CIA Exam Changes 2019: What You Need to Know

by CIA Knowledge Base

The Institute of Internal Auditors (The IIA) has just announced CIA Exam Changes 2019. We’re here to break down the CIA Exam changes so as to help you prepare for the CIA exam.

Why is the CIA Exam Changing?

The goal of the CIA exam is to test candidates’ knowledge, skills, and abilities as they relate to current internal audit practices. Those practices evolve over time, so the exam must evolve to keep pace. At the beginning of 2017, The IIA conducted a global job-analysis study that concluded several aspects of the test will need to change in order to reflect the work more internal auditors are actually performing.

The purpose of the CIA exam changes is to ensure the value of the CIA certification for future internal auditors. The CIA exam changes are being announced well in advance of their effective date to ensure a smooth transition and to allow review providers adequate time to update their materials.

If you have already taken part of the CIA exam or plan to take one or more parts before the changes take effect, don’t worry! The current exam is more than able to test the skills you need to be a successful internal auditor today. Any parts you pass before the exam changes take effect still count toward certification, as long as all three parts are still completed within your 4-year eligibility window.

CIA Exam Changes – Revised CIA Exam Syllabus – 2019

When Will the CIA Exam Changes Occur?

In January 2019, the current English version of the exam will be replaced. IIA Global will then begin working with local affiliates around the world to support the transition for additional languages. We will keep you up-to-date as non-English CIA exam updates become available.

The current version of the exam will continue to be offered until a translation is complete. Once the CIA exam changes are offered in your language, the old version of the exam will no longer be available. There is no downtime scheduled, so if you have already begun making exam plans, there is no need to change them. Just make sure your study materials are preparing you for the version of the exam you plan to take.

CIA Exam Structure

The administration of the new CIA exam remains the same. CIA candidates must continue to meet the same eligibility requirements, the registration process is the same, and there are no changes to fees. The number of questions on and time allotted to each exam part also remains the same:

  • Part 1 – 125 questions, 2.5 hours (150 minutes)
  • Part 2 – 100 questions, 2 hours (120 minutes)
  • Part 3 – 100 questions, 2 hours (120 minutes)

A passing score is still a a scaled score of 600, and The IIA will be conducting beta testing and a standard-setting study to determine what constitutes a passing score, just as they did for the current version of the exam. The CIA exam changes are to content, not structure.

The Goals of the CIA Exam Changes

Per The IIA, each CIA exam syllabus has been revised to

  • Bring the exams up to date with the current global practice of internal auditing,
  • Create greater alignment between the CIA syllabi and The IIA’s International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing,
  • Minimize duplication and overlap among the three exam parts, and
  • Clarify the knowledge, skills, and abilities that exam candidates must possess in order to pass the exam.

Additionally, the new exam syllabi define two cognitive levels, more commonly referred to as difficulty levels, that candidates will be tested on.

  • Basic Level – memory and comprehension
  • Proficient Level – application, analysis, and evaluation

Each item on the syllabi is assigned one of these levels, so candidates will be better able to allocate their time while studying. Students studying with Apex Professional Training Institute will get updated class lectures and study material.

New CIA Exam Syllabi

The largest CIA exam changes are to Part 1 and Part 2 and their primary focus is to better align the syllabi with The IIA’s Standards. In Part 3, the goal of The IIA is to focus on the core knowledge and skills that internal auditors must possess to do their job. We have broken down the CIA exam changes for you.

Part 1 CIA Exam Changes

Part 1 now has 6 domains, up from 3. Whereas before the few domains each covered a broad area, the new arrangement offers more structure and there is a logical progression to specifics from general principles.

CIA Part One: Essentials of Internal Auditing
Current Version Revised Version
Ι. Mandatory Guidance Ι. Foundations of Internal Auditing
ΙΙ. Internal Control/Risk ΙΙ. Independence and Objectivity
ΙΙΙ. Conducting Internal Audit Engagements – Audit Tools and Techniques ΙΙΙ. Proficiency and Due Professional Care
ΙV. Quality Assurance and Improvement Programs
V. Governance, Risk Management, and Control

There is greater emphasis on foundational knowledge and skills, for example, the Mission of Internal Audit and Core Principles for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing is now included. Among other changes, there is added depth regarding assurance and consulting engagements and the appropriate disclosure of conformance vs. nonconformance with the Standards.

Part 2 CIA Exam Changes

Part 2 now has 4 domains, up from 3. Again in the revised version, there is an effort to parcel out specific topics from within the broader domains of the current version. There is also expanded coverage of the chief audit executive’s responsibilities regarding assessing and communicating risk.

CIA Part Two: Practice of Internal Auditing
Current Version Revised Version
Ι. Managing the Internal Audit Function Ι. Managing the Internal Audit Activity
ΙΙ. Managing Individual Engagements ΙΙ. Planning the Engagement
ΙΙΙ. Fraud Risks and Controls ΙΙΙ. Performing the Engagement
ΙV. Communicating Engagement Results and Monitoring Progress

Part 3 CIA Exam Changes

Part 3 now has 4 domains, down from 8. It has been refocused on core job skills, and an effort was made to move any duplicated subject matter into Part 1 and Part 2. Because information technology plays an ever-expanding role in the lives of auditors, the information security portion of the exam has been expanded to include additional topics such as cybersecurity risks and emerging technology practices. IT-related material now makes up nearly half of Part 3. ​

CIA Part Three: Business Knowledge for Internal Auditing
Current Version Revised Version
Ι. Governance/Business Ethics Ι. Business Acumen
ΙΙ. Risk Management ΙΙ. Information Security
ΙΙΙ. Organizational Structure/Business Processes and Risks ΙΙΙ. Information Technology
ΙV. Communication ΙV. Financial Management
V. Management/Leadership Principles
VΙ. IT/Business Continuity
VΙΙ. Financial Management
VΙΙΙ. Global Business Environment


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