How to Become a Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialist (ACAMS)?

In the world of finance, Anti Money Laundering (AML) serves as a shield against shady financial activities. It's like the guardian that keeps banks and other financial institutions safe from money-related crimes. Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) are the heroes in this story. They're like detectives who prevent bad folks from washing their ill-gotten gains. 

This blog will explore how to become a Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialist (ACAMS), opening doors to exciting career opportunities while fighting financial wrongdoing.

Why Become a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (ACAMS)?

Becoming a Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialist (ACAMS) is a path to a brighter financial future. It offers a gateway to rewarding career opportunities, contributing to the fight against financial crime, and personal and professional growth.

Career Benefits

Becoming a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (ACAMS) brings a treasure trove of career advantages. These experts are highly sought after in the financial world, unlocking exciting job opportunities. Individuals can expect a substantial boost in their earning potential by earning this certification.

Contribution to Combating Financial Crime

ACAMS professionals play a pivotal role in the battle against financial wrongdoing. They are like financial crime detectives, working diligently to prevent money laundering, fraud, and other illicit activities. Becoming an ACAMS becomes a crucial part of the team dedicated to keeping the financial world safe and secure.

Personal and Professional Growth

Obtaining ACAMS certification isn't just about career benefits; it's also a personal and professional growth journey. It involves acquiring valuable knowledge and skills that can be applied in various aspects of life. Additionally, it demonstrates a commitment to ethical practices and a dedication to upholding the integrity of financial institutions. This certification is a career booster and a path to becoming a more responsible and knowledgeable professional.

How to Become a Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialist?

ACAMS certification is a prestigious achievement in Anti-Money Laundering (AML). Here are the steps to learn more about how to become ACAMS Certified, helping individuals enhance their AML knowledge and career prospects;

Membership in ACAMS

To embark on the journey to ACAMS certification, individuals must first become members of ACAMS. This membership is a prerequisite for taking the ACAMS certification exam. ACAMS offers membership rates and options, including one, two, or three-year memberships. By joining ACAMS, aspiring candidates can access valuable resources and networking opportunities in the AML community.

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates need to meet specific eligibility requirements before applying for the ACAMS certification exam. These requirements are typically related to their educational and professional backgrounds in the financial sector. To be eligible, candidates must accumulate certain credits through the ACAMS credit award system. These credits can be earned through various achievements, such as holding relevant professional certifications, gaining professional experience in financial crime prevention, or obtaining academic degrees.

Gathering Relevant Documents

Once candidates meet the eligibility requirements, they must gather essential documents for their exam application. These documents may include a form confirming the completion of the required credits, copies of relevant diplomas or certifications, university transcripts, and a detailed description of their work history in AML or related fields. Additionally, candidates must provide the names of three professional references who can attest to their knowledge of AML and dedication to the field.

Registering for the Exam

With the necessary documents, candidates can submit their application to ACAMS for exam qualification. Upon approval, candidates receive an acceptance message containing crucial information. This message includes instructions for payment, details on scheduling the ACAMS exam at a local testing center, and access to test preparation materials.

Study Preparation for the ACAMS Exam

Preparing for the ACAMS exam is a critical step in the certification process. Candidates are advised to dedicate approximately three months to exam preparation, with a daily commitment of two hours of study. Focus areas should include AML laws and regulations, such as the Bank Secrecy Act, which forms the foundation for other AML concepts and procedures. 

ACAMS provides a range of study resources, including study guides, flashcards, paid training ACAMS courses, in-person seminars, and practice questions to assist candidates in their preparation.

Taking the ACAMS Exam

The ACAMS exam typically consists of 120 multiple-choice questions, and candidates have three and a half hours to complete it. To pass the exam, candidates must achieve a minimum score of 75 correct answers. Responding to every question, even if uncertain, is advisable as the exam awards points only for correct answers. 

Exam questions are often more complex than practice examples, so reviewing each question multiple times can help ensure a thorough understanding of referenced concepts.

Learn More: How to Pass the ACAMS Exam?

Receiving Exam Results

After completing the ACAMS exam, candidates await their results. If successful, ACAMS will send an official certification within a week. Holders of the ACAMS certification can then list their information in the ACAMS graduate directory and participate in community events. Candidates typically have three opportunities to pass the exam, with the option to retake it 30 days after the initial attempt.

Also Check Out: How long is ACAMS Certification?

Challenges in AML

In the world of Anti Money Laundering (AML), challenges abound. As financial crimes evolve, so do the obstacles faced by AML professionals. Here are some key hurdles they encounter;

  • Ever-evolving regulations
  • Rapid advancements in technology
  • Increasingly complex money laundering methods
  • AML compliance costs and resource constraints
  • The need for skilled AML professionals
  • Emerging risks in the digital and cryptocurrency space
  • Global coordination in AML efforts
  • Staying ahead of innovative criminal tactics
  • Balancing customer experience with stringent AML measures
  • Ensuring privacy and data protection compliance


In conclusion, learning how to become ACAMS Certified is a journey of growth and opportunity. ACAMS professionals are the frontline guardians against financial crime. This certification offers a path to a brighter financial future, with the chance to contribute to a safer financial world while enjoying personal and professional advancement.