CIA® Program Requirements

CIA Program Requirements

Administered by Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), the CIA® program has specific education and experience requirements that you must meet, in addition to passing the CIA exam, to complete your certification. Here is a quick overview of CIA requirements.

CIA Requirements for Education

You must have a 3- or 4-year post-secondary degree (bachelor’s or higher) in any discipline from an accredited university.

The IIA has recently updated its policy to provide alternative paths to meeting the education requirement. You may now become eligible with:

This is subject to IIA approval.*

CIA Work Experience Requirements

Candidates must accumulate and verify (via your employer) at minimum two years of internal audit experience. Related professions, such as external audit, internal control, compliance, and quality assurance can also be accepted with IIA approval. A master’s degree in a relevant field can substitute for one year of work experience.

You may apply to the CIA program and sit for the CIA Exam prior to satisfying the professional experience requirement, but you will not be certified until all program requirements are met.

A Character Reference

In addition, you must submit a Character Reference Form signed by a CIA, CGAP, CCSA, CFSA, CRMA, or your work supervisor.

Proof of Identification

You must provide proof of identification in the form of your valid official passport or national identity card.

Eligibility Period

You must complete the program certification process within four years of application approval. If not, all fees and exam parts will be forfeited.


You must agree to keep the contents of the CIA Exam confidential. Unauthorized disclosure of exam material will be considered a breach of the Code of Ethics and could result in your disqualification.

Code of Ethics

CIA requirements include agreeing to abide by the IIA’s Code of Ethics, which you can read here.

Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits

Upon certification, CIAs are required to keep their knowledge and skills up to date by satisfying continuing professional education, or CPE, requirements.

IIA Membership

In most cases, you do not have to be an IIA member to take the CIA Exam or become a CIA. However, some countries’ CIA requirements include that you be an IIA member to take the exam.

These countries include (click the respective link to learn more):

*If seeking to waive the CIA education requirements, please reach out directly to the IIA for assistance.