Institute of Internal Auditors revamps specialty certifications

The Institute of Internal Auditors has decided to focus on its main certification of Certified Internal Auditor while phasing out three of its less popular specialty certifications.

The IIA said Monday it would reposition its Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP), Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA) and Certification in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA) programs. The IIA also plans to offer a “challenge exam” for those who currently hold the CGAP, CFSA and CCSA certifications and want to get the main CIA credential.

The CGAP is meant for internal auditors who work in the public sector, while the CFSA has been targeted at practitioners in the financial services industry. Now, however, both programs will transition to assessment-based certificates. Meanwhile, with internal control becoming an integral part of risk management, the CCSA program will be integrated into the Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) through the next CRMA exam update.

Institute of Internal Auditors headquarters in Florida

The IIA said the CGAP, CFSA and CCSA certifications would remain valid and it would continue to recognize them. Holders of the three certifications can continue to use the designations by earning and reporting the required numer of continuing professional education hours each year. However, the certifications are being gradually phased out. And the last day the IIA will accept new CCSA, CGAP and CFSA certification applications is Dec. 31, 2018. Instead the IIA will emphasize the Certified Internal Auditor certification.

“The CIA is the gold standard in internal auditing, conveying credibility and competence in relevant skills and knowledge that all internal auditors should have in helping organizations improve and meet their objectives,” said IIA president and CEO Richard F. Chambers in a statement. “Practitioners also must master specialized competencies within specific industries and lines of business, and be able to tackle a dizzying array of emerging risks. Assessment-based certificates will be an effective way to obtain the necessary education and training.”

The IIA pointed out that more than 150,000 CIAs have been awarded worldwide, but did not provide the numbers for the lesser known CGAP, CFSA or CCSA certification holders. The new CIA Challenge Exam will be aimed at those who currently hold CGAP, CFSA and CCSA certifications. The three-hour, 150-question CIA Challenge Exam will fill gaps between the CGAP, CFSA and CCSA certification exams and the CIA exam syllabus, focusing on the IIA's International Professional Practices Framework. Candidates can register to take the Challenge Exam from April 1, 2019 through Dec. 15, 2020. The exam will be administered from July 1, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2020. It will be available initially in English, and then offered later in Chinese , Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish in 2020.

The IIA said it’s committed to providing a clearly defined suite of global certifications that support internal auditors as they progress through their careers. To achieve this goal, the IIA reviewed its current set of eight certification and qualification programs, starting with certain specialty certifications, and that led to the repositioning.

For more information about the change and the CIA Challenge Exam, visit the IIA’s specialty certification transition page.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.