A world first university-accredited course for financial intelligence analysts has just concluded in Melbourne following an intensive two weeks. The course positions Australia at the forefront of professional expertise in fighting serious financial crime, such as money laundering and terrorism financing.
The course was run by AUSTRAC, the Government’s financial intelligence and regulatory agency, and accredited through Charles Sturt University. It will now be rolled out in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra over the next year with plans to offer the course to some regional partner countries.
AUSTRAC CEO, Nicole Rose, said the initial success of this world-first initiative, which would be offered to both private sector and law enforcement partners, was a watershed moment for the agency and the financial intelligence profession as a whole.
“Financial intelligence plays a critical role in supporting global law enforcement investigations as financial crime is increasingly conducted online and without regard to borders,” Ms Rose said.
“The Financial Intelligence Analyst Course (FIAC) was specially designed as a shared approach to building skills, capability and tradecraft to understand, detect, prevent and disrupt financial crime.
“Our aim is for FIAC to become the pinnacle of training in financial intelligence and a mechanism to harness public-private sector skills, not just in Australia but internationally.”
Associate Professor of Intelligence and Security Studies at Charles Sturt University, Patrick F Walsh, said it’s an important step in the specialised field of financial intelligence that will help further develop the skills of people working both within the private sector and government.”
“The class will now need to complete a detailed assessment before they can graduate,” he said.
Developed by AUSTRAC with input from law enforcement partners, industry, academia, and US counterpart the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), FIAC will build on participants’ existing experience in generic intelligence principles and processes.
The course covered collecting and collating financial data and information, using financial analytical tools and techniques to make deductions and judgments, and identifying money laundering/terrorism financing patterns, trends, and risks.
Earlier in 2017, AUSTRAC piloted a two-week course involving 16 participants from a variety of federal and state partner agencies. After a critical review, the topics were refined and a course schedule finalised for 2017-18, including a formal agreement with Charles Sturt University.
The first five courses will include over 80 participants already employed in risk, compliance and intelligence roles from major banks and international remittance services, law enforcement agencies and AUSTRAC staff.