Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) | 2022

A Certified Internal Auditor is a professional who has passed an exam related to internal auditing, and who, therefore, manages to certify their skills and abilities in this field.

In other words, the CIA is a title granted by a private organization. This certifies a series of knowledge related to the activity of the internal audit of an entity, whether private, public or hybrid.

The CIA exam (for its acronym in English, ‘Certified Internal Auditor’) is prepared and evaluated by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IAI), with slight variations in its name depending on the country in which it is performed. The main organization is the IIA itself, ‘The Institute of Internal Auditors’, again, for its acronym in English.

CIA Admission Requirements

Depending on the academic and professional merits of the applicant, they may access the exam in one of the following ways:

  • University degree + 2 years of professional experience.
  • Official master’s degree + 1 year of professional experience.
  • Have more than 5 years of professional experience.

Although there may be a fourth pathway in some countries, these three are the main form of access to the exam that all countries have in common.

On the other hand, in relation to the professional experience required, this must be directly related to internal auditing.

CIA exam

The certification consists of 3 parts, in which each part will be a different exam:

  • Part 1. Basic concepts, risks, control and fraud are evaluated. It has a maximum duration of two and a half hours and consists of 125 questions.
  • Part 2. Evaluation of management, planning, execution and monitoring of work. In this case, the maximum duration is 2 hours and it consists of 100 questions.
  • Part 3. Lastly, this part tests knowledge related to business vision, security and information technology, and financial management. It has the same duration and number of questions as in part number two.
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It should be noted that the questions are test-type and, if any of the parts is failed, the candidate may take the suspended part again after having served a minimum established period.

Examples of outputs getting the CIA

Regarding the advantages that can be obtained after having achieved the certification, the most important is the differentiating character. In other words, with this certification there is a desire to combine the prestige of a public degree with recognition from a private entity, which tests all candidates equally.

The professional opportunities to which a candidate can preferentially access are:

  • Internal audit departments.
  • Specialized audit consultancies.
  • Charges related to management control (better known by its English term controller).

Therefore, it must be taken into account that the certification, by defending an exam model and a similar requirement among the different countries and organizations that carry it out, provides a certain guarantee that is missing in the university degree.

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