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Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

What does CIA stand for in healthcare compliance?

If you hear someone talking about the “CIA” in a healthcare setting, odds are they aren’t talking about the Central Intelligence Agency. They’re likely talking about Certified Internal Auditors. 


What is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)?

A certified internal auditor is an internal auditing professional. Because the Securities and Exchange Commission requires all publicly traded companies to have internal audits performed on a regular basis, there is a great need for certified internal auditors in a variety of fields. Certified internal auditors are wanted by healthcare organizations, insurance companies, accounting firms, engineering firms, the government, call centers, nonprofits, and many other types of organizations. As a result, there are a number of possible career paths for someone who becomes a certified internal auditor. A certified internal auditor can become any of the following:

    • Internal auditor

    • Audit manager

    • Compliance auditor

    • Staff internal auditor

    • Investigation auditor

    • Senior auditor

    • Information technology auditor

    • Chief audit executive


What does a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) do?

Becoming a certified internal auditor requires heavy responsibility. As such, there are a few requirements one must complete before one can become a certified internal auditor. To become a certified internal auditor, you must earn a bachelor’s degree, gain at least two years of experience in an internal auditing related field, obtain and present a character reference form, and pass all three parts (internal audit basics, internal audit practice, and internal audit knowledge elements) of the certified internal auditor exam. After all of that is completed, you will receive a specific certification offered only by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) which states that you are now a certified internal auditor. 

Becoming a certified internal auditor sets you apart, because earning the certified internal auditor certification shows your dedication to the field of auditing. The certified internal auditor certification is proof that you are skillful, intelligent, and experienced. Certified internal auditors have a number of duties. Such duties include:

    • Create internal control systems

    • Test internal control systems

    • Assess internal control systems

    • Reviewing financial data

    • Analyze financial data

    • Evaluate management procedures

    • Protecting assets of the organization

    • Implementing auditing regulations

    • Enforcing compliance


To sum up, certified internal auditors increase defenses and minimize risks by performing audits on financial data, protecting assets by creating systems that prevent fraud, loss, and theft, and ensuring compliance. Certified internal auditors are extremely valuable to the healthcare industry.

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