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Certified Sanctions Specialist “CSS”

Certification Program
Register Now

Registration for CSS Certification Program

If you are a current member of ACSS and you have already purchased your Exam Prep Package go to Step 6

Step 1: Check eligibility and download the Candidate Handbook.

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 a ACSS member

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

NOTE: A Guest Account 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 exam 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: Download exam prep manual

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 4: Download exam prep manual

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.

Ready to take CSS Certification Exam ?

Step 5: Take the CSS virtual classroom ( optional )

If you selected to purchase the 12 hours of Virtual Classroom package you will be scheduled at the training.

NOTE: These classes provide you with 12 hours of credits towards your eligibility requirements

Step 6: Download  eligibility form

 Download and Complete Eligibility Form

Click to Download Eligibility Form

Step 7: Obtain supporting documentation

Obtain all necessary documentation to show you have sufficient points and references (40 points).

Step 8: Update tester information, upload documentation, and select exam type

The COVID-19 has restricted the location and operating hours of the our partner´s testing facilities. For that reason, we are currently adding a virtual proctoring testing option for the duration of the crisis. The virtual classroom will become available May 15, 2020

Once you have obtain all necessary documentation that adds to at least 40 points, have studied, and completed virtual courses (optional) you are  now ready to request to take the CSS Exam. Requesting to take the exam is a three step process.

Step 1: Verification of name, address, and telephone are correct. They proctor will verify the name on our system against ID provided.
Step 2: Select exam type (we offer two options):

  1. Testing Center Option. We have over 5000 locations available around the world in which our members can register to take the exam.
  2. Virtual Proctoring Option. This option allows the tester to take the exam at the home or office.

Step 3: uploaded eligibility form and supporting document.

Step 4: Read and accept affidavit.

Step 9: Information Verification

Once all the information has been uploaded and ACSS membership staff will verify the documents, they will send you an email either requesting additional information or informing you that the request has been approved.

Step 10: Schedule your Exam

Once the information from the candidate has been verified and approved.

  1. ACSS will send the candidates information to our testing partner, Pearson Vue.
  2. Our testing partner will send the candidate an e-mail with a link to self-register for the exam.
  3. Schedule your exam.


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?

The 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.

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