As a result of the increased need for anti-money laundering (AML) specialists, stemming from a variety of new AML-related regulations such as the USA PATRIOT Act, The Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS, Miami) has created an AML specialist certification test. According to Saskia Rietbroek, executive director, ACAMS, the test covers a range of knowledge including illegal laundering methods and the risk each poses to legitimate business, how to develop effective AML defenses, methods of investigating laundering, and international anti-laundering requirements to which companies are expected to adhere.
The 100-question exam was assembled over a nine-month period by a team of 30 AML professionals convened by ACAMS. A job task analysis survey was conducted with 700 members of the AML field to get an idea of the tasks they perform on a day-to-day basis, Rietbroek says. "For example, it was discovered that AMLspecialists recognize risk in different scenarios," explains Rietbroek. "In insurance a red flag for an AML specialist would be the purchase of a very large annuity in one lump sum."
Rietbroek expects that an increased number of insurance representatives will seek the AML specialist certification as a result of the release of finalized USA PATRIOT Act compliance requirements. "As a result of proposed USA PATRIOT ACT regulations, insurers must designate a compliance officer," she says. "ACAMS provides an environment for those AML officers to network" with other AML specialists.
ACAMS, which currently has members in 55 countries, hopes to develop industry- or country-specific AML specialist certification tests in the future, according to Rietbroek.