CIA CPE requirements: What Certified Internal Auditors need to stay compliant

5 min read
Woman performing audit seeking CIA CPE requirements

Organizations around the world trust Certified Internal Auditors, or CIAs, to complete internal audits that are meticulously thorough, ethically accurate, and precisely detailed. To maintain this standard of accuracy and stay up to date on best practices, CIAs must fulfill annual CIA CPE requirements. Read on to find out exactly what these requirements entail and how CIAs can remain compliant.

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What is a CIA?

In the accounting world, CIA stands for Certified Internal Auditor. The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) grants this certification to those who show proficiency in auditing concepts and principles by meeting education, experience and ethics requirements, entering the IIA’s CIA program, and passing the three-part CIA exam.

Companies often employ CIAs to complete independent and objective audits of their financial and operational activities. Unlike CPAs, whose license is state-issued, CIAs’ credential is globally recognized, so they may work internationally. But CIAs must maintain their credential by completing all IIA-stipulated CPE requirements.

The IIA’s CIA CPE Requirements

The IIA dictates all CIA CPE requirements, as the governing body over the CIA certification and renewal. CIAs must complete CPE and renew their certifications annually to stay abreast of trends within the risk landscape and enhance their competencies as an internal auditor. With this yearly renewal cadence, the IIA also upholds the CIA certification’s commitment to accuracy, ethical standards, and current best practices.

CIA CPE renewal period and credits required

CIA certification renewal opens October 1 and closes December 31 of each year. During this renewal period, CIAs must report their CPE learning through the IIA’s online Certification Candidate Management System (CCMS).

CIAs must complete: 

  • 40 hours of qualifying CPE 
  • 2 of the 40 credit hours must focus on ethics 
  • Renewal applicants may roll over up to 20 credit hours from the previous year toward their current year’s CIA CPE requirements.

CIA CPE grace period

If you fail to complete and/or report your required CPE during the certification renewal period, your CIA certification changes from “active” to “grace” status.

  • “Active” describes compliant, practicing CIAs in good standing with the IIA 
  • “Grace” means that you may no longer show the CIA certification after your name, nor use the benefits of holding this IIA designation.

However, simply submitting the missing CPE requirements will restore your designation from “grace” to “active.”

This grace period lasts two calendar years. If, after these two years, you still have not completed and submitted your CIA CPE requirements, your certification’s status turns from “grace” to “revoked.” This is a much more serious position, as you cannot undo a revoked status. To practice as a CIA after being revoked, you must re-apply to the IIA’s CIA program and re-take and pass the three-part CIA exam.

Complete your IIA CIA CPE requirements

Becker offers a comprehensive CPE course catalog with over 1,700 courses across 19 areas of study, including audit, to enhance your learning and remove the stress around CIA CPE compliance.

These featured courses keep CIAs in the know: 

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