Syllabus changes in 2019

The CIA exam syllabus is going to be updated

From 1 January 2019, students sitting the CIA exams will be tested on a revised syllabus. Below is everything you need to know about the changes.

Reasons behind the syllabus change

IIA Global undertook a global job analysis study to determine the knowledge, skills and abilities most applicable to today’s internal audit practitioners. In response to the results, the syllabus has been updated slightly. From January 2019 the CIA exams will reflect the updated syllabus and the existing syllabus will no longer be examined.

Overall syllabus changes

The three parts will be more balanced and similar in size, instances of duplication and overlap have been addressed, the syllabus has been more closely aligned to the IPPF and the international standards, and better covers the competencies required from an internal auditor most notably around information security and IT.

Exam length and number of questions

Exam length and number of questions per exam remains unchanged.

  • Part 1: 125 questions / 2.5 hours
  • Part 2: 100 questions / 2 hours
  • Part 3: 100 questions / 2 hours

Impact on existing students

Existing CIA students are encouraged to continue with their studies and will be able to complete the CIA through any combination of existing and new syllabus exams, and students will retain credits for any CIA exams passed under the existing syllabus.

Students should consider that they cannot re-sit a failed exam within three months and therefore may have to re-sit under the new syllabus.

Learning materials

The Chartered IIA will continue to issue study materials for the existing CIA syllabus until October 2018 to accommodate those students who still would like to sit exams this year. Learning materials for the new syllabus will be available from August 2018. Any student with access to the existing materials will be able to access the new content free of charge. 

As with the existing content, students will have access to the new content for a period of three years. Note that access will not be reset, so for example, those students who have already had access to the existing content for one year will have access to the new content for two remaining years.

We will contact all our students when the new materials are available and inform them of the exact steps to access the new content.

As is currently the case, the Chartered IIA can provide you with extensions under certain circumstances.

Revision workshops

The Chartered IIA will continue to offer workshops to support students preparing for the exams. Workshops based on the new syllabus will be available from November 2018.

Any questions regarding the syllabus update can be directed to

CIA part one: Essentials of internal auditing

Current version      Revised version    

Mandatory guidance

Internal control/risk

Conducting internal audit engagements: tools and techniques



Foundations of internal auditing

Independence and objectivity

Proficiency and due professional care

Quality assurance and improvement programme

Governance, risk management and control

Fraud risks

CIA part two: Practice of internal auditing

Current version      Revised version    

Managing the internal audit function

Managing individual engagements

Fraud risks and controls 


Managing the internal audit activity

Planning the engagment

Performing the engagement

Communicating engagement results and monitoring progress

CIA part three: Business knowledge for internal auditing

Current version      Revised version    

Governance/business ethics

Risk management

Organisational structure/business processes and risks


Management/leadership principles

IT/business continuity

Financial management

Global business environment  

Business acumen

Information security

Information technology

Financial management





Back to the current syllabus