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Certified Sanctions Specialist “CSS”

Certification Program
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The Association of Certified Sanctions Specialists offers an examination that addresses knowledge and skills common to all sanctions professionals in varied employment settings, including financial institutions, international corporations, law firms, consulting companies, government, and other trades and businesses.

The objective of the certification program is to set the standard for the sanctions profession, and to make Certified Sanctions Specialists (CSS) widely recognized as trained and credentialed specialists in the sanctions field. It is a multiple-choice, proctored exam that can be taken in testing centers across the globe.

Why this Certification?

Career opportunities abound for the sanctions specialists, but the days are over that just anyone can fulfil that role. Especially in these days, the “consumer” of the services of a compliance officer or other sanctions expert has become more vigilant, demanding quality. This demand is exacerbated by the media’s constant attention to sanctions issues arising at financial institutions, or international businesses. Certification of the sanctions professional in organizations that are vulnerable to the problem is designed to meet this consumer concern.

Benefits of Certification

For the certified sanctions specialist

For the employer




Financial Rewards



Testing Centers

We have partnered with a world leader in brick and mortar testing centers.

    Over 5,100 test centers in over 190 countries. Located at over 2,560 di-fferent cities.
    A scheduling portal finds the center nearest to you and helps you schedule the date and time of the test.
    Get support, reminders, and directions to the test center.
  • HELP
    Our testing centers are started with personnel that will guide through the identification process and testing protocols.

ACSS Examination Packages

We have partnered with a world leader in brick and mortar testing centers.

Registration for ACSS Members
CSS Certification Course

This package includes:

  • Six 2-hour live online classes
  • Online Study Materials (flashcards)
  • The ACSS Exam
Government ACSS Member – $795.00
Private ACSS Member – $1345.00

Registration for non-ACSS Members
CSS Certification Course Plus Membership

This package includes:

  • Six 2-hour live online classes
  • Online Study Materials (flashcards)
  • The ACSS Exam
  • Membership to ACSS.
Government non-ACSS Member – $940.00
Private ACSS non-Member – $1590.00

Obtain your CSS Certification


Who can take the Exam?

Individuals who have met the minimum qualifications can sit for the Exam. Eligibility requires a minimum scoring based upon a combination of factors. Persons who have not yet met the minimum levels required can take continuing education programs with ACSS or other sources to reach the minimum requirements. (40 credits, see

What topics will be on the Exam?

TThe Exam will focus on various aspects of the sanctions subject. A job analysis will determine the content and the importance of each knowledge area for the specialists in the field. The certification Exam will be tailored to international best practices and basic frameworks for sanctions efforts around the world.
I. Sanctions Regime Types, Goals, Prohibitions and Effects
II. Sanctions Imposers and Targets
III. Sanctions Evasion: Typologies and Schemes
IV. Essential Components of a Risk-Based Sanctions Compliance Program in Different Industry Settings
V. Role of Technology and List Screening
VI. Other Operational Issues Contributing to an Effective and Efficient Sanctions Compliance Program
VII. Enforcement and Conducting or Supporting Investigations into Sanctions Violations

Who is eligible to take the Exam?

ACSS Certification eligibility is based on a points system. Candidates who wish to take the CSS Examination must have a minimum of 40 qualifying credits based on education, other professional certification, and professional experience in the sanctions field, in addition to providing 3 references.

For more information about Eligibility Requirements, please click here

About the Exam

The CSS Exam will be the product of collaboration between ACSS, its job Analysis Taskforce, and an independent company with expertise on research, testing, measurement, management and technology. The result will be a psychometrically sound Exam that assures the quality and soundness of the ACSS certification program.

How is the Exam administrered?
Since ACSS members reside worldwide, we will use a computerized Exam. Administration method, ACSS will begin to offer Exams in 2019, multiple times per year. ACSS also will offer an online Exam preparation publication with sample Exam questions. Requirements to sit for the Exam include the completion of an ACSS Exam application and payment of an application fee plus the costs for the testing service at the time of them Exam.
What is the CSS credit award system for Examination eligibility?

I. Education:
a. Associate Degree: 10 credits
b. Bachelor’s Degree: 20 credits
c. Master’s Degree/PhD/JD or equivalent: 30 credits
II. Professional experience:
a. Each year of full-time experience in sanctions or related duties.
b. Professional experience is limited to 3 years: 10 credits per year.
III. Training:
a. Professional Certification – CPA, CPP, CRCM, CAFP, CFE, CAMS, CGSS, ETCI ECoP, Finra Series, etc: 10 credits per certification.
b. Attendance at a course/seminar/webinar/conference/training/certificate courses or educational session on the topic of sanctions, trade compliance or export controls or related subjects (includes internal training, external training, government agency training) – 1 credit per hour.

For more information about Eligibility Requirements, please click here