Counter Fraud and Investigations – Investigator Support


Counter Fraud and Investigations is a national team of specialist counter fraud and investigation professionals. The team is responsible for academies, colleges and Independent Training Providers, working closely with colleagues across the Agency to ensure public funds are used for the purposes intended and taking appropriate action where required. 

The CF&I team investigates allegations of irregularity and/or fraud and undertakes investigations to gather evidence to support the wider ESFA in holding individuals and/or institutions to account. Owing to the skillset of the team, CFI are also required to undertake complex financial management and governance audit type reviews that may arise from allegations, leading to identification of serious non-compliance with regulatory requirements and/or poor governance arrangements and potential loss of public funds.

Job description

The Department for Education is responsible for children’s services and education, including early years, schools, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England. The Department’s vision is to ‘provide world-class education and care that allows every child and young person to reach his or her potential regardless of background.’ 

The ESFA is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department for Education, which provides £58 billion of funding for education and training for children, young people and adults. The Agency regulates academies, FE colleges, employers and training providers, intervening where there is risk of failure and / or where there is evidence of mismanagement of public funds. 

This role is within the ESFA’s Provider Market Oversight directorate which improves the oversight of education funding and providers and is an expert function that anticipates, detects and prevents the misuse of public money. PMO comprises approximately 160 staff based at DFE sites across the country. 
Further information about the Department can be found at:


Investigation specific: 
(role involves travelling nationally to providers with frequent overnight stays) 

- Support investigations on cases of potential fraud and financial irregularity, including reviews of financial governance and management failings and regulatory breaches, in providers funded by the ESFA.  

- Analysis and assessment of a variety of data sources, including learner data and financial information to complete triage of allegations received by the ESFA 

- Support the lead investigator to conduct all investigative lines of enquiry, including compilation of relevant evidence and witness statements, as appropriate, to support potential sanctions 

- Support the lead investigator to ensure management and oversight of cases to ensure the quality and completeness of investigation files.  

- Support face to face investigative interviews with complainants, witnesses, and individuals under investigation, including interviews with senior external stakeholders 

- Support and contribute to the drafting of investigation reports to appropriate quality standards with evidence-based decisions identifying recommendations for change 

- Support the management information reporting requirements, including oversight, recording and management of allegations, case progress and monthly output reports, including key performance indicators. 

Wider Team Contribution 

Contribute to lessons learned arising from investigations and share best practice 
Support ministerial briefings on specific high-profile investigations as required 

Contribute and support the wider delivery tasks of the Counter Fraud and Investigation team and Provider Market Oversight 

Person Specification 

Investigations, Accountancy and/or internal audit.  

Must demonstrate experience in using MS Office (Excel, Word, Powerpoint) and IT systems 

Experience of the education sector environment would be an advantage. 


Qualified accountant (includes part qualified), internal audit or investigator (eg ACCA, CMIIA, CIPFA, ACFS) OR able to demonstrate experience of working in an investigative environment


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Managing a Quality Service

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Case Study