The CIA is the only globally accepted designation for internal auditors and the standard by which individuals demonstrate their professionalism in internal auditing. Moreover, earning the CIA designation is more than just proof of what you know and what you’ve achieved — it’s the best way for auditing professionals to communicate to the world that they are prepared to meet today’s challenges.
Earning the CIA designation is a valuable accomplishment and a professional advantage for auditors at all stages of their careers, including chief audit executives, audit managers, audit staff, and risk management staff, as well as students enrolled in an accounting or other business or financial degree program.
PART 1 – Internal Audit Basics
The CIA exam Part 1 topics tested include aspects of mandatory guidance from the IPPF; internal control and risk concepts; as well as tools and techniques for conducting internal audit engagements.
PART 2 – Internal Audit Practice
The CIA exam Part 2 topics tested include managing the internal audit function via the strategic and operational role of internal audit and establishing a risk-based plan; the steps to manage individual engagements (planning, supervision, communicating results, and monitoring outcomes); as well as fraud risks and controls.
PART 3 – Internal Audit Knowledge Elements
The CIA exam Part 3 topics tested include governance and business ethics; risk management; organizational structure, including business processes and risks; communication; management and leadership principles; information technology and business continuity; financial management; and the global business environment.
CIA candidates must meet the following eligibility requirements for education, character, work experience, and identification. Before a candidate application can be approved, ALL documentation (proof of education, character reference, and identification) must be received and approved by The IIA’s Certification staff.
CIA candidates must hold a 3- or 4-year post-secondary degree (or higher).
Availability of alternate path to eligibility for the CIA for those candidates who do not possess a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
Candidates may now become eligible for the CIA, subject to approval, who possess:
Two years’ post-secondary education and five years verified experience in internal audit or its equivalent, OR
Seven years verified experience in internal audit or its equivalent.
CIA candidates with a 4 year post-secondary degree must obtain a minimum of 24 months of internal auditing experience or its equivalent. A Master’s degree can substitute for 12 of the required 24 months. Please refer to the Certification Candidate Handbook for more details. A completed Experience Verification Form is required. Candidates may apply to the program and sit for the exam prior to satisfying the professional experience requirement, but will not be certified until all program requirements have been met.
Candidates must exhibit high moral and professional character and must submit a Character Reference Form signed by a CIA, , or the candidate's supervisor.
Create a system for notes:
Whether you are marking notes in the margins of your test prep guide, highlighting or creating tabs for the portions that are most challenging, or jotting down reminders from things you’ve read online, develop a system for keeping track of notes and information.
Find the study tool that fit your needs:
There are plenty of tools available to help you study, make sure you select a thorough exam prep program such as Gleim Online Courses.
Be a strategic reader:
To prepare yourself for taking the test, it’s important to know what to read and how carefully. Former testers advise reading the question part first, rather than focusing on introductory text. You may know the answer right away and not need to read all of the exposition. That said, you should read the question carefully and understand what’s being asked. Think about how you would answer before looking at the multiple choices.
Prepare for multiple choices:
One benefit of a multiple-choice test is that there is always one correct answer in the mix, so a guess gives you a reasonable chance of being right (which is why you should never leave anything blank). Patterns behind multiple-choice tests also tell us that there will be one obviously incorrect answer, and another that may be factually correct but is irrelevant. If you can find and eliminate those options for consideration, you’ve greatly increased your odds of getting the question right.
Arabic and English are just 2 of many languages in which you can take the CIA exam, along with Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Thai.
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