How to Become a CRMA in 3 Months: Follow These 10 Steps

Many readers ask about the CRMA certification recently. I am going to dig deeper to present a macro view on this certification. The comment section below can also be used as a CRMA exam forum for those who have general questions.

What does CRMA Stand for?

CRMA, which stands for Certification in Risk Management Assurance, is the latest certification offered by the IIA. The CRMA exam was introduced in 2013.

As the name suggests, the certification covers the skills required for a professional to educate and advice the management and audit committee on risk management concepts. In short, the focus is on “risk” and “risk management”.

How to Become a CRMA Certificate Holder

I don’t suggesting jumping into the application procedure right away. Let’s take the time and ask the “why” instead of the “how”:

1. Understand the “Why”: Whether and How You can Benefit as CRMA

The biggest question is: why do you want to be a CRMA? Why go through the trouble to get this additional certificate when you are about to get (or have already got) the CIA title?

Since passing Part 1 of the CIA exam is part of the CRMA exam requirements, candidates are either a CIA certificate candidate or holder. With that in mind, one needs to consider whether this additional certification is worth the extra time, effort and money.

2. Is it Worth the Time and Effort? (CRMA Exam Difficulty and Pass Rate)

In other words, how difficult is the CRMA exam and what’s the odds of passing (quickly)?

Looking at objective measures such as historical pass rates, the good news is that the CRMA exam pass rate is considerably higher than that of the CIA exam:

  • 2014: 63%
  • 2015: 59%
  • 2016: 56%

There is a worrying sign that the passing rate is trending lower, but I don’t think we have enough data points to support this claim. Even at 56%, the passing rate is considered pretty good when compared to other accounting related certifications.

Another good way to find out is whether you find CIA exam Part 1 manageable enough. There is much overlap between the CIA and the CRMA exam. If you know your Part 1 material, you will most likely do well. It’s even better if you have studied and passed the other parts as well.

3. Is it Worth the Money?

It costs $350 to take the exam as IIA member and $450 as non-member. There are additional fees and you can check out the detailed breakdown below:

4. Check out the Syllabus

You can see the CRMA exam as a two-part exam: the first one being Part 1 of the CIA exam, and another test specifically based on the CRMA syllabus.

We focus on the specialty test in this post.

5. Fulfill the Requirements

There are two levels — the exam requirements and experience requirements.

If you qualify for the CIA exam, you are all set. Here is the detailed version for your reference.

6. Register for the Exam

You can register for the exam year-round in any Pearson VUE centers around the world. The registration process is exactly the same as that of the CIA exam. Here are the related articles for your info:

7. Study with the Best Materials

For now, only one CRMA study guide from the IIA Research Foundation is available. You can click below for my review, as well as where you can get supplementary materials:

8. Take the Exam

This is a one-time, two-hour exam with 100 questions. How to do well? Pretty much what you’ve done to pass your CIA Part 1. Here is my study tips master page for your reference:

9. Get the Results

The great thing about the IIA administered exams is that you know the results immediately. You will get a “pass” or “fail”. The passing score is 600, but you receive the score only if you fail.

One must wait for 90 days if he/she wants to retake the CRMA exam. In between the candidate can take other IIA exams such as CIA exam for Part 2 and 3, or other specialty exams.

Similar to the CIA exam, one has to complete the CRMA exam within 4 years counting from the registration date.

10. Satisfy the CRMA CPE Requirements

A CRMA must fulfill the CPE requirements to keep the certification valid.

The CRMA CPE hours are self-certified and should be recorded in the CCMS system latest by the end of each calendar year.

The required number of CPE hours are different based on your certification status:

  • Practicing: 20 hours
  • Non-practicing*: 10 hours
  • Retired: 0 hours

* Non-practicing holders are those who do not actively performing internal audit or related activities.

New CRMAs are awarded 40 CPE hours. Half of the awarded CPE hours are for the year in which the exam is passed, and the other half are for the subsequent year.

If you are a CIA, you can use the same CPE credits for both certifications, but bear in mind that 25% of the hours earned must be in the specialty area of expertise.

Would You Go Ahead?

I hope this page provides enough info for you to decide on the CRMA journey. Do you think it’s worth the time, effort and money? Can you create a game plan to get this done in the next 3 months? Let me know what you think, and good luck!

Cheers, Stephanie

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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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  • Dennis says:

    Bless you and your website. I actually have my CPA, CIA, CAMS and CISA designations. However, have noticed that there are many more Risk jobs that are higher paying than Audit jobs. This occurrence has been happening in the last 5 years. I have thought about going after the FRM designation, however this would take at least 1 year to pass and several more years to qualify. Plus the FRM appears to be only the nastier parts of the CFA exam with the Risk part just being an after-thought. In addition to the designation I need to come “up to speed” on the actual risk reports which are used in the financial services industry. If you can assist me in this aspect, please let me know.

    Best Regards, Dennis

  • Muhammad says:

    Good day.

    Is there a possibility to do CRMA after completing CMA (Certiified Management Accounting)?

  • Nicole says:

    Do you know if you have to complete all three parts of the CIA to hold the certification of CRMA? For example, if I have passed part 1 of the CIA, and pass the specific CRMA exam, am I eligible to hold the CRMA certification? Or do I need to have a full CIA (parts 1, 2, and 3) to qualify for the CRMA certification?

    • Meghan D says:


      Only passing CIA Part 1 is a requirement of the CRMA. However, I highly recommend passing all 3 parts so you can have a dual certification. You’ll be more marketable and it makes sense given that you’re already in the CIA frame of mind given you have to take Part 1 of the CIA exam 🙂


  • Margaritis Vergis says:


    Thank you for the great advice on your website! It was really helpful when I was studying for the CIA exam. Do you feel two months is sufficient timing to study the CRMA material? Would you have a study planner for the CRMA like you do for the CIA?

    • Meghan D says:


      The number of study months required varies on how familiar you are with the testable content and the amount of hours you have available per day. In other words, it’s hard to say without knowing more 🙂 However, I am sorry to say that we don’t have a study planner for CRMA. If you need further assistance, please feel free to Contact Stephanie.


  • Antonio Villamor says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am happy to share that I passed the CRMA exam today although I still have to complete my CIA Part One to be designated. I have used the materials from the IIA (the book and the practice test) and supplemented it with additional readings of ISO 31000 and COSO ERM. I am now preparing for Part One using the materials from Gleim, which I purchased last December 2019.

    One question, however. Should I have not completed my Part One exam before October 1, does it mean that I have to redo my CRMA exam? I registered in August 2019.

    Once I have completed the Part One examination, I will write more to you to share my experience.

    Kind regards,

    • Meghan D says:

      Hi Tony,

      That’s great news. Congrats on passing the CRMA! You should be on your way to earning the designation. We are confident that you can pass CIA part 1 and become a CRMA!

      Regarding having to re-take the CRMA exam, we don’t believe you should have to do that. But we always recommend double-checking with the IIA in case any rules have changed. Please do let us know what you learn.


      • Antonio Villamor says:

        Hi Meghan,

        I am now a designated CRMA. I passed the CIA Part One last Saturday, which was a week after I took my CRMA examination. I am happy to share this good news with you and to thank you for your articles. Honestly, I find the CIA Part One examination more difficult than the CRMA exam itself. Anyways, I am lucky to overcome both.

        Currently, I am on my way to preparing for CIA Part Two.

        Kind regards,

  • Kelvin says:

    Hi Tony,

    I failed my CRMA exam twice. Going for my 3rd attempt in end Mar 2020. You mentioned about additional readings of ISO 31000 and COSO to pass the CRMA exam. Are both resources useful for the exam? If so, can you provide me the link to them? Many thanks.

    • Antonio Villamor says:

      Hi Kevin,

      The COSO ERM Framework and the ISO 31000 are available through the internet. Also, I suggest, that you read the section on Risk Management of the CIA Part One again. I used GLEIM CIA Part One, and it helped me a lot.


    • Meghan D says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      Tony’s advice is spot-on. If you need to purchase Gleim to pass the CRMA (highly recommended), you can use this link to save 10%:

      Good luck on the CRMA, and please let us know if you need anything.


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