Are you eligible?

There are 4 general requirements that all candidates must posses to be eligible for CIA certification:

  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Professional Conduct
  • Examination


Historically, CIA candidates had to have at minimum, a 4-year post-secondary degree (or equivalent education) from an accredited university. This still applies; however, there are now two additional ways that a candidate can meet the education requirement to sit for the CIA exam. Subject to IIA approval, a candidate may now become eligible for the CIA in either of the following circumstances

  • Two years post-secondary education and five years verified experience in internal audit or its equivalent.
  • Seven years verified experience in internal audit or its equivalent.

Work Experience

CIA candidates with a 4 year degree must obtain 24 months of internal auditing experience, at minimum. A candidate with a master’s degree or work experience in related business professions (e.g., accounting, law, or finance) may be able to offset up to 12 months of experience. Work experience that the IIA may accept includes experience in audit/assessment disciplines, external auditing, quality assurance, compliance, and internal control.

Professional Conduct

An applicant must be of high moral and professional character. An individual certified by the IIA must sign a character reference form on behalf of the applicant.


A candidate can sit for the exam prior to satisfying the experience, education, or professional conduct requirements; however, certification is not provided until all program requirements are met.

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." — Benjamin Franklin

About the CIA Exam

The Certified Internal Auditor® (CIA) designation is recognized globally as the standard for professionalism in the internal audit field. Candidates must complete the IIA’s certification process, which includes passing a three-part exam in order to achieve the credential. The process for international candidates will vary by location.

Part 1

Internal Audit Basics


2 hours and 30 minutes

Question Count on the Exam

125 Multiple Choice Questions

View exam sections

Main Topics

  • IIA Mandatory Guidance
  • Internal Control and Risk
  • Tools and Techniques for Conducting the Audit Engagement

View exam information

Part 2

Internal Audit Practice


2 hours

Question Count on the Exam

100 Multiple Choice Questions

View exam sections

Main Topics

  • Managing the Internal Audit Function
  • Managing Individual Engagements
  • Fraud Risks and Controls

View exam information

Part 3

Internal Audit Knowledge Elements


2 hours

Question Count on the Exam

100 Multiple Choice Questions

View exam sections

Main Topics

  • Governance
  • Risk Management
  • Organizational Structure and Business Processes
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • IT/Business Continuity
  • Financial Management
  • Global Business Environment

View exam information

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I take the CIA exam?

The exams are offered in a computer-based format at Pearson VUE’s approved testing centers throughout the world. There are over 500 exam locations available. To locate a testing center near you, visit the Pearson Vue website.

Who is the sanctioning body for the CIA designation?

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).

How do I register to take the CIA exam?

The IIA Certification Candidate Management System (CCMS) allows you to submit application and exam registration forms online. Registration for an exam part is valid for 180 days from the date processed. Each registration allows you to sit for that exam one time.

Is the CIA certification process the same for candidates in all countries?

No. The local certification process to sit for the CIA exam can vary by location. The information on this page applies to most candidates; but if you live in one of the following countries a different process may apply to you.

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • China
  • Chinese Taiwan
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Indonesia
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
Do I need to take the CIA exams all at once?

No. You may schedule each exam part separately, and in the order of your preference.

How long do I have to pass all three CIA exams?

Candidates must complete the program certification process within four years of application approval.

How much time should I expect to study for the CIA exams?

Depending on experience, you should expect to invest between 130-180 hours of total study time.

What is a passing CIA exam score?

Each exam is graded on a scale of 250-750. A passing score is 600 or above.

How many times can I retake a CIA exam if I fail?

There is no limit to the number of times you can retake any of the CIA exams if you fail. Keep in mind, that you must wait at least 90 days before your next attempt of the same exam part.

What fees should I expect for the CIA exam?

The CIA application fee is $100 for IIA members. Exam registration fees of $250 for Part 1, $200 for Parts 2 and 3 for IIA members.

What are the continuing education requirements for the CIA exam?

The IIA requires 40 hours of CPE each year for a practicing Certified Internal Auditor. 80 hours of CPE are awarded upon passing the exam, 40 hours for the year you become certified and 40 hours for the following year.