UCOWF prides itself on the advancement of its members and provides the following resources to assist them:
Annual Training Conferences
Each year UCOWF sponsors an annual training conference for its members. These four day conferences are held throughout the United States in August, September or early October.
The conferences provide training for investigators, prosecutors, collections and claims staff, and administrators on the latest techniques in the prevention, detection, and prosecution of welfare fraud and in the administration of welfare fraud programs. Information on upcoming conferences will be updated on the public home page as plans are finalized.
UCOWF Member Forum
Among the 600+ members of UCOWF is a wealth of knowledge, skills, abilities and experience in the realm of welfare fraud. Collaborating with fellow UCOWF members for ideas, strategies and solutions improves each member's skill set. UCOWF facilitates collaboration through its Member Forum.
The forum provides a platform for any welfare fraud-related issue that can arise for which a solution or strategy is sought. Through a simple question and answer format, discussions pertaining to solutions, emerging trends, innovative techniques, and new technology can be shared with any member who seeks solutions to problems encountered in their job.
UCOWF administers the Certified Welfare Fraud Investigator (CWFI) program. Prerequisites exist for a member to sit for the CWFI exam and the exam covers a variety of topics that range from investigative techniques and standards to specific public assistance policy. The exam is administered to those who apply and are approved by the CWFI Board. Once passed, the member is awarded the CWFI title and must maintain that certification through annual continuing education requirements. The CWFI title distinguishes a member as apart from his or her peers: a knowledgeable, fundamentally-sound, and reliable investigator.
Additional certification programs are being considered for development so that members who are not investigators can achieve a UCOWF certification in their areas of expertise.
Whether news pertaining specifically to UCOWF or news from external sources, staying abreast of current events shaping the public assistance program integrity landscape is important for continuing professional development. Be it articles about latest trends in program integrity, large-scale investigations somewhere, or articles and reports about pending changes to public assistance programs; if the article or report is widely published on the internet, UCOWF will employ open-source newsfeed services to bring that information to its members.
Staying abreast of current trends and issues, targeted training materials and facilitating collaborating with peers across the continent are the ways UCOWF is achieving its goal of providing professional development opportunities for its members.