The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is a global organization that provides standards and guidance for internal auditors all around the world. They also administer the Certified Internal Auditor exam, which is the only global designation for internal auditors.
Earning your CIA means you can confidently perform any audit, for anyone, anywhere in the world. There are over 160,000 CIAs in 150+ countries. The exam is offered in over 900 Pearson VUE testing centers and is currently available in 13 languages with 1 more becoming available in the spring of 2021. The myriad of language offerings allows all qualified candidates to test when and how it is most convenient for them.
In some countries, IIA affiliates administer the CIA exam, and the certification processes, pricing, and taxes may vary. For example, international CIA exam candidates residing in South Africa and the United Kingdom must be members of The IIA branches within their respective countries to test.
According to The IIA, if you live in one of the countries listed below, you’ll need to refer to your local IIA website or contact your local representative to discover the specifics of your CIA journey.
The CIA exam is offered at Pearson VUE testing centers around the world. Candidates can sit for the exam at any of these physical locations regardless of which IIA Institute they belong to. Any CIA exam candidate can go to Pearson VUE’s website and look for the closest test center.
Yes. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, The IIA and Pearson VUE teamed up to offer online testing for the CIA exam to most candidates. For more information about online testing, check out our CIA exam changes page.
The CIA exam is available in 14 languages:
If you take the exam in a language other than English, you will have the option to view questions and answers in English. This is to help with any potential translation issues or misconceptions. Gleim recommends candidates sit for the exam in English whenever possible. The exam is written in English, and the vocabulary used is for English speakers. The exam is translated by internal auditors (usually members of The IIA), so the questions should still be understandable, but to avoid any confusion, it is recommended to sit for the exam in English.
We have tips for non-native English speakers on how to prepare for the English version of the exam.
Because there are no current plans to expand the languages offered, candidates are allowed to bring a paper translation dictionary. For exam security, this dictionary must not have any markings or notations, and it must only have the translation of words, no definitions. If you plan to use one on your exam, it is advised you also use it during your practice to help familiarize yourself with the language of the exam and the layout of the dictionary so you can use it quickly during your exam. You will be given the same amount of time as any other candidate.
Each year, The IIA partners with other accounting certification organizations to provide a quicker and less expensive path to earning the CIA certification. If you are a member of one the following organizations, you have the option to take the CIA Challenge Exam instead of the CIA exam:
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ)
Chartered Professional Accountants Canada (CPA Canada)
Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)
Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA)
Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA)
Registro Oficial de Auditores de Cuentas (ROAC)
Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA)
South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
The CIA Challenge Exam is a single exam that covers topics from all three CIA exam parts. It contains only the content not covered by the above organizations’ certification process. The savings on exam fees can add up to as much as $900 USD.
For more information on the CIA Challenge Exam, check out our blog.
The Internal Audit Practitioner program is a way for new and rotational auditors to quickly demonstrate internal audit aptitude as they endeavor to take the first step on their journey into internal auditing. Candidates will need to pass one 2-hour exam and provide a Character Reference and Proof of Identification. These reduced requirements make it ideal for newly graduated students.
The Internal Audit Practitioner program is not meant to be a replacement for earning the CIA certification, only as a stepping stone toward earning it later.
The Internal Audit Practitioner designation expires after three years. While it is active, Internal Audit Practitioners can apply to the CIA certification program without meeting all of the educational or experience requirements.
After researching your eligibility for the CIA program and alternative methods for certification, international candidates will need to shop for a Review System to help them study for their exams. For candidates sitting for the traditional CIA exam or the CIA Challenge Exam, the Gleim Premium CIA Review System is your all-in-one source of information and study materials.
SmartAdaptTM, our adaptive learning platform, is designed from the ground up to ensure you succeed the first time. With our comprehensive coverage and unique support network, you’ll know when you’re ready to test!