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CIA registration with SAQA

Notice: CIA registration with SAQA, change in underpinning qualification NQF level and membership requirement

The global certification, Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), had previously been registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as both an occupational qualification and a designation. The CIA qualification was registered directly with SAQA at level 8 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The CIA was therefore promoted in the South African context at NQF level 8.

In recent times the requirements in terms of occupational qualifications have however changed. All occupational qualifications are now required to be registered through the newly established Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO). In addition, occupational qualifications must follow a set format and, once registered, become national qualifications. The CIA had been affected by these changes as it no longer meets the requirements set out for occupational qualifications. As the CIA belongs to the IIA Global, the IIA SA cannot mould it into the local requirements nor can the IIA Global give up ownership, which would be the case if it were to become a national qualification. As a result, the CIA level 8 qualification is currently in its teach-out period and those entering the program no longer earn a level 8 qualification.

This has left the Institute with only the option of having the CIA recognised as a designation by SAQA. The IIA SA has had to go through a process of re-registering the CIA as a designation. In the process the Institute also had to meet the IIA Global's prerequisite that the CIA entry requirements be aligned to its stipulated conditions. The CIA designation has as a result been re-registered at level 7, i.e. it is now only underpinned by a level 7 academic qualification as opposed to the previous level 8 occupational qualification (CIA qualification) in addition to the level 7 academic qualification.

As part of the SAQA requirements for registered designations, all CIAs in South Africa (irrespective of nationality and where the CIA was obtained) must remain members of the IIA SA in order for their designation to remain active. Therefore, there are now three requirements that CIAs practicing in South Africa must meet in order to retain their designation. These are:
a) annual CPD reporting
b) payment of the annual recertification fee to the IIA Global and
c) remaining a paid-up member of the IIA SA

Should any of these requirements not be met, the individual's status will be marked as inactive. This essentially means that the individual may not use the designation on their CV, business card or in any other context while marked as inactive. Should the individual become inactive and then wishes to reactive their CIA status, the individual would have to pay a re-activation fee to the IIA Global as well as reinstate membership of the IIA SA (in the event that they had allowed their membership to lapse).

It is also important to note that the IIA SA must, in terms of the SAQA requirements, load all active CIAs onto the SAQA National Learner Record Database (NLRD). The public is able to verify with us whether the individual is recognised as holding the CIA designation in South Africa. In the event of an individual's status becoming inactive, the IIA SA will remove the individual from the NLRD and will only reload them once they have met the IIA Global's re-activation requirements as well as the IIA SA's reinstatement of membership requirements.

The above conditions are effective immediately. Any queries related to the level of the CIA can be directed to Jim Eagen at at the IIA Global. Any queries related to membership reinstatement with the IIA SA may be directed to Any queries related to SAQA and its requirements may be directed to Nosheena Mansoor at

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