A Super Quick Glance at the CIA Certification (for Auditors)


cia certificationCIA®, which stands for Certified Internal Auditor, is the most globally recognized designation in the field of internal audit. The CIA certification has been around for over 40 years.

The IIA has been outsourcing the administration of the CIA certification to local representatives in major cities and countries around the world. As a result, the exam delivery is customized with different fee structure and languages.

CIA Exam Administration

Similar to other accounting designations such as the CPA and CMA, the CIA exam is 100% computerized. Candidates take the exam in the 500+ Pearson VUE centers around the world. The registration and tracking of candidates’ process is done in a management system called the CCMS.

The CIA exam is offered in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese (traditional), English, French, German, Hebrew, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Thai.

CIA Exam Format

The CIA exam consists of 3 parts:

  • Part 1: Internal Audit Basics
  • Part 2: Internal Audit Practice
  • Part 3: Internal Audit Knowledge Elements

The Part 1 and 2 cover core internal audit concepts, but Part 3 goes beyond and cover governance, organization structure, financial accounting, IT, and economics.

How to Become a CIA

You can refer to this summary page on how to become a CIA, or click on individual steps to learn more about the details.

  1. Decide which certification is right for you
  2. Determine your eligibility and skill level
  3. Register for the exam
  4. Prepare for the exam
  5. Take the exam
  6. Receive your certificate

Specialty Certifications

For those who are not eligible for the “full” CIA exam, they can go through the specialization exam which has a lower barrier of entry in terms of eligibility requirements. These 4 specialty industry certifications in niches such as government auditing, financial services auditing, control self-assessment and risk management assurance.

CIA candidates can choose to take an extra exam to get this additional designation. You can also take any of them on a standalone basis. More explanation of these specialty designations can be found here.

Check out why Others go for the CIA Certification

More Questions?

If you’d like to learn more about the CIA certification and how to pass the CIA exam, check out our free mini-course here, or sign up directly below:

About the Author Stephanie

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites.

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