The Institute of Internal Auditors and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at advancing internal auditing and accounting practices globally.

A central part of the collaboration is a one-time challenge exam open to ACCA members toward receiving the IIA’s Certified Internal Auditor, or CIA, certification.

Launched in 1973, the CIA identifies the individual as a committed and competent professional and provides recognition and status among peers and principal stakeholders.

“We are eager to make the challenge exam available to qualified ACCA members because earning the CIA represents an important level of achievement for internal audit practitioners,” said IIA president and CEO Richard F. Chambers in a statement. “The rigorous requirements for ACCA membership reflect the high standards of professional attainment that we expect of all of our CIA certificate holders.”

ACCA membership requires completion of ACCA qualification exams and a professional ethics module, a three-year practical experience requirement and more. These requirements identify members as qualified accountants and show their commitment to high ethical standards, professional values, and lifelong learning.

The CIA challenge exam will comprise 125 questions not covered by the ACCA syllabus. In addition, ACCA-member recipients of the CIA will have to meet continuing professional education requirements beginning in January 2017 to retain the certification.

In addition to the challenge exam, the three-year memorandum of understanding calls for development of an annual plan for hosting joint events, and exploring opportunities for common thought leadership and research interests. Additionally, the organizations will help build awareness of respective initiatives and programs, including the ACCA’s recognition of the IIA’s International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.

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