Steps to Certification

Obtaining the CIA is a journey you can take at your own pace, whether you complete your journey in one year or four years. Start your journey today by following the simple steps and instructions below.

It is important to read the information in this overview and the steps to certification below before proceeding with the CIA application process.

After reviewing the 6 steps to CIA certification, complete the information in the box on the right side of the page to receive these important program documents:The Certification Candidate Handbook and Character Reference Form

The Certification Candidate Handbook may be used as a helpful reference for earning and maintaining your certification.

You will need the Character Reference Form and a copy of your current government issued photo ID to enter the CIA program.

Once you have been approved into the program, you will have four years to successfully complete all three CIA exam parts. You are not required to complete the exam parts in order.

The IIA’s Certification Candidate Management System (CCMS) is a user-friendly system to help you apply for, register, and maintain your certification and related information, while keeping you connected to and informed about The IIA’s certification programs.

Submit your information in the box on the right side of this page to access the link to CCMS. Once you are on the CCMS landing page, follow the instructions to create your profile or to retrieve your CCMS login information or password. After you have completed all required information, you will be able to APPLY into the CIA program.

After you successfully complete your profile in CCMS, navigate to the “Complete a Form” section to begin the CIA application process. Scroll down to the CIA program and click on the form. Complete the required information on the form.

CIA applicants have 90 days from submission of application to provide all required documents for review and approval. If you do not submit the required documentation within 90 days, your application will expire and you will forfeit your application fee.

Prepare and scan your completed Character Reference Form, and acceptable form of valid government issued photo identification (current official driver’s license, passport or national identity card with indicated current status; expired documents will not be accepted). All documents must be scanned and uploaded through the Certification Document Upload Portal in a manner that ensures the photo is clearly legible. Submit the document type accordingly.

You can download the Character Reference Form and The Certification Candidate Handbook after entering your information in the box on the right side of this page. You will also receive a link to the Upload Portal.

You will not be able to register for the exam until your documents and application are approved.

You will receive notification from The IIA which includes complete instructions and a link to CCMS to complete your CIA exam part registration. You will receive an “Authorization to Test” notification via email advising you to contact Pearson VUE to schedule your exam. You will be asked to wait 48 hours from receipt of notification before you contact Pearson VUE.

The CIA exam is available through computer-based testing, allowing you to test year-round at hundreds of locations worldwide. CIA candidates are able to sit for exams at any IIA-authorized Pearson VUE testing center worldwide, regardless of whether the testing center is located in your hometown or country. You can access the Pearson VUE website to locate the testing center nearest you and follow the instructions to schedule your exam. All activities related to scheduling or rescheduling an exam are managed directly with Pearson VUE.

Your application and registration MUST be approved prior to scheduling your exam part.

If you have a physical or medical condition that requires modification to the test administration conditions, please refer to The Certification Candidate Handbook for information on how to receive testing accommodations.

You will receive a “Confirmation to Test” email notification from Pearson VUE with complete instructions to sit for your exam. Be sure to follow the instructions and:

  • Arrive at the test center early (at least 30 minutes)
  • Bring your Pearson VUE exam appointment confirmation letter with you
  • At check in, present your acceptable personal identification (this must exactly match your name as it was provided during the exam registration process, be current, and be an original document)



Please provide the following information to receive The Certification Candidate Handbook and Character Reference Form.
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