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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).

Program Requirements

CIA candidates must meet the following entry and exit eligibility requirements to obtain the CIA designation. 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 Valid Government Issued ID Character Reference Experience ​3 Exams ​Experience
​Master’s Degree
(or equivalent)
​X ​X ​Exit
​X ​1 year IA experience or equivalent**
​Bachelor’s Degree
(or equivalent)
​X ​X ​Exit
​X ​2 years IA experience or equivalent**
​Active Internal Audit Practitioner designation holder ​X ​X Exit
​X 5 years IA experience of equivalent**
​Other Education* ​X ​X 5 years IA experience or equivalent**​ ​X

*High School Diploma, Associates Degree, GCE, A-Level or their equivalent
**Experience can be in any of the following: Internal Audit, Quality Assurance, Risk Management, Audit/Assessment/Disciplines, Compliance, External Audit, Internal Control

Entry Requirements

To be approved into the CIA program, candidate must either:

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher, or
  • Hold an active Internal Audit Practitioner designation, or
  • Possess five years of internal audit experience, or
  • Be an active student in your final year of college, or *
  • Be an active student with an approved Internal Audit Education Partnership (IAEP) school.*

*Note: You are able to take the CIA exams, however your certification will not be awarded until your degree is completed and all program requirements met.

Acceptable 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.

Character Reference

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

Proof of Identification

Candidates must provide proof of identification in the form of a copy of the candidate’s valid official passport or national identity card. These must indicate current status; expired documents will not be accepted.

Exit Requirements

CIA Exam

Once candidates have been accepted into the CIA program, they must pass all three CIA exam parts within the program eligibility period.

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 unless the experience requirement is met within the program eligibility period. Experience for the CIA’s certification program is based on the entry method (refer to the program requirements table above).

  • Internal Audit
  • Quality Assurance
  • Risk Management
  • Audit/Assessment/Disciplines
  • Compliance
  • External Audit
  • Internal Control

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.


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.