Certified Financial Services Auditor® (CFSA®) Eligibility Requirements
Candidates in the CFSA program agree to accept the conditions of the program, including eligibility requirements, exam confidentiality, Code of Ethics, and Continuing Professional Education (CPE), along with other conditions enacted by The IIA's Professional Certification Board (PCB).
CFSA candidates must meet the following eligibility requirements for education, character, work experience, and identification. 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.
Candidates must hold an Associate's degree or higher to be approved into one of The IIA’s certification programs. Common equivalents are a Foundation Degree, Diploma of Higher Education, or Higher National Diploma.
Acceptable Education Documents:
- Copy of your degree or official transcripts (if your name has changed since you earned your degree, you must also include your legal name change document)
- Letter from university confirming degree
- Letter from evaluation services confirming degree level
The IIA offers an alternate path to eligibility for candidates who do not possess the minimum education requirements. Candidates may now become eligible for the CFSA, subject to approval, who possess 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 there. Submit the document type as Character Reference.
Experience for the IIA’s certification programs is based on the maximum level of education achieved. The work experience requirements for the CFSA program are:
|Master’s Degree (or equivalent)
||12 months - auditing experience in a financial services environment|
|Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent)
||24 months - auditing experience in a financial services environment|
|Associate’s Degree, A-Level Certificate (or equivalent)
||60 months - auditing experience in a financial services environment|
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.
Download and complete the 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.
Experience Verification Form
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.