How to Become a CCSA in Internal Audit?

How to Become a CCSA in Internal Audit?

CCSA, which stands for Certification in Control Self-Assessment, is one of the specialty certifications offered by the IIA.

Those who express their interest in getting this certification after passing their CIA exams.

Fulfill the CCSA Exam Requirements

The exam requirements are exactly the same as that of the CIA exam.

Unlike the CRMA, you can pursue the CCSA independent on your decision of the CIA exam. In other words, you can be a CCSA and not a CIA.

For the experience requirements, you don’t need to get this done before or during the exam, but keep in mind that this is mandatory for you to get the CCSA certificate.

Specifically, you need 1 year of control-related business experience. Examples include CSA, auditing, quality assurance, risk management, and environmental auditing.

 Take a Look at the Syllabus

Another way to gauge the CCSA exam difficulty and whether you like the content enough is to go through the syllabus.

The exam comprises 6 domains:


Schedule Your Exam

Similar to all other IIA certification, the CCSA exam is computerized and administered at the Pearson VUE centers around the world. You can take the exam on any day that the site opens — there is no specific testing windows or black-out periods.

A candidate must pass this exam within 4 years or he/she will have to repay for the application fee to try again.

Prepare for Your Exam

The IIA, through its Research Foundation, publishes an Exam Guide on the CCSA exam. The book has 330 pages and is written by experienced practitioners and academics.This book is sold at the IIA bookstore but you may find discounted copies on Amazon. Please find the link below for your reference.

In addition, the IIA lists out the following book as supplement to your CCSA preparation:

  • Control Self-Assessment: A Practical Guide
  • Internal Control — Integrated Framework

Take the Exam (and Pass!)

This is a two-hour exam with 115 questions, that is, 1 minute for each question on average. There is only one part in this specialty exam.

The format is 100% multiple choice and computerized, so you can get the results immediately after taking the exam. Similar to the other IIA certifications, you get a “pass” or a “fail”, with additional info (actual score) if on fails the exam. The reasoning is that candidates can estimate how far off they are from the passing grade. The passing score is 600*.

*The passing score is 600. The highest score is 750. Each question should be weighted equally, but some questions are not graded at all. These non-graded questions are called pre-test questions. They do not count for or against your score, and you won’t be able to necessarily identify them on your exam. These types of questions are added to the exam to test how candidates respond to a question before they put it in a full, live-exam rotation.

Maintain Your Certification

To keep your certificate valid, make sure you self-report the CPE hours in the CCMS (the IIA online system). 20 CPE hours are required for specialty exams.