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Career pathway

We offer several routes to becoming globally recognised as a professional internal auditor. We’re here to support you every step of the way as you shape your professional journey.

Which route is right for me?

Not sure which route is right for you? View our career pathway document to determine your route to success.

Click here for the latest information on how syllabi and exams will transition to the new Global Internal Audit Standards. 

1. Practitioner stage

If you’re new to internal audit or a related field or have some experience and are hoping to improve your knowledge, then the practitioner stage is right for you.

Internal Audit Practitioner

A designation designed to support new internal auditors as they take their first step toward becoming professionally recognised.

2. Certified Professional stage

If you're already an internal auditor, then becoming a certified professional offers you a global benchmark certification as a professional internal auditor. This gives you a firm foundation on which to build your career in internal auditing.

Certified Internal Auditor

A globally recognised certification that provides a firm foundation for a career in internal auditing. Becoming certified is also a prerequisite to becoming chartered.

CIA Challenge Exam

The CIA Challenge Exam is a fast-track route for qualified accountants to complete the highly respected Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification. This route is available only to members of qualified accounting bodies and covers all areas of the CIA certification (Parts 1, 2 and 3). It therefore includes content not currently covered by your local accounting exam. The CIA Challenge Exam is delivered by IIA Global.

Candidates doing the CIA Challenge Exam are required to sit one exam to earn the CIA designation.

In preparation for the exam, candidates are invited to book a CIA Challenge Exam masterclass with us, presented online and available across the world.

Register for the CIA Challenge Exam

3. Chartered Professional stage

Our Chartered designation is the benchmark for leaders of the profession and is designed for CAEs who contribute to the strategic direction of the organisation by setting strategic objectives for internal audit and the organisation.

There are two routes to becoming a chartered professional:

  • Chartered by Learning: A learning-based programme for aspiring leaders
  • Chartered by Experience: A competency-based assessment for existing leaders

Chartered by Learning

If you're already a Certified Internal Auditor, then you can achieve chartered status by taking the two learning programmes and exams and completing the Professional Conferral.

Chartered by Experience

If you are currently a CAE or similar, you can take a competency-based assessment to demonstrate your strategic leadership ability and commitment to the professionalisation of internal auditing.


          Become Chartered by Learning                          Become Chartered by Experience

Other routes to designations

Apprenticeships in internal audit

A real job with structured training, comprising two routes – level 4 and level 7. Great for young students and employers/practitioners looking to build their teams.

IIA Certificate in Internal Audit and Business Risk

A practical, accredited modular course, providing a thorough grounding in the practice and principles of audit, governance, risk, and assurance.

Specialist certifications

Qualification in Internal Audit Leadership (QIAL)

The Global IIA have announced that they are withdrawing the Qualification in Internal Audit Leadership and consequently we are no longer taking any enrolments. 

Read more

Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA)

This certification is designed for internal auditors and risk management professionals who provide risk assurance, governance, quality assurance, or control self-assessment.

Read more

Please note: To apply for the CCSA, CGAP, CFSA or CRMA you must register via IIA Global's candidate certification system. You will need your Global ID number. Please contact us if you don't know what it is.