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CIA Program Requirements

When you enroll in the CIA program, you accept the conditions of the program; which include:

  • Eligibility requirements
  • Exam confidentiality
  • Code of Ethics
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE)
  • In addition to other conditions set by the IIA’s Professional Certification Board.

Program Requirements

There are two sets of requirements to become a CIA.

  • Program entry requirements
  • Certification requirements



Education Identification Character Reference 3 Exams Experience
Master’s Degree Required for entry Required for entry Required for certification 1 Year
Bachelor’s Degree Required for entry Required for entry Required for certification 2 Years
Associate’s Degree Required for entry Required for entry Required for certification 5 Years

Entry Requirements


You need to fulfill only one of the following requirements:

  • A bachelor degree or higher
  • Be an active Internal Audit Practitioner (a designation offered by the IIA)
  • Have five years of internal audit experience.

Acceptable proof of education:

You need to provide only one of the following requirements:

  • A copy of your degree or transcripts
  • Confirmation letter from university confirming your graduation
  • Confirmation letter from an evaluation service provider confirming your degree level.
  • If your name changed since you earned your degree you need to include your legal name change document.
International Applicants

If your degree or transcript is issued in any language other than English you need to provide a notarized translation of your degree/transcripts along with a copy of the degree/transcripts.

2-Character reference

You need to fill in the character reference form through your account on the IIA's CCMS platform. The form must be signed by

  • A person holding one of the following designations: CIA, CGAP, CCSA, CFSA, CRMA, QIAL


  • Your supervisor
3-Proof of identification

You need to provide a valid official proof of identification, such as a valid passport or national identity card. The document must be valid.

International applicants

For international applicants, the passport is the best choice since it includes your information in your local language plus English. If your document is not in English you need to include a notarized translation along with a copy of the document.

Requirements to Become Certified

  1. Pass the CIA exams within the eligibility period, which is currently 3 years.
  2. Work experience. The required experience differs according to the category through which you entered the CIA program. If you hold a masters’ degree you need 1 year of experience. 2 years if you hold a bachelor degree, and 5 years if you hold an associate degree.

Requirement Exemptions

Holders of the following certifications are exempted from experience and education requirements:

  • CPA, USA
  • ACCA members

CIA certification steps


You cannot disclose the exam content. This includes discussing exam questions with anyone expect the IIA’s Certification Department. Disclosing CIA exam content is considered a breach of the IIA’s Code of Ethics which CIAs and CIA program candidates are expected to adhere to.

Code of Ethics

Holders of the CIA designations and candidates of the CIA program are expected to abide by the IIA’s Code of Ethics.

Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

Once you become certified, you are required to continue improving your knowledge and skills and provide proof of your efforts to the IIA if you wish to maintain your certification status.

IIA Membership

You don’t have to be a member of the IIA to sit for the exams or become certified. IIA membership has its advantages though, the advantages include:

  • Discounts on CIA exams
  • Access to audit resources and references and the IIA's publications

CIA certification steps

Receive your CIA Certificate

Once you have fulfilled all the requirements you are eligible to receive your CIA certificate. You will receive an e-mail from the IIA confirming your certification status and that you are now eligible to receive your certificate. You will be requested to confirm how you wish your name to appear on the certificate. The IIA will ship your printed certificate (if you request it) to your shipping address. Make sure your address is updated before ordering your printed certificate.

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