Certification Application Process

Certification Application Process
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Certification Application Process


It is highly recommended that you read the entire content below before selecting a certification or application.

Click on the appropriate link below to go directly to the section of interest regarding Membership & Certification or scroll down to review all options


**Click here to access IIC Application Forms page for all applications offered by the IIC**

Click here If you are already a member and need to change your membership information

As a Certified Internal Controls Auditor (CICA) or a Certified Controls Specialist (CCS) you will position yourself as a leader in the internal controls community as a specialist in one of the many areas of internal control used to prevent and detect fraud and other illegal acts, ensure compliance with any laws or regulations applicable to your area and improve the efficiency and effective of operations and performance. Becoming a CICA or CCS requires specific qualifications and is achieved via several methods including your education and experience, or by passing the Certification, or by completion of the Certification via Curriculum program.

The process leading to the award of the CICA or CCS can be accomplished in one of the methods described below.

If you are an experienced internal controls professional or educator you may apply for:

1. Certification via the Grandfathering Provision (Available NOW)

It is evident that many individuals already have extensive experience as internal controls professionals, gained through formal training, on-the-job training, or completion of assignments. TheIIC recognizes these individuals as competent internal controls professionals and will grant the CICA or CCS certification based on the above without examination. 

Members eligible for Certification via the Grandfathering Provision may apply directly to the Nominations Committee of the IIC for the grant of the CICA or CCS professional certification based on education, experience in the appropriate area(s) of internal controls, and other acceptable professional certifications held, which demonstrate their competency. A minimum of 70 points must be earned based on college/university degrees (maximum 40 points), other professional certifications held (maximum 10 points), and a minimum of three years experience (10 points per year) in a position where internal controls is a major part of their duties. Documentation to support the above may be required.

Click here for Grandfathering qualifications

Click here for application


         2. Certification via Educator Program (Available NOW)

Educators may be eligible for the Certification via Educator Program based on education, experience, development or delivery of courses in the appropriate areas of internal controls, or publication of high quality articles in areas of internal controls in peer-reviewed journals. Areas include Accounting, Computer Science/IT, Information Security, Physical Security, Management, Quality Controls, etc. Educators must be employed full-time as a faculty member at an accredited university as recognized by the Association of Schools & Universities (for U.S. schools) or an acceptable accrediting agency (for non-U.S. schools). Educators received a 50% discount on application fees and annual renewal fees, as well as additional discounts on training and conferences. Proof of full-time employment may be requested.

Educators eligible for Certification via Educator Program may apply directly to the Nominations Committee for the grant of the CICA or CCS professional certification based on education, experience developing or delivery of courses in the appropriate areas of internal controls, or publication of high quality articles in areas of internal controls in peer-reviewed journals.

Click here for Educator qualifications

Click here for application       

If you do not  meet the requirements above you may apply for certification by completing one of the processes described below to demonstrate your experience and expertise in internal controls.

  3. Attainment of a passing grade in the Certification Exam (Coming Soon)
  4. Completion of the Certification via Curriculum Program (Coming Soon)   

See links below for description of the Certification Exam and Certification via Curriculum programs.

Note that both programs start with joining the IIC as an


1. Join the IIC as an Associate Member

Associate Membership is a prerequisite to enroll in either the Certification Exam or Certification via Curriculum programs to earn the CICA or CCS certification. Once enrolled in either program, you must annually renew your Associate membership until you attain a passing grade in the exam or complete the Curriculum Program.

Apply to become an Associate member here (link to Associate Member Application)

2. Enroll in Certification option of choice

Once your Associate Membership is approved you can follow one of the processes described below, depending on the certification option you plan to pursue.  Note that you MUST indicate the program you will follow on your Associate Membership Application.


Click on selection below to be directed to instructions/process for your choice.

1. Prepare for the Certification Exam via one of the methods described below


2. Enroll in the Certification via Curriculum Program




The exam is a rigorous process and requires extensive preparation before attempting the exam. The candidate must prepare for the exam as he/she would for any examination. It has been shown by past experience that taking the exam without adequate preparation via study and reviewing the literature in the areas tested will result in unfavorable results.

The Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) that includes the areas covered by the examination will be released at least three months before the first exam is administered, which is planned for late-2016. It is critical that the candidate be familiar with all elements of the CBOK. The IIC will prepare a Study Guide and other resources to assist the candidate in preparing for the exam (available late 2016).  The IIC will also develop a Certification Examination Prep Course as a study aid (available late 2016).

In addition, the IIC Professional Development and Training Division will develop and deliver a Certification Examination Review Course in early 2017. This 5-day, instructor-led course provides the essentials needed to pass the Certification Exam. This course is designed to be taken in combination with the Certification Examination Prep Course and will provide the candidate with an in-depth understanding of the CBOK tested in the exam as well as an opportunity to take a sample exam for a better understanding of the exam process.

Candidates may also attempt to study on their own. The Certification Exam questions are derived from material contained in the Certification Exam Study Guide.  Note that the Certification Exam Study Guide will be available at the IIC Bookstore in early 2017. For more information contact the Office of the Chairman at chairman@theiic.org.



Once you feel that you are ready to take the exam you will need to submit the Certification Exam Application with proof of education and professional recommendations as described below.

NOTE: A complete Certification Exam Application with documentation is required to take the exam.

It is recommend that you gather your documentation, including proof of education and professional recommendations early in the process and send them with your application approximately 60 days before you are ready to take the Certification Exam.

Supporting documentation includes: 

  • Details of your work experience, including your responsibilities and percentage of time spent in each area.
  • Documentation of education claimed on your exam application. Accepted documentation includes official transcripts, photocopies of degree certificates or diplomas (must be provided in English or translated to English). Advisory transcripts are not accepted.
  • A recent photograph. Low file quality or blurry images are not accepted.
  • Three Professional References completed by individuals who have worked with you professionally or teachers who can comment on your character, integrity and professional skills.      


The cost to take the Certification Exam is $350. If you have purchased the Certification Exam Prep Course or attended the Certification Exam Review Course, you will receive a $100 credit on the cost of the Exam fee, reducing the Exam fee to $250. 

3.     Attain a Passing Grade for the Certification Exam

You will be notified either by mail or email of the results of your exam. Note that results are graded as Pass or Fail. No numerical grade is provided.

4.     Gain final approval from the Nomination Committee in writing by mail or email

NOTE: You will officially be awarded the CICA or CCS professional certification designation once you attain a passing grade in the exam and your qualifications and documentation are approved by the Nominations Committee. Those who have attained the CICA or CCS designation will be granted Full Membership and be invoiced at the Full Certified Member rate upon annual membership renewal of their certification. Note in compliance with the IIC Code of Professional Standards (Section II-Membership), members must maintain their membership in the IIC via their annual renewal of their certification.

CERTIFICATION VIA CURRICULUM PROGRAM--(program start date TBA) Candidates may achieve the CICA or CCS certification by completing the Certification via Curriculum Program. The Program consists of a candidate completing a curriculum of 8 to 10 courses consisting of required courses and electives.

At the completion of each course, the candidate will be required to take a one hour examination, demonstrating their comprehension and understanding of the materials for the course. Candidates who fail the exam may retake the exam online after 30 days. Courses required of each candidate may be customized by the Nominations Committee based on the background of the candidate. For example, non-financial internal controls auditors typically will replace topics in financial areas with other areas more appropriate to the areas audited by the candidate. Note that courses can be taken in any order; however the Intro to Internal Controls should be taken first, followed by the  Tools & Techniques for Internal Controls and How to Design & Use ICQs.

Once the candidate has successfully completed all of the courses they will be formally granted full membership in the IIC and granted the CICA or CCS professional designation depending on their experience or present position.

Tentative Listing of Courses *Note: Courses required for Certification via the Curriculum program will be listed as they become available and will be posted on the “Certification via Curriculum” program page. Courses can be taken in any order. Candidates with little experience should start with the Intro to Internal Controls course.

*Note: courses will be phased-in starting in early 2017