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Certified Internal Auditor

Checked for updates, April 2022.

With the increased emphasis on internal control in standards and legislations, internal auditing has become inexorably important in the corporate world. The Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), offered by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), is the only globally recognized credential for internal auditors.

The CIA is the standard by which certificate-holders demonstrate their skills and competence in the field of internal auditing.

If you want to specialize in internal audit, risk assessment and control, then the CIA is the right certification for you.

The CIA Examination

To become a CIA, a candidate must pass the following parts:

Part IInternal Auditing Basics (2.5 hours, 125 Questions) Topics include: IIA Mandatory Guidance, Internal Control and Risk, Tools and Techniques in Conducting the Audit Engagement

Part IIInternal Audit Practice (2 hours, 100 Questions) Managing the Internal Audit Function, Managing Individual Engagements, Fraud Risks and Controls

Part IIIInternal Audit Knowledge Elements (2 hours, 100 Questions) Governance, Risk Management, Organizational Structure, Business Processes, Communication, Leadership, IT/Business Community, Financial Management, Global Business Environment

The IIA's certification exams are administered through the worldwide network of Pearson VUE Testing Centers. You are free to set where and schedule when to take the exams from a list of testing centers and available dates.

To be eligible to take the Certified Internal Auditor exam and obtain a CIA certification, candidates should meet certain requirements.

Education Requirements

Candidates must have a 3 or 4-year bachelor's degree or higher degree from an accredited college institution. The IIA also allows a 2-year post-secondary education with 5 years experience in internal auditing or its equivalent, or 7 years of verified work experience. Such cases shall be subject to approval.

Experience Requirements

Candidates holding a bachelor's degree must have a minimum of 24 months of professional experience in internal auditing or its equivalent such as external audit, quality assurance, internal control, and compliance audit.

A master’s degree or work experience in related business professions such as accounting, law, or finance may be substituted for 12 of the required 24 months of professional experience in internal auditing.

A candidate may be allowed to take the exam even if the experience requirements are not met. However, no certification shall be awarded until all the requirements are satisfied.

Professional Conduct

Candidates must exhibit high moral and professional character and agree to abide by the IIA’s Code of Ethics. A Character Reference Form is required to attest the candidate's professional conduct. Candidates may take the exam before submitting a Character Reference Form but will not be awarded any certification until such requirement is met.

Continuing Professional Education

Certified Internal Auditors should maintain and update their knowledge and skills to stay abreast with related improvements and current developments in internal auditing standards, procedures, and techniques. Practicing CIAs are required to complete 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) every year while non-practicing CIAs are to complete 20 hours every year.

To learn more about the CIA, visit the IIA Website.

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