Internal Controls

"Promoting an effective internal controls environment"

 How to Become a CICA or CCS

It is advisable to 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

  • Certification via Examination (will begin in the summer of 2025)

  • Certification via Curriculum Program (will begin in the summer of 2025)

    • Note: Associate membership is required to register for Exam or Curriculum program 

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

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

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 in late 2024 )

  4. Completion of the Certification via Curriculum Program ( Coming in late 2024 )   

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

*Note that both programs start with joining TheIIC as an Associate Member


1. Join TheIIC as an Associate Member (Click to complete application)

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.

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 (coming in the summer of 2025)


2. Enroll in the Certification via Curriculum Program (coming in the summer of 2025)


 CERTIFICATION VIA EXAMINATION PROGRAM--(coming in the summer of 2025)


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 2025. It is critical that the candidate be familiar with all elements of the CBOK. TheIIC will prepare a Study Guide and other resources to assist the candidate in preparing for the exam (available 2021).  TheIIC will also develop a Certification Examination Prep Course as a study aid (available 2025).

In addition, TheIIC Professional Development and Training Division will develop and deliver a Certification Examination Review Course in 2025. 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 TheIIC Bookstore in late 2025. For more information contact the Office of the Chairman at


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 into 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 TheIIC Code of Professional Standards (Section II-Membership), members must maintain their membership in TheIIC via their annual renewal of their certification.

CERTIFICATION VIA CURRICULUM PROGRAM--(coming in the summer of 2025)
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 TheIIC and granted the CICA or CCS professional designation depending on their experience or present position.

TENTATIVE LIST OF COURSES (courses will be offered in the summer of 2025)

*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. Courses will be phased-in starting in 2024.

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