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Exam Requirements / Eligibility


To be eligible to apply, a candidate must have a minimum of 3 or 4 years of post-secondary education as a proof of which, the following documents need to be submitted:

  • The copy of the degree or the official transcript
  • A letter from the relevant university confirming the degree
  • A letter from the evaluation services, confirming the level of the degree

For candidates who do not have a 3 or 4 year post-secondary education, The Global Board of Directors has recently approved an alternate path. The candidate must clear either of the following criteria:

  • A minimum of 2 years of post-secondary experience along with 5 years of work experience as an internal auditor. The work experience must be verified.
  • Seven years of experience as an internal auditor or its equivalent. The work experience must be verified.

Character Reference

Any candidate applying for the CIA programme must possess high professional and moral character which needs to be certified through a Character Reference Form signed by a CIA, CGAP, CCSA, CFSA, CRMA or the candidate’s supervisor.

Identity Proof

A candidate has to submit the proof of identification such as a valid passport or a national identity proof. All documents must be within the validity period and the photo in the same must be clearly legible.

Eligibility Period

All candidates are required to complete the certification process within 4 years of receiving the application approval, failing to do so will result in forfeiture of all fees and examination parts.

Exam Sections

Part I – Internal Audit Basics

In part I, basics about internal audit is tested. The topics included in the examination include IPPF, internal control and risk concepts. The examination includes 125 questions and lasts for 2.5 hours.

The details of the topics covered are provided below:

Mandatory Guidance 35-45% Definition of Internal Auditing
Code of Ethics
Internal Standards
Internal Standards
Internal Control/Risk –  Awareness Level 25-35% Types of controls
Management control techniques Internal Control Framework Characteristics and Use
Internal Control Framework Characteristics and Use
Alternative Control Frameworks
Risk Vocabulary and Concepts
Fraud Risk Awareness
Conducting Internal Audit Engagements – Audit Tools and Techniques 25-35% Data Gathering
Data Analysis and Interpretation
Data Reporting
Documentation/Work Paper
Process mapping
Evaluate relevance, sufficiency and competence of evidence

Part II – Internal Audit Practice

The part II of the examination consists of 100 questions and is conducted for 120 minutes. The topics on which knowledge is tested include managing internal audit function, steps to manage individual engagements, fraud risk and controls.

The details of the topics covered include the following:

Managing the Internal Audit Function 40-50% Strategic role of internal audit
Operational role of IA
Establish risk based IA plan
Managing individual engagements 40-50% Plan engagements
Supervisor engagement
Communicate engagement results
Monitor engagement outcomes
Fraud risks and controls 5-15% Consider potential for fraud risks
Determine whether a fraud requires special consideration
Determine if a suspected fraud deserves an investigation
Complete a process review to improve controls for preventing fraud
Employ audit tests to detect fraud
Support a culture of fraud awareness
Interrogation/investigative techniques
Forensic auditing

Part III – Internal Audit Knowledge Elements

The third part of the examination consists of 100 questions and a candidate is given 2 hours to complete the examination. The topics covered in the examination include communication, information technology and business continuity, business ethics and governance, risk management, organizational structure, etc.

The details about the topics are provided below:

Governance & Business Ethics 5-15% Corporate/Organizational Governance Principles – proficiency level
Environmental and social safeguards
Corporate social responsibility
Risk management 10-20% Risk management techniques
Organizational use of risk frameworks
Organization structure/ Business processes and risks 15-25% Risk/control implications of different organizational structures
Typical schemes in various business cycles
Business process analysis
Inventory management techniques and concepts
Electronic fund transfer
Business development life cycle
ISO framework
Outsourcing business process
Communication 5-10% Communication
Stakeholder relationships
Management/Leadership principles 10-20% Strategic management
Organizational behaviour
Management skills/leadership styles
Conflict management
Project management/change management
IT/Business community 15-25% Security
Application development
System infrastructure
Business community
Financial Management 10-20% Financial accounting and finance
Managerial accounting
Global Business environment 0-10% Economical/financial investments
Cultural/political environments
Legal and economics
Impact of legislation and regulation on business

Registration Process

The CIA certification offered by IIA is the only globally accepted certification process for internal auditors. The examination is divided into three parts through which someone’s competence and professionalism are tested.

To apply for the CIA programme, a candidate has to fulfil the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria include education requirements and work experience requirements.

Once the eligibility requirement is met, a candidate can register online. Currently, the examinations are conducted across 500 test locations across the world. While registering, a candidate has to pay a registration fee of USD 200 which can be paid by bank transfer or credit card. For taking the examinations, a candidate is required to pay USD 100.

Exam Date & Schedule

There is no fixed schedule for the CIA examination. Once can take the examination any day of your choice, subject to availability. The examinations are computer based and one can get the result on the same day.

Test centers & Location

USA: In USA, CIA examinations are conducted in the 30 centers across the country. The details of the centers are provided below:

  1. Pittsburg State University Testing Center, Pittsburg, Kansas
  2. Pearson Professional Center, Tulsa, OK
  3. Pearson Professional Center, Wichita, KS
  4. Pearson Professional Center, Springfrield, MO
  5. Pearson Professional Center, Overland Park, KS
  6. Pearson Professional Center, Fort Smith, AR
  7. Pearson Professional Center, Kansas City, MO
  8. Pearson Professional Center, Wichita, KS
  9. Pearson Professional Center, Oklahoma City, OK
  10. Pearson Professional Center, Kansas City MO (East)
  1. Pearson Professional Center, Norman, OK
  2. Pearson Professional Center, Columbia, MO
  3. Pearson Professional Center, Hays, KS
  4. Pearson Professional Center, Little Rock, AR
  5. Pearson Professional Center, Lincoln NE
  6. Pearson Professional Center, Texarkana, AR
  7. Pearson Professional Center, Carollton, TX
  8. Pearson Professional Center, Omaha, NE
  9. Pearson Professional Center, Dallas, TX
  10. Pearson Professional Center, Hurst (Fort Worth), TX
  1. Pearson Professional Center, St. Louis, South
  2. Pearson Professional Center, St. Louis, MO
  3. Pearson Professional Center, West Des Moines, IA
  4. Pearson Professional Center, Tyler, TX
  5. Pearson Professional Center, Shreveport, LA
  6. Pearson Professional Center, Memphis (Midtown), TN
  7. Pearson Professional Center, Memphis, TN
  8. Pearson Professional Center, Amarillo, TN
  9. Pearson Professional Center, Marion, IL
  10. Pearson Professional Center, Sioux City, IL

Middle East: The test centres in middle east are provided below:

  1. New Horizons CLC, Dubai
  2. Society of Engineers, Dubai
  3. The Exam preparation and Testing House, FZCO, Dubai
  4. New Horizons, Abu Dhabi
  5. Al Khawarizmi International College, Abu Dhabi
  6. Family Computer Centre, Doha
  1. Gulf College, Muscat
  2. National Training Institute, Muscat
  3. Capital Knowledge, Bahrain
  4. National Institute of Technology, Bahrain
  5. Al-Bassam Institute, Dammam, Saudi Arabia (For male candidates only)
  6. iCandle, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
  1. Topaz Systems, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (For female candidates only)
  2. Topaz Systems, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (For male candidates only)
  3. New Horizons Computer Learning Centre, Kuwait

India: India has 27 center where the tests are conducted. Following are the names of these centers:

  1. Pearson Professional Center, Hyderabad
  2. Edu-Kinect, Hyderabad
  3. Sarva Mangla Maa Samiti, Indore
  4. KL University, Vijaywada
  5. Gayatri Vidya Parishad College of Engineering, Vishakhapatnam
  6. GATS, Pune
  7. Pearson Professional Centers, Mumbai
  8. Think Education Advisory Services LLP, Mumbai
  9. KIIT University, Bhubaneswar
  10. A1 Professional Assessment Center, Ahmedabad
  1. Infinity Academy, Ranchi
  2. Gencor Learning Solutions Pvt Ltd, Patna
  3. Pearson Professional Centers, Chennai
  4. Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore
  5. Pearson Professional Centers, Bangalore
  6. Think Education Advisory Services LLP, Bangalore
  7. Ansal University, Gurgaon
  8. Pearson Professional Centers, Noida
  9. EduPro, New Delhi
  10. Pearson Professional Centers, New Delhi
  1. MYRA school of business, Mysore
  2. Agile Technologies and solutions, Kolkata
  3. Indra Institute of Education, Coimbatore
  4. National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli
  5. Thapar University, Patala
  6. Winsoft Computer Centre, Mohali
  7. Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Kochi

Difficulty Level

CIA holders who have cleared the examination, are of the opinion that the CIA examination is comparatively easier than the other certification examinations of the IIA. Knowing concepts are extremely important. If one has his/her concepts clear, clearing the examinations will not be difficult. All one needs is dedication and hard work. There are three parts of the examination, and hence a candidate has to devote significant time in obtaining the certification. Keeping patience is important in clearing this examination.

The good thing about the examination is, the eligibility criteria entail one to have 24 months of experience. Hence, a candidate has to have a certain amount of internal auditing experience to pursue the certification. The experience teaches a candidate enough concepts to clear the examination. It is suggested that a candidate practices the multiple-choice questions beforehand so that they can stick to the timings of the test. While the examination is not very difficult, timeliness is a major factor in clearing the test.

Age Criteria

There are no clearly defined age criteria for pursuing the CIA certification. There are eligibility requirements with regard to education and work experience, however, there is no eligibility requirement with regards to age. A candidate who has a 3 or 4 years of post-secondary education and a work experience of 24 months can sit for the examination. In case a candidate holds a Master’s degree, the work experience criteria are relaxed to 12 months instead of 24 months.

Before Graduation or After Graduation

The CIA certification can only be pursued after graduation since the eligibility requires a work experience of 24 months. Where candidates hold a Master’s degree, the work experience eligibility is relaxed to 12 months instead of 24 months.