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The QIAL certification demonstrates your internal audit, ethical and organizational skills 

It is a premier designation for executives in internal auditing. The QIAL proves to stakeholders your ability to manage quality internal audit activities and provides assurance to the board and senior management.

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Total Certified QIAL internal auditors by region:


Asia Pacific


Central/South America


Middle East​

No Country

North America​

Grand Total: 578
No country refers to individuals who did not specify a country of residence on their profile.
Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates for the QIAL certification must meet the eligibility requirements for work experience, character reference and personal identification. Before application approval, all documentation (proof of education, experience verification, character reference, experience and identification) must be received and approved by the IIA's Global Certifications staff.

Exam Syllabus

The QIAL assessment is made up of 5 sections, namely:

1. Case study 1*: Internal Audit Leadership (3 hours and 45 minutes)

2. Case study 2*: Organizational Leadership (3 hours and 45 minutes)

3. Case study 3*: Ethical Leadership (2 hours and 45 minutes)

4. QIAL presentation: Innovation and Change Leadership (20-minute presentation to a panel followed by 10 minutes Q&A)

5. Panel Interview (up to 90 minutes)

*Candidates eligible for Program Pathway 2 can submit a Portfolio of Professional Experience (PPE) to substitute for one or more case studies.

Program Pathway 1 candidates are required to pass all three case studies before registering for the presentation and panel interview. Program Pathway 2 candidates are required to satisfy the requirements for all three units by completing and having an approved Portfolio of Professional Experience and/or by passing case studies before registering for the presentation and panel interview.


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Qualification FAQ

QIAL is The IIA’s new program (launched July 2014) focusing on leadership capabilities, as applied specifically to audit executives (AEs) or audit company leaders in the key areas of:
Leading the audit function.
Influencing strategy and organizational performance.
Providing opinion and insight.
Advocating innovation and change.
Championing ethics and social responsibility.
​Depending on the pathway a candidate takes in pursuit of the qualification, some combination of the following will take place:
Three case studies – Case studies are completed in a Pearson Vue test center on a computer. Candidates will review individual case studies and prepare detailed reports worthy of a senior audience; OR
Portfolio of Professional Experience – This alternative is limited to candidates who meet the criteria for “experienced AEs” and supersedes the three case studies.
Presentation – All candidates will prepare to present to a panel of assessors on a topic relating to innovation in internal audit.
Interview – All candidates will sit for a 90-minute competency-based interview with a panel of assessors.
The three case studies will be delivered via Pearson Vue test centers. The presentation and panel interviews will be conducted face to face.
The program content spans knowledge, understanding, and behavior. The four sections are:
Internal audit leadership – taking responsibility for the staff, resources, strategy, planning, and quality assurance of the audit function.
Organizational leadership – providing organization-wide insights on governance, risk, and control, and influencing corporate thinking.
Ethical leadership – advocating and exemplifying professional conduct, responsible stewardship of resources, and socially aware strategic management.
Innovation and change leadership – provoking change and improvement across an organization while adopting leading practices in internal audit.
A global taskforce derived the focus and content from a number of key sources, including the Global Competency Framework for Internal Audit, market research, CBOK, the Advanced Diploma offered by IIA–UK and Ireland and job analysis studies.
The content and learning objectives are directly linked to the Competency Framework at the AE level.
The target audience comprises:
Aspiring leaders – those aspiring to senior and leadership positions in internal auditing, including the role of AE.
New leaders – those recently appointed to an AE position, with sufficient general management experience.
Experienced leaders – those with sufficient general management experience and at least three years’ experience as an AE.
Experienced Instructors – Those with sufficient experience in training senior practitioners of internal auditing or postgraduate research and lecturing in internal auditing and related subjects.
​Aspiring leaders – a minimum of five years’ internal auditing experience and an active CIA in good standing.
New leaders – a minimum of 15 years’ general management experience, or 10 with a CIA, and current engagement as an AE.
Experienced leaders – a minimum of 15 years’ general management experience, or 10 with a CIA, including at least three out of the last five as an AE.
​Yes. For your application to be approved, you must satisfy one of the three sets of eligibility criteria given above.
Candidates have the option of completing three case studies, or submitting a Portfolio of Professional Experience, or a combination of both paths, based on eligibility requirements. Once a candidate has completed and passed their case studies or submitted their PPE, candidates can schedule the presentation and panel interview.
​If you are an experienced AE with a minimum of 15 years’ management experience (including three out of the last five as an AE), or 10 with a CIA, you will be eligible for the Experienced Leader route. Candidates who enter the program at this level will be allowed to submit a Portfolio of Professional Experience rather than sit for the three case study units. The Portfolio of Professional Experience may be submitted electronically and would comprise work-generated evidence (such as reports and other documents) to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. Candidates may choose to submit three Portfolio examples or a combination of portfolio and case studies. For example: a candidate may satisfy the requirements for units 1 and 3 and complete the case study for unit 2.
​All candidates are expected either to hold a Bachelor’s degree or to satisfy an education waiver through appropriate experience. The IIA will not seek separate evidence of a bachelor’s degree or education waiver at the point of application to the QIAL as it will be assumed that these requirements have automatically been met by satisfying the other eligibility requirements (i.e., either by holding an active CIA in good standing or through the experience requirements).
A CIA is not required except for the aspiring leader. However, holding a CIA reduces the experience requirement for all other entry routes.
Candidates may prepare for assessment by whatever means they see fit. The IIA will provide suggested reading and study resources and support the development of related training programs around the world. A more detailed list of possible preparation activities is available.
Please refer to the Continuing Professional Education Policy: Requirements for Certification and Qualification Programs.
​The assessment process itself is different from how the CIA and The IIA’s other certifications are assessed in that certification programs are exam based on multiple choice exams questions. The QIAL assesses a range of competencies which encompass technical content as well as interpersonal skills and other behavioral characteristics.
​The CIA remains the premier certification for practitioners in the internal auditing profession. The QIAL program is for those who intend to progress to the Audit Executive (AE) (or equivalent) level.
​Applications are made and processed through CCMS, The IIA’s candidate management system. This can be accessed through www.theiia.org/QIAL. Visit the Complete a Form section.
​The IIA will work with institutes and other providers to ensure that a range of paper-based and digital materials are available to meet local needs.
​The Portfolio of Professional Experience is an electronic submission of work-generated evidence (such as reports and other documents) that may be used to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in place of sitting the case studies for units 1, 2, and 3. This option is available to those who satisfy the requirements for experienced AEs.
​The program will be offered in English. The IIA has no immediate plans to offer it in other languages unless demand in a specific language materializes.
​Up-to-date information is available on our website at www.theiia.org/QIAL. Inquiries may be forwarded to QIAL@theiia.org.
​QIAL is a new IIA leadership qualification program. The “Qualification” assessment process includes new qualitative measures via peer review which is a different approach than other quantitative “Certification” testing measures. Delivery methods include case studies or submission of portfolios of professional experience, a presentation, and an interview.