Is the QIAL valuable?

Qualification in Internal Audit Leadership (QIAL)

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) recently announced the Qualification in Internal Audit Leadership (QIAL).  Per Richard Chambers, president and CEO of the IIA, “QIAL complements existing IIA certifications but is unique.  The skills master are essential for aspiring leaders and CAE’s, even if they’ve been in the field for decades.”  The qualification is intended to help aspiring leaders demonstrate skills and to add credibility with stakeholders and peers.

The QIAL requires aspiring leaders and new leaders to prepare three case studies (experienced leaders can provide documentation to have the case studies waived).  Candidates give a 20 minute presentation and go through a 90 minute panel interview.

Sound good so far?

What is the price?  For IIA members, the full program costs $4,000 (it is $5,000 for non-members).   That is quite an investment!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of personal development.  That is why I am a mentor, coach and speaker.  If you have a passion for internal audit, you should be investing (time and money) into developing your skills and knowledge.  But is this qualification going to have value in the market?

There are a few perspectives I want to explore:


Oddly enough, existing CAE’s aren’t required to be Certified Internal Auditors (that blows my mind).  Why get this qualification if you’re not going to bother with the CIA certification?   Aspiring leaders are required to be certified to be eligible for the QIAL.

This being new, most people won’t know what this qualification means.  That may change over time.   Aspiring leaders might get a heads up with stakeholders if it is broadly adopted and becomes recognized.   But I see little value with stakeholders and peers from this qualification for existing CAE’s (especially if they aren’t certified).

Hiring Managers

As a hiring manager, I look for certain certifications that matter to me.  Number one for a general internal auditor is the Certified Public Accountant (CPA).  No other certification matters more.  Next, I’m looking for the CIA.  Beyond that, I like to see the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).   If there are other acronyms I don’t recognize, I will look them up.  This one probably won’t sway me to hire them if they don’t have one or more of the above.


I noted earlier that I didn’t see value for the existing CAE.  I don’t think this will add any value to a professional.  For an aspiring leader, there may be some developmental value in preparing the case studies and the presentation and interview.  But let’s face it, at $4,000 – $5,000, there are much more cost effective ways to develop the skills you may learn doing this program.

I admit I haven’t experienced or reviewed the content directly, so maybe I’m missing something.  I encourage you to take a look at the QIAL for yourself (  Let’s discuss this further in the comments below.





  1. lyz said:

    My first comment is for the CAE with extensive experience in internal audit, but doesn’t have the CIA designation, at least the QIAL will recognize that extensive experience (15 years) could be recognized and valued as when a future leader with only designations but no experience will have priority or recognition

    I am very proud to finally see this as a new designation. The preparation it takes to get there, is as much valuable as the CIA which is totally based on study only which is not giving you any added value on the field.

    February 4, 2015
    • allan said:

      lyz, Thank you for your thoughts on this. When a company is looking to hire an experienced auditor, they look at their resume/cv and see how much and what type of experience the individual has. Experience is also evaluated during the interviews. I’m not certain how much this designation will matter when the premise of having it is the same experience denoted on the resume/cv. Also, I believe obtaining the CIA, which should be quite easy for an experienced, trained internal auditor should be quite easy and will have an additive effect on their resume/cv. I may be wrong on this, but I’m not sure the QIAL designation will be widely accepted in absence of the CIA or CPA.

      February 4, 2015

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