What is a CIA Qualification?

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • How to study for the CIA Qualification.
  • Whether the CIA qualification is recognised in the UK.
  • How long it takes to complete the CIA.
  • How to find and apply for the best accountancy jobs.


What is a CIA qualification?

The CIA qualification stands for Certified Internal Auditor and is for individuals who aspire to work in the field of internal auditing. It is globally recognised and awarded by The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and remains the standard by which individuals demonstrate their competency and professionalism in the internal auditing field.

CIA qualifies individuals to conduct internal audits and provides them with educational experience, information and business tools.


How to become a Certified Internal Auditor in the UK

To become a Certified Internal Auditor in the UK, you need to:

  • Become a member of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors.
  • Pay your membership invoice.
  • Apply for the CIA program.
  • Load your official documents (photo ID, educational certificates etc)
  • Register for the CIA exam part(s).
  • Schedule your CIA exam UK testing appointment..
  • Revise and sit for and pass the CIA exam.
  • Meet the work experience requirement.
  • Receive the CIA certification.


This blog explains the process of studying for the CIA exam, providing information on how long it takes to complete, and highlights its equivalent qualifications in the field of auditing. We also explore the requirements and process of studying for the CIA exam, how long it takes to complete the qualification, and its equivalence to other certifications.


How do I study for the CIA?

To qualify as a CIA, you must pass three computer-based, multiple-choice exams and achieve a score of at least 80%

  1. Essentials of Internal Auditing: 125 questions, 2 hours 30 minutes.
  2. Practice of Internal Auditing: 100 questions, 2 hours.
  3. Business Knowledge for Internal Auditing: 100 questions, 2 hours.

The CIA qualification consists of a self-study exam and doesn’t require a prescribed curriculum. Candidates can choose their own method of preparing or revising for the exam.

As the CIA exams are considered challenging, the comprehensive online CIA Learning system gives all CIA students access to all the reading materials supported by interactive tools.

The CIA exams are held at 100 Pearson Vue centres in the UK and Ireland or you can choose to sit your exam online anytime, anywhere. There are no fixed exam dates and students can choose a date and time that's convenient. This flexible approach means students can revise for the exams at their own pace.


What certification is CIA?

The CIA qualification is a globally recognised certification for internal Auditors offered by the Institute of Internal Auditors, an international professional association for Internal Auditors. 


Is the CIA equivalent to ACCA?

The CIA is an additional qualification, not equivalent as candidates must be an active member of ACCA in order to be eligible for the CIA. ACCA acts as an entry point to do the CIA qualification and with the ACCA membership, candidates are not required to submit proof of education or professional experience.

The ACCA qualification focuses on accounting, whereas the CIA certification gives individuals the opportunity to develop further, increase their skills and specialise their career to become an Internal Auditor. Including an ACCA qualification on your CV makes candidates stand out from peers.


Is a CIA qualification recognised in the UK?

CIA is recognised globally and as an auditing professional in the UK, the qualification can provide you with both local and global benefits. The CIA is accepted in the UK as the most well-known and esteemed professional qualification for internal Auditors to help them stand out from others.


What is the passing score for the CIA exam?

To pass a CIA exam, you need a score of 600 out of 750, or 80%. Depending on the cognitive level and the difficulty of a question, some questions will count more than others. You can read more about how the scoring works in IIA Global's candidate handbook.


How long does it take to complete the CIA?

The CIA qualification must be completed in three years, however most students complete the CIA in 12 to 18 months.

Studying requires a time commitment of around 80 hours each for Parts 1 and 2, and around 100 hours for Part 3. According to the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors, most students generally spend around nine months on each of the three parts.

The CIA Challenge Exam is a fast-track route for qualified Accountants to complete the CIA certification. This route is available only to members of qualified accounting bodies and covers all areas of the CIA certification.

It is offered for a limited time each year, and students only need to pass one multiple choice exam to become a CIA, saving you time and money.


Accountancy jobs

If you’re considering the Certified Internal Auditor qualification and looking to become an Audit Senior, Audit Manager, or to develop your career, why not learn how to advance your accounting career.

If you’re new to the accounting industry and are on the lookout for your next Accountant job, why not take a look at the vacancies currently available at Spencer Clarke Group? 

Can't find what you’re looking for? Upload your CV or get in touch with our specialist consultant, Matt Byrne-Fraser, who can give you advice and give you the latest on upcoming positions!


Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Located in Lancashire, we strive to go above and beyond to innovate the recruitment industry. From the way we match candidates and clients, to the culture in our office, we are passionate about defying expectations and challenging convention.

We understand how important it is to find candidates a job that is able to boost their salary and standard of living, better their mental health and encourage a healthy work life balance.

Our commitment to evolving and influencing, is driven by our aim for a brighter future for all.

From individuals seeking a career change to enterprises looking to expand and develop, we are passionate about effecting positivity and change.

We operate in two sectors:

Private Sector

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