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Professional Internal Auditor (PIA) Professional Training Program

The Professional Internal Auditor (PIA) - previously known as the General Internal Auditor (GIA) is the next step, after a candidate has obtained the IAT designation, in the career path and is a supervisory level designation. While not necessarily in a management position, the competent internal auditor (PIA) must be able to supervise and give instruction to juniors.


A PIA should be able to perform some senior and supervisory tasks, and conduct multiple audit duties. These include budgeting, planning, audit program preparation, scheduling, staff monitoring, completion of special projects with little supervision, and preparation of audit reports.

The PIA program comprises 4 training modules facilitated by the IIA SA and presented by experienced, well qualified presenters at regular intervals over the 12 month period of the program. These modules of 2-3 days duration are supplementary to the structured workplace training.

The structured workplace training is monitored and assessed in the workplace by evaluators. As the PIA program is competency based, it may be extended beyond the minimum period of 12 months, depending on the progress of the individual trainee. At the end of the program, the candidate would sit for the PIA exam.

The program is generic, but flexible enough to cater for sector specific needs. A learnership Agreement, prescribed by the relevant Sector Education and Training Authority, is signed by the 3 parties involved - the learner (trainee), the employer, and the training provider and is lodged with the relevant SETA.

The Professional Internal Auditor is registered under the jurisdiction of the Department of Higher Education and Training and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) at NQF Level 8.

Entrance Requirements


Education and Professional Experience

The candidate for the PIA program would have either progressed through the IAT program or, having obtained appropriate previous experience (measured against the IAT Training logbook specs), be assessed as being competent at the IAT level.


The first step in the process is to register as a member of the IIA SA. Membership of the IIA SA is a pre-requisite for any person wishing to take part in the Professional Training Programs. Members agree to abide by the code of ethics, the standards for the professional practice of internal auditing and any terms set by IIA SA for membership and accreditation. Click here to find out more about Membership Registration.

Professional Training Program Registration

The preferred and recommended route to obtain the IIA SA designations is through the successful completion of a Professional Training Program.

Benefits of following a Professional Training Program


The benefits of a professional training program to employers are significant. In addition to having improved skills in the workplace, there are various financial benefits that more than
compensate for the cost per individual learner. In the private sector this includes tax
incentives and recoupment of skills levies. More details on benefits can be found here.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)


Once the designation has been awarded, candidates will be required to maintain their knowledge and skills and stay abreast of improvements and current developments in internal audit standards, procedures, and techniques. Individuals who have achieved the designations must demonstrate ongoing professional commitment to the field by satisfying continuing professional development requirements (CPD).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process

In cases where an individual has relevant experience equivalent to what would have been obtained via the PTP program, the candidate may apply to be assessed through a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process.

Dept of Labour registration:
DoL Learnership number: 01 Q0100 2500 1207
Notional credits: 120
Qualification awarded upon successful completion: Professional Internal Auditor
NQF rating: NQF level 8
SAQA reference: 20359

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