Contact Us : 800.874.5346        International: +1 352.375.0772
Contact Us : 800.874.5346        International: +1 352.375.0772

International CIA exam candidates

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.

How do international auditors become CIAs?

The process to become a CIA as an international candidate is the same as for a candidate from the United States.

Join either the global IIA organization or your local affiliate.
  • Local affiliates may have their own requirements, so you need to be thorough when completing your application to ensure you do not miss any important information.
  • We recommend that all CIA candidates join The IIA, even if it’s not required by your local affiliate. Membership has many benefits, including savings on exam and certification fees.
Submit your CIA application through The IIA’s Certification Candidate Management System (CCMS) Opens in new window or your local affiliate.
Once approved, register for your exam through CCMS.
Provide the necessary documents showing you meet The IIA’s education, experience, and ethics requirements.
  • These requirements can be submitted at any time during your three-year eligibility period; however, the sooner you submit them, the sooner you will be a CIA!
Enjoy your new benefits!

For more information, check out our relevant pages for applying, registering, and scheduling your CIA exam.

International IIA affiliates

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.

World map

Where is the CIA exam administered internationally?

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.

Can I take the CIA exam online?

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.

What languages are offered for the CIA exam?

The CIA exam is available in 14 languages:

Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional

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.

What if my preferred language isn’t offered?

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.

Translated Gleim CIA review

If you would like to prepare for the exam in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese Simplified, or Turkish, you can purchase a translated version of the Online Review Course. 

The CIA Challenge Exam

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)

  • CPA Australia

  • 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

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.

What’s the best way for international internal auditors to become certified?

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!