A step-by-step guide: How to apply for the CIA exam

In order to obtain the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification, you must meet the eligibility requirements, which include education and experience requirements, and pass the three-part of the exam that cover internal audit topics, plus risk management, internal control, business analysis and many other business-related topics.

Here is a quick summary of the steps to apply for the CIA program:

  • Check if you meet the eligibility requirements: for more information about eligibility requirements click here.
  • Create an account on the IIA website.
  • Complete the application form: After creating your account, you need to complete the CIA exam application form by providing your personal and educational information, work experience, and other relevant details.
  • Submit supporting documents: You may need to submit supporting documents such as official transcripts, certificates, or verification of work experience.
  • Pay the application fee: To complete your application, you will need to pay the application fee. The fee varies according to location.
  • Wait for approval: If your application is approved, you will receive instructions on how to schedule your exam.
  • Schedule your exam: Once your application is approved, you can schedule your exam.

Those are the steps briefly, and now we will discuss these steps in detail.

Firstly, you need to learn about the IIA membership in order to decide whether you will sign up for membership before joining the CIA program.

IIA membership benefits

  • Access to professional resources, and networking opportunities.
  • Discounts on training and certification programs.
  • Access to research, and industry insights.

Members also have the opportunity to participate in local chapter activities and events, as well as regional and international conferences.

Being a member of the IIA is not obligatory, you don’t have to be a member of the IIA to sit for the exams or become certified.

What are your options?

  • No membership. If you apply for the CIA exam without being a member you will have to pay all standard fees and will not have to pay the annual membership fees.
  • Local membership. If there is a local chapter for the IIA in your country/state, membership in that local chapter will grant you the same discounts and benefits that you get if you were a member of the international IIA.
  • If there’s no local or nearby IIA chapter, you can be a member of the International IIA chapter (member at large).

Membership Fees

Fees may differ from one country to another. Check your local chapter first. Here are the membership fees in the US and Canada as of 2023.

Membership Type Canada USA

Professional

$280

$270

Government

$175

$175

Student

$50

$50

Educator

$150

$145

Retired

$90

$90

Tip

Before you apply for the CIA program, you need to decide whether you would like to become an IIA member, as there is a difference in exam costs between members and non-members

CIA Program Application Process

The application process begins with creating an account on the Certification Candidate Management System (CCMS). The IIA created CCMS to manage the entire application and certification process. CCMS is easy-to-use and the entire application process is completed online.

Create a profile on CCMS

This is the website where you need to create your account: https://ccms.theiia.org/. This website will be your home base for applying to IIA programs, viewing exam results, and checking certification status.

1- Click the button “Create Account”

cia button

2-Fill in your basic information

fill basic information
Tip

Your first and last name must match the document that you will use as an identifier when you take exams. We recommend that you use your international passport as an ID.

3-Agree to the User Agreement by clicking Agree and Submit

Once you agree to the terms, you will see the following message (You have successfully created an IIA Global Account. You can now sign in and view your profile) 

agree term

4- Activate your account

You will receive an Activation email including your Candidate ID number and details on how to activate your account. You must sign in to “My IIA Portal to complete your profile.

complete profile

 

5-Sign in with your Email and password

sign in email

 

6-You will be asked to update your information

update information

Now your profıle has been created!

CIA Application on IIA CCMS

To proceed with your CIA certification application, click on Access CCMS

Fill out the CIA application

Once you have completed your CCMS profile, now you can get started. Fill out the form and then click on the Apply for Certified Internal Auditor link

You will be asked about the path that you would like to take, select CIA 2.0 Program.

After reading and agreeing to the Terms, Conditions, and Use of Personal Information click continue.

Then you will be asked if you have ever been convicted of a federal offense.

(To Complete the CIA Application, CCMS will redirect you to the payment page).

The CIA application fee

The application fee is $115 for IIA members, $230 for non-members, and $65 for students.

Options for paying for the registration fees are:  by credit card, check, or wire transfer. After submitting the payment, you will receive a confirmation email from the IIA confirming that your application has been approved. 

Required Documents for the CIA Application

Submit supporting documents to complete your application.

These documents will include a valid official proof of identification, acceptable proof of education, and a character reference form signed by an IIA-certified person, or your supervisor, or your professor.

Proof of identification

You need to provide valid official proof of identification, such as a valid passport or national identity card.

Acceptable Forms of ID:

  • Government-issued driver’s licenses.
  • A Military ID (USA).
  • Alien Registration Card (green card, permanent resident visa, etc.) (USA).
  • A Government-issued local language ID (notarized translation to English would be required).
Tip

If you are an international applicant, the best choice is your international passport since it includes your information in your local language plus English.

Proof of education

You may sit for exams without submitting proof of education, but we recommend that you submit your proof of education at this stage if you have already completed the requirement to avoid problems in the future.

 The IIA accepts any of the following documents as proof of education.

  • A scan of your university degree or transcripts.
  • A confirmation letter from your university confirming your graduation.
  • A confirmation letter from an evaluation service provider confirming your degree level.
Tip

If your documents are not in English, you should provide a notarized translation along with a copy of the original document.

Once you submit your application, the IIA will review and approve your documents. However, they do not specify how long it will take to approve each document individually, but in practice, the IIA usually approves documents within 2 business days. You have 90 days from the date of your application to finish the application process. In case the IIA doesn’t approve any of your documents or requires further information, that's the time period you have available to reupload required documents. For example, you might upload proof of education that doesn’t include a clear graduation date. In such a case, the IIA will notify you that you need to submit a document that specifies the graduation date. You must submit the required document in time so that you finish the entire application process within 90 days.

 

Tip

To avoid any issues, it's best to have all your documents prepared and submitted on the same day as your application.

Registering for the CIA Exam

Once your application is approved, you will receive instructions on how to schedule your exam. You have the option to take the exam at a Pearson VUE testing center or online from any location.

  • Taking the CIA exam online

The CIA exam can be taken online through a remote proctoring service. This allows you to take the exam from your own location, without having to travel to a testing center. To take the exam online, you must have a computer with a stable internet connection, a webcam, and a microphone, and a room with a locked door that conforms with the IIA requirements.

The exam is monitored by a remote proctor, who will have access to your camera and microphone throughout the exam.

Overall, the online format of the CIA exam offers convenience and flexibility. However, it is important to ensure that your computer and internet and power connection are reliable enough to take your exam at home.

  • Taking the CIA exam at a Pearson testing center

This means that you will need to physically go to one of their testing locations to take the exam at the testing center. You will be provided with a computer and a testing room to take the exam.

 

Tip
  • Review the IIA's exam policies and procedures, including what items you can bring with you to the testing center, what identification you will need, and what behaviors are prohibited during the exam.
  • Familiarize yourself with the testing center's location and policies before you schedule your exam to minimize any potential stress or confusion on exam day.

Schedule your exam

Scheduling the CIA (Certified Internal Auditor) exam involves registering for the exam part with the IIA and paying exam fees. Once you complete the payment process you can select the testing center, and the date and time of your exam. Once scheduled, you will receive an exam admission ticket that provides details about the exam location, date, and time.

Choose an exam location: The CIA exam is offered at various test centers around the world. You can check available locations in your region here..

Select an exam date: The CIA exam is offered throughout the year. Once you pay exam fees, you must take the exam within 180 days. You can apply for a one-time 75 days extension that costs $100. Note that in all cases, you must take your exam within the eligibility period for the CIA program.

CIA Certification Fees

2023 CERTIFICATION EXAM PRICE

 

​Member       ​

      ​Non-Member     

​ Student

 CIA​ Application

​US $115

​US $230

US$65

 CIA Part 1 Exam

 ​US $295

​US $425

US$245

​ CIA Part 2 Exam

​US $265

​US $395

US$215

 CIA Part 3 Exam

​US $265

US $395

US$215

Take the exam: On the day of the exam, arrive at the testing center early, at least 30 minutes before your exam start time, bring a valid form of identification, and follow the instructions provided by the testing center staff.

Check our article “my first exam experience” to get more information about taking exams on site.

Receive your results: You will receive a preliminary result as soon as you finish your exam. You will receive your final exam result 48 hours after your exam through CCMS. You will receive an e-mail notification that your exam result is out once your exam result is posted on CCMS.

When you pass the exam, you will receive a congratulatory email from the IIA, and the CIA certification will be conferred upon meeting all requirements. If you do not pass the exam, you will receive a diagnostic report that identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the exam and provides suggestions for further study.

For more about the CIA Exam, how to prepare and what tools you need check out our Free Demo.