By applying to become a CFSA candidate, an individual agrees to accept all conditions of the program including eligibility, exam confidentiality, ethics, and continuing professional education requirements, along with other conditions enacted by The IIA's Professional Certification Board (PCB).
A CFSA candidate must meet the following eligibility requirements. Before a candidate application can be approved, ALL documentation (proof of education, character reference, and identification) must be received and approved by The IIA’s Certification staff.
CFSA candidates must hold a 3- or 4-year post-secondary degree (or higher). For further details, please refer to the Certification Candidate Handbook.
Important change to the Education Requirement for the CFSA: The Global Board of Directors has approved an alternate path to eligibility for the CFSA for those candidates who do not possess a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
Candidates may now become eligible for the CFSA, subject to approval, who possess:
- Two years post-secondary education and five years verified experience in internal audit or its equivalent, OR
- Seven years verified experience in internal audit or its equivalent.
Download the Certification Education Requirement Exceptions FAQ and Application.
Once you have completed the form, please access the Certification Document Upload Portal and upload your form(s) there. (Submit the document type as Educational)
CFSA candidates must exhibit high moral and professional character and must submit a Character Reference Form signed by a CIA, CGAP, CCSA, CFSA, CRMA, or the candidate's supervisor.
Character Reference Form
Once you have completed the form, please access the Certification Document Upload Portal and upload your form(s) there. (Submit the document type as Character Reference.)
A CFSA candidate must obtain two years of auditing experience in a financial services environment. A completed Experience Verification Form is required. Candidates may apply to the program and sit for the exam prior to satisfying the professional experience requirement, but will not be certified until all program requirements have been met.
Experience Verification Form
Once you have completed the form, please access the Certification Document Upload Portal and upload your form(s) there. (Submit the document type as Professional Experience.)
Proof of Identification
Candidates must provide proof of identification in the form of a copy of the candidate’s official passport or national identity card. These must indicate current status; expired documents will not be accepted. All documents must be scanned and uploaded through the Document Upload Portal in a manner that ensures the photo is clearly legible.
Once you have completed the form, please access the Certification Document Upload Portal and upload your form(s) there. (Submit the document type as Other.)
Effective November 2010, the certification program’s eligibility requires candidates to complete the program certification process within four years of application approval. If a candidate has not completed the certification process within four years, all fees and exam parts will be forfeited.
The CFSA certification exam is a non-disclosed exam. Candidates in the CFSA program agree to keep the contents of the exam confidential and therefore may not discuss the specific exam content with anyone except The IIA's Certification Department. Unauthorized disclosure of exam material will be considered a breach of the Code of Ethics and may result in disqualification of the candidate or other appropriate censure.
Code of Ethics
CFSA candidates agree to abide by the Code of Ethics established by The IIA.
Continuing Professional Education (CPE)
Upon certification, CFSAs are required to maintain their knowledge and skills and stay abreast of improvements and current developments in the financial services auditing environment by satisfying CPE requirements.
In most cases, you do not have to be a member of The IIA to take the CFSA exam or become a CFSA but we encourage you to consider its advantages. There are some countries, however, that do require candidates to be IIA members to take the CFSA exam. Candidates in any of the countries listed on the map located at the top right of this page should contact their local institute to verify this requirement.
IIA members receive discounts on CFSA review materials and courses and have access to the latest exam preparation resources, networking opportunities, and current CFSA news and information.