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The IIA's Internal Audit Competency Framework

What It Is

The IIA’s Internal Audit Competency Framework© provides a clear and concise professional development plan for internal auditors at every level of their career. The framework defines four knowledge areas focused on various Standards, situationally specific functions, and key proficiencies, with three distinct competency levels that progress from general awareness to applied knowledge, and finally, expert practitioner.

The comprehensive and concurrent strategy defines and delivers the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate a successful career in internal auditing focused on best practices and practical applications.

The framework also serves as an effective onboarding tool or a multi-year training plan that helps chief audit executives and leaders continuously identify and fill skill gaps within the audit function.

Knowledge Areas


  • Mission of internal auditing
  • Internal audit charter
  • Organizational independence
  • Individual objectivity
  • Ethical behavior
  • Due professional care
  • Professional development


  • Organizational governance
  • Fraud
  • Risk management
  • Internal control
  • Engagement planning
  • Engagement fieldwork
  • Engagement outcomes


  • Organizational strategic planning and management
  • Common business processes
  • Social responsibility and sustainability
  • Information technology
  • Accounting and finance

Leadership & Communication

  • Internal audit strategic planning and managemnet
  • Audit planning and coordinating assurance efforts
  • Quality Assurance and Improvement Program