What is a CIA qualification?

CIA (Certified Internal Auditor) is a certification offered to the accountants who conduct internal audits. Becoming a CIA will help the candidate enhance his auditing career to the next level. It’s a designation conferred by IIA (Institute of Internal Auditors). CIA’s work in the audit department of financial institutions, corporations, and government agencies. 

How do I earn CIA Certification?

Below are the steps to earn CIA certification.

  • Fulfill the Educational Requirements
  • Register for the CIA exam
  • Pass the CIA exam
  • Upload the required documents
  • Pay the exam fee
  • Schedule the exam parts
  • Sit for the exam parts

Fulfill the Educational Requirements:

CIA aspirants must meet the following educational requirements to sit for the CIA exam. 

  • The candidate must graduate with a 3 or 4-year degree (or higher) or should have an associate’s degree satisfying the requirements of IIA.
  • The degree is not needed to be in a specific field. It may be in the fields of applied science, business, health care, or any other field. 
  • Candidates having seven years of experience of internal auditing or its equivalent can also be eligible for the CIA exam.

Register for the CIA exam:

Only after submitting the satisfactory supporting documents, required forms, and the completion of experience verification does the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) issue access to schedule and register for the CIA exam.

After having the required educational qualifications and experience, you can register for the Certified Internal Auditor exam.

Pass the CIA exam:

Is the CIA exam difficult?

The CIA exam is not as difficult as you think and it is entirely computer-based, and it consists of 3 sections of CIA MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions).

Part: 1 – Internal Audit Basics

  • Internal Control / Risk (25-35%)
  • Mandatory Guidance (35-45%)
  • Audit Tools & Techniques – Conducting Internal Audit Engagements (25-35%)

Part: 2 – Internal Audit Practice

  • Managing Individual Engagements (40-50%)
  • Managing the Internal Audit Function (40-50%)
  • Fraud Risks and Controls (5-15%)

Part: 3 – Internal Audit Knowledge Elements

  • Business Processes/Organizational Structure(15-25%)
  • Governance/Business Ethics (5-15%)
  • Communication (5-10%)
  • Risk Management (10-20%)
  • IT/Business Continuity (15-25%)
  • Leadership/Management Principles (10-20%)
  • Global Business Environment (0-10%)
  • Financial Management (10-20%)
Sections No. of Questions Exam Duration
Internal Audit Basics (Part -1) 125 2.5 hours
Internal Audit Practice (Part -2) 100 2 hours
Internal Audit Knowledge Elements(Part -3) 100 2 hours

Upload the required documents:

The confirmation email from the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) provides all the instructions that are needed to submit the supporting documentation. To move on to the CIA program, you have to submit the following documents.

Acceptable forms of ID Unacceptable Forms of ID
Passport University or college ID
Government-issued driver’s license Employee ID or work badge
Military ID Insurance card
Government-issued local language ID Expired photo ID
Alien Registration Card (permanent resident visa, green card, etc) Selfie or photo ID without a name
Related Article: CIA Syllabus

Pay the CIA Exam Fees:

How much does the CIA exam cost?

Given below is the certification fee structure of the Certified Internal Auditor exam.

CIA Exam Parts CIA Exam Fee
Part-1 CIA Exam Fee $209
Part-2 CIA Exam Fee $173
Part-3 CIA Exam Fee $173
Application Fee $86

Schedule your exam:

Once IIA processed your CIA exam registration, then they will send an authorization test email to you. This email will help you to schedule your exam through a third-party vendor called Pearson VUE.

Sit for the exam parts:

Sitting for the CIA exam is the final step, when the exam day comes you must have to show an appropriate ID. If you don’t appear for the exam on time and date, the IIA void the exam registration.

Check out here for more info about Career in Internal Auditors

CIA Course Benefits:

The benefits of the CIA course are listed below.

1. Higher Income:

The salary of a Certified Internal Auditor is one of the most appealing aspects of the CIA course. According to the IIA reports, CIAs earn an average of $38,000 annually. This shows that CIAs are getting more than 50% salary than non-certified peers. The CIA certification qualifies you for higher positions such as Internal Audit Director or Chief Audit Executive when combined with years of experience. 

2. More Job Opportunities:

With the CIA certification, internal auditors can reach the top of the corporate ladder. Also, with this certification, entry-level internal auditors can be placed in roles such as:

  • Compliance auditor
  • Information systems auditor
  • Lead internal auditor
  • Auditing specialist
  • Financial analyst
  • Internal controls auditor
  • Risk assessment specialist

The experienced internal auditors with CIA certification will be up for promotions to higher internal audit supervisor positions like:

  • Internal audit director
  • Senior internal auditor
  • Audit manager
  • Risk manager
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Finance Director
  • Chief Audit Executive
  • Controller
  • Internal Audit Director

3. Job Security:

Internal Auditors are considered a hot commodity in the accounting and finance hiring market. Organizations improve their transparency and internal controls which leads to higher demand for internal auditing professionals. CIAs are good in supply assurance on corporate governance, risk management, and internal controls in all kinds of business conditions. Hence, companies want to recruit and retain CIAs.

4. Heightened Respect and Admiration:

CIAs know how to improve the business, hence they can experience privileges such as admiration and universal credibility. 


Hope the above information helps you know more about the CIA course details including educational requirements, exam format, CIA course benefits and so on. Although if you have any queries, please comment below.

If you have any queries on the CIA Course, please feel free to Contact Simandhar Education @ +91 7780273388 or mail us at [email protected]

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