Certified Internal Auditor® (CIA®) Eligibility Requirements
Changes to Program Eligibility and Exam Retake Windows
To align with the three-part CIA exam, the CIA program eligibility window has been adjusted from 4 years to 3 years. This reflects the amount of time typically required to complete the certification process. Candidates who are already approved into the program prior to 1 September 2019 will maintain a 4-year program window. Candidates approved into the program on or after 1 September 2019 will have 3 years to complete the program. Candidates can still request a one-year extension.
In addition, effective 1 September 2019, the waiting period to retake an exam will be shortened from 90 to 60 days. As long as it is still within the program eligibility window, candidates can retake the exam after waiting 60 days.
Candidates in the CIA 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).
CIA 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, Higher National Diploma,or three A-level certificates with a grade of C or higher are also acceptable.
- Copy of your degree, official transcripts, or A-level certificates (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 CIA, 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)
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.
Candidates may apply to the certification program and sit for exams prior to obtaining the required work experience. However, candidates will not be certified until the experience requirement is met within the program eligibility period. Experience for the IIA’s certification programs is based on the maximum level of education achieved. The work experience requirements for the CIA program are:
|Master's Degree (or equivalent)
||12 months - internal auditing experience or its equivalent|
|Bachelor's Degree (or equivalent)
||24 months - internal auditing experience or its equivalent|
|Associate's Degree, three A-Level
Certificates, grade C or higher (or equivalent)
|60 months - internal auditing experience or its equivalent|
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.)
Supporting Requirement Exemptions
The Professional Certification Board (PCB) has approved work experience and education exemptions for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualified members and an education exemption for U.S. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) active license holders pursuing the CIA certification. The supporting requirement exemptions were granted by the PCB because the experience and education requirements for ACCA members and education requirement for U.S. CPAs meet and/or exceed these requirements for the CIA program.
|Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Qualified Members
||Education and Work Experience|
|U.S. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Active License Holders
By completing the appropriate fields indicated on the CIA application, candidates can be considered for these exemptions. CIA applications submitted by ACCA qualified members and U.S. CPA active license holders will be placed into a pending status while certification administrators verify memberships and licenses are active.
ACCA members, please click here to view more information regarding the work experience and education exemptions for the CIA program.
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 CIA exam is a non-disclosed examination. Candidates in the 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 could result in disqualification of the candidate or other appropriate censure.
Code of Ethics
CIA candidates agree to abide by the Code of Ethics established by The IIA.
Continuing Professional Education (CPE)
Upon certification, CIAs are required to maintain their knowledge and skills and stay abreast of improvements and current developments by satisfying CPE requirements.
In most cases, you do not have to be a member of The IIA to take the CIA exam or become a CIA, but we encourage you to consider its advantages. There are some countries, however, that do require candidates to be IIA members to take the CIA 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 CIA review materials and courses and have access to the latest exam preparation resources, networking opportunities, and current CIA news and information.