Administered by Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), the Certified Internal Auditor® (CIA) program has specific education and experience requirements, in addition to passing the CIA exam, that you must meet to complete your certification as an Internal Auditor. Here is a quick overview of the current CIA requirements.
CIA Requirements for Education
To qualify for the lowest required work experience (2 years, see below), 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 CIA requirements to provide candidates with alternative paths to meeting the education requirement. You may now become eligible for certification with:
- A two-year degree (associate’s degree) and five years of verified experience in internal audit or its equivalent, OR
- Seven years verified experience in internal audit or its equivalent.*
The associate’s degree requirement is a recent change, as previously two years of post-secondary education (i.e., no degree) were the threshold. All candidate’s education qualification is subject to IIA approval.*
CIA Requirements for Auditing Experience
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.
Additional CIA Requirements
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 Identity
You must provide proof of identification in the form of your valid official passport, driver’s license, military ID, or national identity card (e.g., a green card).
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, the CIA requirements for continued certification ask that you keep your knowledge and skills up to date by completing a minimum of 20 hours of continuing professional education, also known as CPE credits.
Local IIA Membership, If Required
In most cases, you do not have to be an IIA member to take the CIA Exam or become a Certified Internal Auditor. However, many European and Asian countries’ CIA requirements say you must also be an IIA member to take the exam. Please check with your country’s specific IIA chapter to confirm your membership requirements.
*If seeking to waive the CIA education requirements, please reach out directly to the IIA for assistance.