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CIA Exam Requirements: Education, Experience

When applying for the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) exam, candidates must demonstrate that they meet the requirements and provide The IIA with the necessary documentation. The IIA’s Certification Document Portal must be used to upload all documents.

If your name has changed since you received any of the documents, you must also provide legal proof of the name change.

Education

Candidates for the CIA Certification must have at least an Associate’s degree. The degree must be obtained at one of The IIA’s approved universities (contact The IIA if you have any questions about the accreditation status of your university).

You need to provide one of the following to verify your degree:

  • A copy of your degree or official transcript.
  • A confirmation letter from your university.
  • A letter from a degree evaluation service confirming your degree level.

What if I don’t have an associate’s degree?

A Foundation Degree, Diploma of Higher Education, Higher National Diploma, or three A-level certificates with a grade of C or higher can be accepted by the IIA.

What if I don’t meet the education requirement?

Candidates who do not meet the minimum education requirements but have at least 7 years of verified experience in internal auditing or its equivalent may be approved by the IIA. Check out The IIA’s Certification Education Requirement Exceptions FAQ and Application for more information.

Character Reference

A character reference form signed by a CIA, CGAP, CCSA, CFSA, CRMA, or the candidate’s supervisor is required for CIA candidates. This form serves as proof of your adherence to the IIA’s Code of Ethics, moral principles, and professionalism.

Proof of Identification

Candidates for the CIA must provide identification, which can be a copy of their passport or another valid ID with a clearly legible photo. The IIA will not accept documents that have expired.

Work Experience

Prior to registering for and taking the CIA exams, CIA candidates are not required to have any work experience. Candidates will not be certified, however, unless they meet the following work experience requirements:

  • Candidates with a Master’s degree – 12 months of internal auditing experience
  • ​Candidates with a Bachelor’s Degree​ – 24 months of internal auditing experience
  • Candidates with an Associate’s Degree, three A-Level Certificates, grade C or higher – 60 months of internal auditing experience

The equivalents of degree levels and internal auditing experience will also be considered by the IIA.

Requirement Exemptions

You are exempt from providing proof of education and work experience if you are:

  • A qualified member of the ​Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • An active and licensed U.S. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Eligibility Period

For a period of three years, the IIA approves candidate applications. If a candidate does not complete the certification process within three years, any fees paid and exams passed are forfeited. A one-time 12-month extension is also available for a fee.

IIA Membership

To take the CIA exams, candidates do not need to be members of The IIA.

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