Certified Internal Auditor

4 minute read
Certified Internal Auditor

Offered by the renowned Institute of Internal auditors [USA], the Certified Internal Auditor or the CIA is a golden opportunity for those who want to sharpen their internal auditing skills. The biggest advantage of being a CIA is that it not only aids in skill development but also provides advanced knowledge, increases earning potential, opens up an array of employment opportunities, and shows your dedication towards this field. So, if “How do you become a certified internal auditor?” question haunts you then, here is a blog that will highlight the important details pertaining to this certification program!

Eligibility Criteria 

To get enrolled into the prestigious program and qualify as a Certified Internal Auditor, it is important to fulfill the entry requirements as set by the authorities. Before the approval of an application, candidates must make sure that all the documents are received by the IIA. Following are the category wise prerequisites to enter the program:


It is essential for students to possess an Associate or any higher degree in order to enroll for the course. Though some equivalents of the degree like Foundation degree, Diploma of Higher Education, three A-level certificates with grade C [or higher], Higher National Diploma are also acceptable. In order to support your qualification, you need to present the following documents:

  • Copy of degree along with transcripts.
  • Letter from the university stating the confirmation of the degree. 
  • A letter from the university education services confirming your degree level. 

Character Reference 

To ensure high moral and professional character, candidates have to submit a Character Reference Form by a CIA, CCSA, CGAP, CRMA, etc. 

Work Experience 

It is mandatory for applicants to have relevant work experience before beginning with the application process. To become a Certified Internal Auditor under IIA, you must possess the following experience: 

Education Level Duration of Work Experience 
Master’s Degree 12 months 
Bachelors Degree24 months 
Associate Degree, three A-Level Certificates, grade or higher (or equivalent) 60 months 

Identity Proof

To prove your nationality, you must provide a valid identity proof. Most preferably, a copy of the passport that is not expired. All the ID proofs must be scanned and uploaded to the portal and the clarity of the photograph must be ensured. You can also upload a National Identity Card if not a passport. 

Note: A candidate who does not possess the minimum educational qualifications is still eligible to become a certified internal auditor only if he/she posses 7 years of work experience.

Certified Internal Auditor Exam Cost

Exam CostsStudent
Application ChargesUSD 65 [Rs 4,600]
Part 1USD 230 [Rs 16,000]
Part 2USD 180 [Rs 12,700]
Part 3USD 180 [Rs 12,700]

Note: These are approximate costs. The fees can further vary based on the conversion rates and whether you belong to a member country or not. To check the costs in detail, you can visit the official website.  

Certified Internal Auditor Exam Pattern  

To attain your career aspirations and acquire one of the most prestigious certifications, it is necessary to qualify the CIA examination with flying colours. The Certified Internal Auditor test is available in 12 languages. Bifurcated into 3 parts, here is the pattern of the exam in detail: 

Part 1- Essentials of Internal Auditing

In this part, there will be a total of 125 questions which the candidates would be expected to solve in a duration of 150 minutes. The main objective of the first part is to assess the applicants’ skills, knowledge, and abilities based on the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing. The six major topics included in part 1 of the Certified Internal Auditor test are:

  • Governance, Risk Management, and Control 
  • Fraud Risk 
  • Proficiency and due professional care
  • Foundation of Internal Auditing 
  • Independence and objectivity 
  • Quality assurance and improvement programs 

Part 2- Practice of Internal Auditing 

Part 2 of the CIA examination focuses on four topics and 100 questions are framed on it. The total time limit to solve these questions would be of 120 minutes. Abilities, skills, and knowledge as per the performance standards will be evaluated through topics like:

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  • Internal Audit Activity 
  • Performing the Engagement 
  • Communicating Engagement Results 
  • Planning the Engagement

Part 3- Business Knowledge for Internal Auditing

Through this final phase of becoming a certified internal auditor, various skills, abilities and sound knowledge regarding the core business concepts of the candidate will be tested. There would be a total of 100 questions with a time limit of 2 hours. Important topics in this part are:

  • Business Acumen
  • Information Security 
  • Financial Management
  • Information Technology

CIA Scope

From financial risk management [FRM] and internal control to fraud detection and governance-related matters, the scope of CIA certification is immense. Upon getting certified, you can work in profiles like Chief Internal Auditor, Quality Manager, Analyst, etc. 

IIA Membership 

Though it is not compulsory for students belonging to scores of countries to be a member of IIA to appear in the Certified Auditor exam, for some, it is essential. The candidates belonging to nations as mentioned below have to contact their local IIA institute for the membership: 

Belgium Japan 
Brazil Korea 
China Malaysia 
Chinese Taiwan Philippines 
Czech Republic Singapore 
France Thailand 
Indonesia Turkey 
Italy UK/ Ireland 

Even though the syllabus of the Certified Internal Auditor exam is vast but once cleared, it will open the doors to innumerable career opportunities. If you are willing to explore the field of Accountancy but are confused about the courses then reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu and they will help you choose the best program and university related to the field!

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