Fraud Awareness, Prevention and Detection (ACCT 350)

This upper-level course in the faculty of management exposes students to fraud awareness, prevention and detection issues and strategies, and may provide the first step leading to a post-degree specialization in areas of security, fraud investigation, and forensic accounting.

    • Delivered at VIU’s Nanaimo campus
    • Prerequisites:
      1. Vancouver Island University 3rd year standing,
      2. OR – professionals and managers wishing to take this course for professional development email for information on EXDT registration.
    • The January, 2013 class is now in session.
    • Increase your knowledge of fraud risks while improving organizational productivity – consider registering for the January, 2013 class. For more information, email

Course Description and Prerequisite

An exploration of commercial crime and business fraud deterrence, prevention, and detection. Topics include fraud psychology, vulnerability to fraud, money laundering, internet fraud, corporate and personal identity theft, and financial statement and banking fraud. This course is recognized by the Association of Certified Forensic Investigators of Canada. ACCT 350 was formerly called ACCT 450; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third-year standing.

For more information, contact

Nov 30: Fraud Detection and Resolution Workshop

Sgt. Andrew Cowan, RCMP Commercial Crimes Service, and FEREC Co-ordinator Vanessa Oltmann  at  FEREC's Fraud Response Workshop

On November 30, VIU’s Fraud and Ethics Research and Education Centre presented a 1-day workshop series featuring three presenters who are industry experts in fighting fraud and deception.

Workshop Registration is Closed


The Role of  RCMP’s Commercial Crime division

Presenter: Sgt. Andrew Cowan. NCO i/c RCMP Commercial Crimes, “E” Division.

Sergeant Cowan looks as the realities of investigating fraud, and the role of the RCMP in fighting fraud and other commercial crimes.

  • The role of the RCMP’s commercial crimes in fraud resolution
  • Recent high profile fraud investigations in North America
  • When to report a fraud situation
  • Preparing your information to facilitate investigation
  • The number one goal in investigations
  • Resources available for fraud victims

Sgt. Andrew Cowan, RCMP Commercial Crime Investigator and Unit Manager, was one of several advisors in the field who assisted in developing the curriculum for VIU’s online Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation Advanced Diploma program, and is an instructor in the program. Sgt. Cowan has twelve years experience investigating financial crimes, and seven years experience delivering RCMP economic crime courses for investigators. He has been a popular guest lecturer on white collar crime and investigations in VIU’s Fraud Awareness, Prevention and Detection course since 2008.

Detecting Validity and Deception

Presenter: Dana Rodden, MetaCentre.
Your detecting skills may be far better than the experts are telling you. Detecting validity and deception is a complex process carried on intuitively while we seek to comprehend the content of verbal or written accounts. This workshop articulates factors leading to successful detection with tips on improving your detecting skills, and material and examples drawn from real cases.

  • Detecting validity and deception in interviews and statements
  • The two forms of deception and sincerity
  • Reading physiological signs of deception
  • Red flags of deception
  • The OPTICS principle for detecting deception.

Dana Rodden has more that three decades of experience as a practitioner and trainer in the criminal justice field, and is recognized for his dynamic presentations, in-depth knowledge of human behaviour, and commitment to update his programs with the most current research and practices. He has researched and applied the principles of neurolinguistics and statement analysis to investigative interviewing, and shared his insights in workshops and seminars for the past twenty two years. In 2011 Mr. Rodden presented his Detecting Validity and Deception seminar at the annual ACFI Fraud Conference in Toronto, Ontario.

Your Fraud Response Plan

Presenter: Pat McParland, CMA, CFI, CFE
A step by step guide for managers and professionals. Case illustrations of best practices and what NOT to do.

  • The Fraud Response Plan – a step by step guide for managers and professionals
  • Your fraud and ethics policy
  • When to take action … when to delegate
  • Best practices, and what NOT to do

Pat McParland, forensic accountant and a Principal of Grant Thornton LLP, was one of several advisors in the field who assisted in developing the curriculum for the VIU  Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation Advanced Diploma program.  He was recently honoured with a lifetime achievement award by the Association of Certified Forensic Investigators of Canada (ACFI), and has worked on a number of high-profile cases, such as the Bre-X gold-mining scandal, as well as many much smaller cases.

He believes that fraud isn’t so much preventable as manageable, and that “… the more people understand the nature of fraud, the more they are able to put controls into effect to reduce their exposure. It’s typically more cost-effective to be proactive than reactive when it comes to fraud.” (VIU News interview)

Look for upcoming workshops here on our website!

Proceeds of this workshop supported VIU’s Fraud and Ethics Research and Education Centre

Information Contact: