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Certified Internal Auditor® (CIA®) Eligibility Requirements

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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.

​Education Government Issued ID Character Reference ​3 Exams ​Experience
​Master’s Degree
(or equivalent)
​X ​X ​X ​12 months IA experience or equivalent
​Bachelor’s Degree
(or equivalent)
​X ​X ​X ​24 months IA experience or equivalent
​Associate’s Degree or three A-Level Certificates - grade C or higher (or equivalent) ​X ​X ​X ​​60 months IA experience of equivalent


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.

Acceptable Documents:

  • 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

If you have achieved a certificate or qualification outside of the US that is not a formal university degree, but meet degree equivalency standards, you will need to provide an official equivalency report from a credential evaluation service. Please note the report must be in English and cannot be issued by the same governing body that awarded your certificate or qualification. This document should be uploaded within the certification program application process in the educational upload field.

*The IIA has a reciprocity agreement with the AICPA and ACCA. A letter from the issuing body may be accepted.

Character Reference

Candidates must exhibit high moral and professional character and must submit a Character Reference signed by a CIA, CGAP, CCSA, CFSA, CRMA, or the candidate's supervisor.

Work Experience

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:

​Education Level ​Years of Work Experience Required
​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

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.

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.

​Certification/License ​Supporting Requirements Waived
​Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Qualified Members ​Education and Work Experience
​U.S. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Active License Holders ​Education

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.

Eligibility Period

Effective November 2010, the certification program’s eligibility requires candidates to complete the program certification process within three years of application approval. If a candidate has not completed the certification process within three 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.

IIA Membership

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.

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CIA and CRMA Test From Home

Candidates from the following countries must refer to their local IIA Institute web-site or contact their local representative for more information about local certification processes:

The information contained on this website pertains to all other countries.