One of the many reasons the Certified Internal Auditor® designation is so widely respected in the accounting industry is because a CIA has extensive Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements. The CIA CPE requirements are sometimes also referred to as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements.

By fulfilling these requirements each year, a CIA holder is able to demonstrate to employers or clients that he or she is truly up to date on the latest auditing techniques.

What Are the CIA CPE Requirements?

The Institute of Internal Auditors (or IIA), which oversees a number of well-respected auditing certifications, requires that each CIA-holder complete CPE credits every year.

As a CIA-holder, you must report and self-certify that you’ve completed the required continuing education hours. CIA CPE requirements differ greatly depending on whether you’re a practicing, non-practicing, or retired CIA. There is also an inactive-grace period and an “inactive” status for those who do not complete the required hours.

In general, 40 hours of CPE hours are required to remain active but other professional development activities and/or certifications may be applied.

StatusCurrently Practicing?Annual CIA Hours RequiredAnnual Specialty Certification*Annual QIAL Required Hours

*(CCSA, CFSA, CGAP, CRMA, Internal Audit Practitioner) **CPD requirements for the Qualification in Internal Auditing Leadership® (QIAL®).

Continuing professional development may include publications, giving oral presentations, serving on review panels, performing translation services, or completing external quality assessments.

Newly Certified?

Good news if you’re a new CIA! With completion of your initial certificate, you receive 80 CPE hours with half (40) awarded for the year in which your pass the exam and the other half for the subsequent year.

Options to Fulfill Your CIA CPE Requirements

The IIA has developed its Recognized CPE Provider program to provide clear guidance for selecting CPE activities and support providers when planning and developing their programs.

Currently, the IIA recognizes several third-party education providers:

For the most current and up-to-date listing, visit the IIA’s Recognized CPE Providers page.

How To Report Your CPE Hours

IIA-certified individuals are required to report CPE credits earned by Dec. 31 each year. You can report anytime during the year once you have met your requirements using the IIA’s Certification Candidate Management System (CCMS) or through your local Institute. The IIA will follow up with official acknowledge of your compliance with your CIA CPE requirements.

When submitting your CPE hours, your documentation should include, as appropriate:

  1. Title of program and description of content
  2. Dates attended
  3. Location of course or program
  4. Sponsoring organization
  5. Hours of credit as recommended by the course sponsor
  6. A letter, certificate, or other written independent attestation of course completion
  7. Documentation supporting publications, oral presentations, and committee or other participation.


Failure to submit the reporting form by December 31 will result in your certification lapsing and becoming inactive (grace period). If you do not fulfill the CIA CPE requirements within 12 months (the “grace period”), your status will become fully inactive and you’ll have to pay a reinstatement fee ($100 member/$250 non-member) as well as complete your required CPE hours).

The Professional Certification Board of The IIA, upon request, may grant partial or complete exemption from reporting requirements for individuals when good cause exists, such as military service or individual hardship.

Reporting Fees

CPE reporting fees vary according to membership status, designation(s) held, and location. However, if you are member of The IIA in Northern America or the Caribbean, you don’t pay any additional fee (on top of your membership) to report CPE hours each year.