AML) careers

Advanced CAMS- Financial Crime Investigation

The Advanced CAMS-FCI training course educates professionals on detecting, investigating, and reporting suspicious transactions and effectively communicating with law enforcement. This advanced-level anti-financial crime certification is intended for persons who undertake and/or supervise financial crime investigations within regulated institutions, or who desire to do so. It is excellent for any professional interested in learning more about financial crime investigations.

Advanced CAMS- Risk Management

The Advanced CAMS-Risk Management Certification expands on the CAMS credential by giving higher education and practice in financial crime risk management. Because of your specialized risk management knowledge, you will be able to analyze and improve existing protocols and procedures, as well as prepare for shifting paradigms. Anyone who is working as a risk management professional can take this certification.

ACAMS Advanced Specialist Certifications Cost

ACAMS provides standard package and virtual classroom bundles for CAMS-Audit, CAMS-RM, and CAMS-FCI certification courses. 

  • If you avail standard packages, it costs $2,195 for the private sector and $2,595 for the public sector.
  • The cost of virtual classroom bundles is $1,695 for the private sector and $2,195 for the public sector.

Are ACAMS Certifications Worth Their Cost? Significance and Benefits

If you’re working as an anti-financial crime professional and want to build expertise, ACAMS certifications are the most recognized anti-money laundering and related certifications. The benefits of earning these certifications are:

  • Build Expertise and AML Best Practices

ACAMS certifications are the most sought-after and well-respected asset management certifications. Organizations need help managing and checking assets and finances. Moreover, there is also a significant increase in financial crimes which fuels the need for professionals with the latest AML practices and skills. ACAMS certifications build skills and best practices for detecting financial crimes and investigating them.  

  • Cultivate an Anti-Financial Crime Culture

Having an ACAMS-certified professional that knows the best practices and methods of evading financial risks is important for any organization. These professionals show their commitment and commitment in preventing financial crimes. Furthermore, these certifications serve as a benchmark for others, cultivating a culture that is prepared and committed to combating financial crime.

  • Market Worth of ACAMS Certifications: Salary Prospects

Talking about the worth and market demand of ACAMS certifications, you will not be surprised because these certifications offer various job opportunities and the salary prospects are also quite impressive. Though job opportunities vary depending on qualification, we have included some top job roles available with ACAMS certification and the typical salary.

Job Roles/ Titles Average Salary
Compliance Officer $80,684
BSA Officer $80,633
Anti-Money Laundering Analyst $54,848
Compliance Director $129,606
Risk Analyst $62,096
Senior Manager Auditor $144,000
Sr. Compliance Officer $114,159
Internal Auditing Manager $115,000
Fraud Investigator $70,339

ACAMS Certification Retake Fee

Candidates who fail can retake the exam 30 days after their first attempt, 60 days after their second attempt, and 90 days after their third and subsequent attempts.

Retake Fee

Private Sector: $299

Public Sector: $199

How to get ACAMS Certifications?

To become certified in any of the ACAMS certifications, you have to pass some steps and mainly the exam. 

1- Join the ACAMS

Many of the ACAMS certifications required one to be a part of the ACAMS community to apply for the certification. So, first, join the ACAMS membership.

2- Check and Meet the Eligibility Criteria

Before applying for the exam, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for certain certifications. For instance, you need 40 eligibility credits to apply for CAMS.

3- Submit the Application 

If you meet the eligibility requirement, the next step is submitting your application that outlines your qualifications. Once your application has been approved and you have purchased your Certification package and membership, you will receive an email with details on how to book your exam with our testing partner, Pearson VUE.

4- Study and Schedule for the Exam 

Once your application procedure is accepted then the last step is scheduling the ACAM certification exam which you want to take. For passing the exam, you need to prepare extensively. After passing the exam you can get the right of being called certified or use the designation such as Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist- CAMS. If you’re worried and thinking about how to prepare for your ACAM certification, read the next part.

How to pass ACAM certification exams? 5 Steps to Follow

Passing the ACAM certification required both hard work and smart work. We have listed some key points that will help you pass the exam and become a Certified ACAM professional.

Go through Study Guide

The first step while preparing for any ACAM certification is reviewing the study guide. The study guide includes exam details and important information that is essential to know before taking the exam. 

Purchase ACAM Exam Package

Purchase the ACAM exam package and learn about the exam from this. There are two types of packages: standard and virtual classroom bundles. The only difference between these two packages is access to virtual training that is not available in the standard package. Moreover, the virtual classroom bundle contains six 2-hour web-based programs that will assist you in structuring and deepening your preparation.

Practice with Dumpsgate Exam Dumps

It is always recommended to test your concepts before appearing in the certification exam. So, for this, it is necessary to use a practice test. We know that ACAMS learning and exam packages are costly and many candidates don’t have an additional budget to purchase other learning resources. Considering this, Dumpsgate offers affordable, reliable, valid exam questions that are the most thorough way of testing your concepts and assessing where you need more effort. So, purchase ACAMS certification exam dumps now and get certified in less than 2 months.

Read more: Worth and Benefits of Machine learning certification  


How long is your ACAMS Certification valid?

After the expiration of ACAMS certification, you have to recertify your certification. Each level has a different expiration date.

Associate-Level Certifications: You have to recertify for associate certification every year.

Specialty-level Certifications: You have to recertify for associate certification every three years.

Advanced Specialty-Level Certifications: You have to recertify for associate certification every three years.

The Recertification Process

Recertifying with ACAMS is simple and quick. You must do the following:

  • Keep your ACAMS membership active.
  • Meet the credit requirements for recertification.
  • Submit an online application and a recertification fee (only for specialists and advanced specialists).

Final Words

With the rise in financial risks and crimes, there is a greater need for qualified individuals proficient in AML and other financial risk mitigation practices. ACAMS is the largest and leading global organization fighting against financial crimes and providing certification that serves professionals with the best knowledge and AML practices. To conclude, ACAMS certification comes at different levels, and earning any certification will open doors for lucrative job opportunities. So, be an ACAMS-certified professional and save the organizations from financial risks and ongoing crimes.


The CAMS certification is valid for three years. On the other hand, certified members will be compelled to expand their knowledge through continuous education. Members will be required to recertify at the end of this three-year cycle.

The cost of ACAMS certifications depends upon each credential and its level. To find out the exact cost, read this blog.

To pass any ACAMS exam, you must have 70% or higher scores.

ACAMS (Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist) is the global highest ranked AML certification, with more than 40,000 CAMS graduates worldwide.

If someone fails on their first attempt, ACAMS imposes a 30-day waiting period. Waiting periods vary by exam level after the first try. Waiting periods are prevalent for professional certification exams. For more information, read the recertification part of this blog.

AML Analyst salaries in India range from 2.5 Lakhs to 7.5 Lakhs per year, with an average yearly pay of 4.0 Lakhs.



Leave a Reply

Related Posts