In order to become a Certified Internal Auditor, you must fulfill the exam and experience requirements.
CIA Exam Requirements
It is important to note that IIA membership is NOT an exam requirement (unlike other accounting certifications such as CMA). However, you get discounts on the exam application fee together with other benefits.
1. Educational Requirements
- 3 or 4-year post-secondary degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university*.
- Candidates can take the exam before graduation, in their senior year. In order to get certified, one needs to graduate and meet the experience requirements.
- If you are currently living or working in another country, please check with your local IIA representative as the eligibility requirement could be different. I have a list of the countries here at the bottom of this page.
Candidates can also fully or partially waive the educational requirements with work experience:
- 2 years of post-secondary education AND 5 years of verified experience in internal audit of equivalent; or
- 7 years of verified experience in internal audit or equivalent (see below for definition).
* The IIA follows the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) guidelines on defining accredited universities.
How to Submit the Documents
Applicants must indicate their highest level of education on the exam application. You can scan the original documents (transcripts, marksheets etc) and upload to IIA website via the Certification Document Upload Portal.
2. Working Experience Requirements
- Minimum of 2 years internal audit experience or equivalent.
- Equivalent experience including external auditing, quality assurance, compliance and internal control.
- The experience must be verified by former or current manager, or someone holding an active IIA Global Certification (CIA, CGAP, CFSA, CCSA, CRMA).
- Either a master’s degree or work experience in related business professions (such as accounting, law, or finance) can be substituted for 12 months of experience.
3. Other Requirements
(a) Character Reference
You can submit the character reference form. This is a simple one-page with your name, candidate ID, as well as name, contact details and signature of your recommender. This person can be a CIA, CGAP, CCSA, CFSA, CRMA, your professor, or your current or former supervisor.
(b) Proof of Identification
You need either a valid official passport or national identity card. This ID needs to be scanned and uploaded to the Document Upload Portal in the IIA website.
Specialty Exams Requirement
For those who are not eligible for the CIA exam, you can consider the specialty exams which has a slightly lower educational requirement. Please refer to this page for more information.
Summary in Video Format
- A step-by-step guide on exam registration
- CIA exam syllabus
- Exam requirements as stated on the IIA website
You are also welcome to sign up to our mini-course which is completely free. You can learn more about this mini e-course here.
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