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Global Institute of Internal AuditorsBreadcrumb SeparatorQIALBreadcrumb SeparatorFrequently Asked Questions

 Frequently Asked Questions

  •   What is the Qualification in Internal Audit Leadership (QIAL)?

    QIAL is The IIA’s new program (launched July 2014) focusing on leadership capabilities, as applied specifically to audit executives (AEs) or audit company leaders in the key areas of:

    • Leading the audit function.
    • Influencing strategy and organizational performance.
    • Providing opinion and insight.
    • Advocating innovation and change.
    • Championing ethics and social responsibility.
  •   How is the QIAL assessed?

    ​Depending on the pathway a candidate takes in pursuit of the qualification, some combination of the following will take place:

    • Three case studies – Case studies are completed in a Pearson Vue test center on a computer. Candidates will review individual case studies and prepare detailed reports worthy of a senior audience; OR
    • Portfolio of Professional Experience – This alternative is limited to candidates who meet the criteria for “experienced AEs” and supersedes the three case studies.
    • Presentation – All candidates will prepare to present to a panel of assessors on a topic relating to innovation in internal audit.
    • Interview – All candidates will sit for a 90-minute competency-based interview with a panel of assessors.
  •   How much does it cost to pursue the qualification?
    Member Nonmember
    Application US$250 US$300
    Case Study (or experience portfolio) unit 1 US$450 US$600
    Case Study (or experience portfolio) unit 2 US$450 US$600
    Case Study (or experience portfolio) unit 3 US$450 US$600
    Presentation US$950 US$1,150
    Interview US$1,450 US$1,750
  •   How is the QIAL delivered?

    The three case studies will be delivered via Pearson Vue test centers. The presentation and panel interviews will be conducted face to face.

  •   What content is covered?

    ​The program content spans knowledge, understanding, and behavior. The four sections are:

    • Internal audit leadership – taking responsibility for the staff, resources, strategy, planning, and quality assurance of the audit function.
    • Organizational leadership – providing organization-wide insights on governance, risk, and control, and influencing corporate thinking.
    • Ethical leadership – advocating and exemplifying professional conduct, responsible stewardship of resources, and socially aware strategic management.
    • Innovation and change leadership – provoking change and improvement across an organization while adopting leading practices in internal audit.
  •   How was the content determined?

    ​​A global task force derived the focus and content from a number of key sources, including the Global Competency Framework for Internal Audit, market research, CBOK, the Advanced Diploma offered by IIA–UK and Ireland and job analysis studies.

  •   How does the content reflect the new Competency Framework?

    ​​The content and learning objectives are directly linked to the Competency Framework at the AE level.

  •   Who is the QIAL for?

    ​The target audience comprises:

    • Aspiring leaders – those aspiring to senior and leadership positions in internal auditing, including the role of AE.
    • New leaders – those recently appointed to an AE position, with sufficient general management experience.
    • Experienced leaders – those with sufficient general management experience and at least three years’ experience as an AE.
    • Experienced Instructors – Those with sufficient experience in training senior practitioners of internal auditing or postgraduate research and lecturing in internal auditing and related subjects.
  •   What are the eligibility requirements?
    • ​Aspiring leaders – a minimum of five years’ internal auditing experience and an active CIA in good standing.
    • New leaders – a minimum of 15 years’ general management experience, or 10 with a CIA, and current engagement as an AE.
    • Experienced leaders – a minimum of 15 years’ general management experience, or 10 with a CIA, including at least three out of the last five as an AE.
  •   Do these eligibility requirements need to be met at the start of the program?

    ​​Yes. For your application to be approved, you must satisfy one of the three sets of eligibility criteria given above.

  •   How do I complete the program?

    Candidates have the option of completing three case studies, or submitting a Portfolio of Professional Experience, or a combination of both paths, based on eligibility requirements. Once a candidate has completed and passed their case studies or submitted their PPE, candidates can schedule the presentation and panel interview.

    Aspiring leader New leader Experienced leader
    Case study unit 1 ü ​​ü Portfolio of Professional Experience (PPE)
    Case study unit 2 ​​ü ​​ü Portfolio of Professional Experience (PPE)
    Case study unit 3 ​​ü ​​ü Portfolio of Professional Experience (PPE)
    ​​Presentation ​​ü ​​ü ​​ü
    Interview ​​ü ​​ü ​​ü
  •   What credit or recognition is given for experience?

    ​​If you are an experienced AE with a minimum of 15 years’ management experience (including three out of the last five as an AE), or 10 with a CIA, you will be eligible for the Experienced Leader route. Candidates who enter the program at this level will be allowed to submit a Portfolio of Professional Experience rather than sit for the three case study units. The Portfolio of Professional Experience may be submitted electronically and would comprise work-generated evidence (such as reports and other documents) to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. Candidates may choose to submit three Portfolio examples or a combination of portfolio and case studies. For example: a candidate may satisfy the requirements for units 1 and 3 and complete the case study for unit 2.

  •   Is a bachelor’s degree required for entry?

    ​​All candidates are expected either to hold a bachelor’s degree or to satisfy an education waiver through appropriate experience. The IIA will not seek separate evidence of a bachelor’s degree or education waiver at the point of application to the QIAL as it will be assumed that these requirements have automatically been met by satisfying the other eligibility requirements (i.e., either by holding an active CIA in good standing or through the experience requirements).

  •   Is a CIA required to take the new qualification?

    A CIA is not required except for the aspiring leader. However, holding a CIA reduces the experience requirement for all other entry routes.

  •   How will candidates prepare?

    ​​Candidates may prepare for assessment by whatever means they see fit. The IIA will provide suggested reading and study resources and support the development of related training programs around the world. A more detailed list of possible preparation activities is available.

  •   What are the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements to maintain the qualification?
  •   How is this program different than the CIA program?

    ​​The assessment process itself is different from how the CIA and The IIA’s other certifications are assessed in that certification programs are exam based on multiple choice exams questions. The QIAL assesses a range of competencies which encompass technical content as well as interpersonal skills and other behavioral characteristics.

  •   How does this affect the standing of the CIA?

    ​The CIA remains the premier certification for practitioners in the internal auditing profession. The QIAL program is for those who intend to progress to the Audit Executive (AE) (or equivalent) level.

  •   When does the QIAL become available?

    ​​Applications and registrations are now available through CCMS (The IIA’s candidate management system), and candidates may apply and register for the program at any time. The first case studies will be available in October 2014 and every four months thereafter. The first scheduled presentations and interviews will be conducted in December 2014.

  •   How do I apply?

    ​​Applications are made and processed through CCMS, The IIA’s candidate management system. This can be accessed through Visit the Complete a Form section.

  •   What types of promotional materials will be available for institutes to market the credential?

    ​​The IIA will work with institutes and other providers to ensure that a range of paper-based and digital materials are available to meet local needs.

  •   What is a Portfolio of Professional Experience?

    ​​The Portfolio of Professional Experience is an electronic submission of work-generated evidence (such as reports and other documents) that may be used to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in place of sitting the case studies for units 1, 2, and 3. This option is available to those who satisfy the requirements for experienced AEs.

  •   What languages will the program be offered in?

    ​​The program will be offered in English. The IIA has no immediate plans to offer it in other languages unless demand in a specific language materializes.

  •   Where can I get more information?

    ​​Up-to-date information is available on our website at Inquiries may be forwarded to

  •   Why is it called a “Qualification” rather than a “Certification”?

    ​QIAL is a new IIA leadership qualification program.  The “Qualification” assessment process includes new qualitative measures via peer review which is a different approach than other quantitative “Certification” testing measures.  Delivery methods include case studies or submission of portfolios of professional experience, a presentation and an interview.