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Certified Sanctions Specialist “CSS”

Certification Program
Register Now

STEP 1 Check Eligibility

Click here to check our eligibility calculator to check if you have the required number of points to qualify for the ACSS Exam

Candidates wishing to sit for the CSS Examination must:

  • Document a minimum of 40 qualifying credits based on education, other professional certification and professional experience in the field.
  • Submit supporting documents

Visit our elegibility calculator to determine if you have enough points.


Eligibility Calculator


Click below to download candidate handbook, which provides information on the process to obtain the CSS Certification.


Download Candidate Handbook

STEP 2 Check If you are current ACSS Member

You have to be a member in good standing of the Association of Certifies Sanctions Specialists, LLC in order to participate in the CSS Examination. You can login of our membership system in order to verify your status and level.

NOTE: Online membership is not membership

Click here to login

If you are not a member you can add the membership during the registration process. (STEP 3)

STEP 3 Select and Purchase your CSS Examination Package

You have two options:

  • The Standard CSS Examination package includes the CSS Study Guide and the CSS Exam.
  • The CSS Examination with Prep Virtual Classroom Package includes the CSS Study Guide, the CSS Exam, and 6 virtual classrooms.

Please click on the link below to get additional information on pricing and schedules.


STEP 4 ACSS to Exam Material

Upon payment and approval of your application, we will send you a link to access the ACSS learning management system (LMS) containing the online PDF of the CSS Study Guide.

NOTE: If you have scheduled for the virtual classroom option. It counts as 12 points for eligibility.

STEP 5 Upload Eligibility Documentation

Once we have received payment we will send you a link where you can upload the supporting documentation and if you are taking the victual classroom, the classroom schedule.

NOTE: You virtual classroom as 12 points.

STEP 6 Schedule Your Exam

Once you have completed all the requirements you send the authorization to allow you toke the exam with our Testing Center Partner – Parson Vue.

Pearson Vue will then send you an email with instructions on how to schedule your exam at one of the over 5000 testing centers world wide. You will have one year and two opportunities to take the exam at the time and date of your choosing (depending on the availability of your area).

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 www.sanctionsassociation.org)

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 eligibility 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.

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 administration of the exam?

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.

Which 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.