About the CIA

The CIA designation is only globally accepted certification for internal auditors and remains the standard by which individuals demonstrate their competency and professionalism in the internal auditing field. The CIA certificate (Certified Internal Auditor) is administered by the Institute of Internal Auditors, Florida, USA. The IIA (Institute of Internal Auditors) has more than 160 chapters in North America.

CIA Exam Content


Essentials of Internal Auditing

  • Domain I – Foundations of Internal Auditing (15%)
  • Domain II – Independence and Objectivity (15%)
  • Domain III – Proficiency and Due Professional Care (18%)
  • Domain IV – Quality Assurance and Improvement Program (7%)
  • Domain V – Governance, Risk Management, and Control (35%)
  • Domain VI – Fraud Risks (10%)


Practice of Internal Auditing

  • Domain I – Managing the Internal Audit Activity (20%)
  • Domain II – Planning the Engagement (20%)
  • Domain III – Performing the Engagement (40%)
  • Domain IV – Communicating Engagement Results and Monitoring Progress (20%)


Business Knowledge for Internal Auditing

  • Domain I – Business Acumen (35%)
  • Domain II – Information Security (25%)
  • Domain III – Information Technology (20%)
  • Domain IV – Financial Management (20%)

Requirements to be come a CIA


  • WITH post-secondary education
    • In North America Bachelor’s degree (or higher)
      • Associate degree
    • Outside North America Three- or four-year post-secondary degree (or higher)
      • Three A-level certificates with a grade of C or higher (or equivalent)
  • WITHOUT post-secondary education
    • Candidates who possess seven years of verified experience in internal auditing (or its equivalent) may become eligible, subject to approval.
    • Candidates who possess five years of of verified experience in internal auditing plus Associate’s Degree, three A-Level Certificates, grade C or higher (or equivalent) may also become eligible subject to approval.

Although work experience is required to become certified, you may apply to the certification program and sit for exams prior to obtaining the requisite work experience. However, you will not be certified until all program requirements have been met. Additionally, you must meet the experience requirement within the program eligibility period of four years in order to receive your certification. Work experience for The IIA’s certification programs is based on the maximum level of education achieved, as indicated in the charts below.

Educational LevelWork Experience Required
Master’s degree or equivalent12 months of internal audit experience or equivalent
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent24 months of internal audit experience or equivalent
Associate degree, three A-level certificates with a grade of C or higher, or equivalent60 months of internal audit experience or equivalent


To obtain an IIA certification, you must exhibit high moral and professional character and agree to abide by The IIA’s Code of Ethics. A Character Reference Form, signed by an IIA-certified individual, your supervisor, or your professor, is required.


You must successfully complete all examinations for your certification program before earning a certified status.

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