Over the past few years, the scope of internal audit has broadened almost beyond recognition. While the core concerns of internal auditors have remained constant, international crises and scandals, increasing globalisation of trade and pressure from governments, regulators and other stakeholders on organisations to increase confidence that they are well governed have all played a part. However, an equally important element of the transformation has stemmed from the fact that internal auditors themselves have been willing and able to expand their roles into unfamiliar areas of business and emerging risks at a global level. Organisations have become more sophisticated about their risks, and internal auditors have been there to pick up these new concerns and apply their skills to them.
Change breeds change and the rapid evolution of the role of internal auditors, while often making the job more varied and giving it a higher level of recognition and status within organisations, also creates challenges in ensuring that skills development keeps pace. The IIA took a huge step forward when it gained Chartered status in 2010 and the public recognition this gave to its qualifications in the UK and Ireland. But many members now also want a qualification that will be instantly transferable overseas.
Being part of an international community of internal auditors is important for the global profile of the profession. So it also makes sense to have a single suite of global qualifications.
More internal auditors are moving into prominent senior roles within organisations keen to harness internal audit more strategically in the management of risk. This is creating demand for an advanced qualification targeted more at the leadership skills these roles require.
This is why the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors has agreed to adopt the qualifications of the Global IIA. The process will start in June this year. The changes will affect different types of member differently, but all PIIA holders will have the opportunity to accept the global CIA certification. Members currently studying for the IIA Diploma will have the choice of either completing this qualification or switching to the CIA certification. Those currently studying for the IIA Advanced Diploma will be also be able to continue their current studies or switch to the IIA’s new Qualification in Internal Audit Leadership, QIAL. In future, there will be no IIA Diploma or IIA Advanced Diploma registrations, so student members will study for the CIA certification, followed by QIAL. Members who achieve the three QIAL case study exams and complete an experience journal will be eligible for Chartered status in the UK and Ireland and able to use the designation CMIIA.
The new framework will also mean that all students taking the CIA will benefit from a more flexible exam system – they will be able to sit the exams at any time and will be able to choose from 100 exam centres throughout the UK and Ireland.
At the senior level, members who have already completed the IIA Advanced Diploma and are working at head of internal audit level will be able to claim the QIAL award. Those who hold the IIA Advanced Diploma but are not in such a senior position will need to do just one presentation and a panel interview to gain the QIAL qualification.
The new single suite of qualifications is a significant and exciting step forward for the profession and will benefit many practitioners, managers and leaders alike, particularly those who wish to develop a more international perspective or who already work within international teams. It will also mean that the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors will be able to maintain, influence and guide future developments in global internal audit.
In a nutshell: what this will mean for you
Members who have completed the IIA Advanced Diploma will be able to apply
to be awarded the CIA certification. They will also have the option of completing the new leadership level qualification, QIAL, without taking further exams – they need only do a single presentation and a panel interview to meet the full criteria. If they are working at head of internal audit level then they may instead be able to claim the QIAL award outright.
All members currently entitled to call themselves Chartered Internal Auditors will continue to be able to use this title. In future, Chartered status will be achieved by passing the three QIAL case study exams and completing an experience journal.
Members who have completed the IIA Diploma will be eligible to claim the CIA certification from October 2015. They can then use both PIIA and CIA designations.
Current student members
Current student members can choose whether to transition to the CIA or QIAL or to continue with their existing studies to achieve the IIA Diploma or IIA Advanced Diploma. The IIA will continue to offer a programme of tuition for the next three years and the exam timetable will continue to run as normal.
From June, when the CIA launches, new students will enrol on the CIA certification.
All students taking the CIA exams will benefit from being able to take the exams at a time that suits them and from a choice of over 100 exam centres in the UK and Ireland. The IIA will be offering tuition to support the CIA and QIAL in the autumn. More details about this can be found at www.iia.org.uk/newquals
Paul Kaczmar, president of the IIA
“I am very proud of the contribution the UK team has made in supporting the development of the new suite of qualifications and the hard work on both sides of the pond to facilitate this convergence.
“The benefits to the profession and its members I see as twofold: first, it gives a true global standard that we can use to ensure that the corporate world better understands the requirements and skills of our audit community and the new QIAL certificate provides further recognition of the leadership skills, knowledge and experience of those who have reached the top in our profession. Second, the solution we have arrived at recognises and incorporates the unique Chartered Internal Auditor status for our UK/Ireland membership. This is a true win-win for the internal audit profession.”
The IIA will be contacting all members and students by email to explain how the changes will affect them. More information is also available on the IIA website at www.iia.org.uk/newquals. Please email any queries you have to email@example.com