Certified Insolvency & Restructuring Advisor (CIRA) Program

Rendering financial advisory services in the business turnaround, restructuring and bankruptcy practice areas requires both special knowledge and extensive relevant experience. In 1992, the AIRA established the Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor program and certification to recognize those individuals who possess a high degree of knowledge and proficiency across a spectrum of functions related to serving clients in situations involving distressed and/or insolvent entities. Such expertise includes accounting, operations, strategic, taxation and finance issues related to business bankruptcy and insolvency.

Prerequisites for Program Enrollment

  1. Applicants must be an AIRA member in good standing. Applicants may apply for AIRA membership in conjunction with the CIRA Program Application. If your membership has lapsed, please complete the Membership Renewal form to reactivate your membership before registering for a CIRA Course.

  2. Possess a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

  3. Completed submission of the CIRA program application and course registration please see the CIRA Program Application.

Requirements for Certification

  1. Successful completion of all 3 course parts and examinations
    All 3 parts of the course of study and uniform examination must be successfully completed within a 3-year period of the date of the first course taken. Course and Examination Content »

    Note: Course parts do not need to be taken in sequence.

  2. Professional and Ethical Conduct—uphold the Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct as well as all requirements and standards stated in the Bylaws and other determinations by the Certification Committee and Board of Directors.

  3. Five years of Accounting/Financial Experience—may be completed after entering the program. Information about professional experience provided on the initial CIRA Registration & Application Form will be counted toward this requirement; additional experience, if needed, to fulfill this requirement after entering the program must be reported to the CIRA Director. Relevant experience includes public accounting, crisis management, financial or operational consulting, investment banking, claims management, credit management, loan workout or applicable government experience (e.g., financial analyst with Office of U.S. Trustee, Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, FBI, SBA).

  4. 4,000 hours of Specialized Experience—candidates must complete 4,000 hours of specialized, diverse and relevant distressed business experience* (see detail below) within an 8 -year period ending no earlier than, or starting no later than, the date of passing all 3 exams. *At least 2 case studies are required. Whether or not a candidate’s experience satisfies the specialized experience requirement is subject to the Certification Committee’s judgment. Before or at any time during the program, candidates may request the Committee to evaluate the extent to which the experience requirement is satisfied. See the Specialized Experience Form (PDF).

    *Specialized business turnaround, restructuring and insolvency experience:  Includes financial advisor for a trustee, debtor, creditor or equity holder committee, or specific creditors or equity holders; business turnaround specialist, including business receivers and reorganization management or consultants; bankruptcy trustee; bankruptcy examiner or accountant for examiner; lender special assets or loan restructuring personnel; educator and/or author of published works in area of business turnaround, restructuring and insolvency; expert witness regarding bankruptcy issues.

  5. Three Confidential Character and Experience References—attesting to candidate’s character, professional experience, and specialized and/or diverse expertise with respect to distressed businesses, restructuring and/or insolvency matters. Only one letter of reference may be from the current employer and that letter must be from a current supervisor. See Confidential Character and Experience Reference FormPDF format , DOC format

Maintaining CIRA Certification:

Maintaining your CIRA status and use of the CIRA designation is attained by:

Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Requirements:

CIRAs shall report compliance with 60 CPE credits for each 3 year period beginning January 1 of the year after the certification date.

60 hour CPE Categories:

  • 20-Hours of "Directly-Related" CPE Credits from AIRA

    A minimum of 20 CPE credits for each three-year reporting period from AIRA programs specifically relating to bankruptcy and reorganization practice. All AIRA conferences, courses, webinars, self-study and CDBV courses satisfy this requirement. Directly-Related CPE Credit from Other Providers—If unable to attend AIRA's conferences or courses, CPE credit from other providers, if directly related to business turnaround, restructuring and bankruptcy.

  • Up to 40 "General" CPE Credits

    The remaining balance of up to 40 credits may be fulfilled by courses of a general nature providing useful knowledge to business turnaround, restructuring and bankruptcy practice.

Additional Provisions Regarding CPE for CIRAs:

CPE Compliance Reporting:

CPE compliance is self-reporting. At the conclusion of each triennial reporting period AIRA will request certification that the CIRA is in compliance with CPE requirements. AIRA will periodically select compliance certifications for confirmation. If selected, AIRA requires the CIRA to submit evidence of attendance for the programs constituting their continuing education credits. Failure to respond to the request for certification or to the request for confirmation support will result in deactivation of CIRA status. To submit CPE credits for reporting purposes email Michele Michael, AIRA's Membership Services Director at .

Inactive Status:

If you fail to meet the CIRA Requirements you will be notified your certification has become inactive. Inactive Status means the practitioner will not in any manner be permitted to represent them selves as a CIRA. Once Suspended you must discontinue using your CIRA designation and your name will no longer be included in the AIRA online CIRA directory. You will be granted a grace period of six months to obtain the required credits, confirm compliance, and pay any outstanding dues. Upon receipt of compliance certification and any required dues payments the individual’s status as a CIRA shall be reinstated. A confirmation letter of reactivated status will be sent, whereby you may resume using your CIRA designation.

Failure to correct CPE delinquency or pay outstanding dues within the six (6) month grace period will result in the deactivation of the certification subject to reinstatement only as set forth in the following section.

If there is “reasonable cause” for the inability of a CIRA to obtain the required CPE credits and keep current on dues, the CIRA may provide a written explanation for consideration. "Reasonable Cause" may include circumstances such as serious and prolonged illness, active military service, family medical leave, maternity leave, etc.

Reinstatement:

A CIRA whose certification has become “inactive” may avoid re-applying as a candidate, and re-taking all three examinations, only if application for reinstatement is made within five (5) years from the date of deactivation. Applicants who apply to reinstate within one (1) year of deactivation must pay a reinstatement fee of $100 and the standard annual fee ($425). Reinstatement applications shall be accompanied by a statement describing the applicant’s professional and continuing education experience subsequent to the time the certificate was deactivated. A reinstatement fee of $725 and the standard annual fee must accompany the reinstatement application for any applicants who apply for reinstatement beyond one (1) year. To reinstate a CIRA certification beyond one year contact the AIRA office (541) 858-1665 or by email .

The deficit of credit hours due at the time of deactivation must be fulfilled in the year of reinstatement. These credits cannot be applied to the new three-year reporting period.

If more than five (5) years following the deactivation of a CIRA designation have lapsed, the former CIRA must re-apply as a new candidate and will be subject to the same requirements for attaining the initial CIRA certification. This includes passing all three examinations as well as completing new application materials. AIRA will consider reinstatement through specialized examination on a case-by-case basis.

CPE Tracking:

The attached file provides a helpful report format for tracking CPE compliance and may be submitted with back-up certificates of attendance in the event of selection for certification confirmation.

AIRA CPE Compliance Tracker.xls

CIRA Online
CIRA courses are also presented in a live, web–based group format consisting of four online class meetings from 5:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern Time, followed by examinations administered at approved sites near candidate locations. Taught by AIRA Executive Director, Jim Lukenda, CIRA, the CIRA Online program follows the same curriculum and standards as the traditional program. See Course Schedule for current offerings.

Question Resolution
For assistance regarding refunds, program cancellations, or other program related matters, please contact our offices at (541) 858-1665 or by email .

Refunds and Cancellation Policy

A full refund or credit will be made for parts that are cancelled 10 business days before the part begins. For parts cancelled with less than 10 business days notice a $100 service charge per part will apply. For parts cancelled with 3 or less business days notice, a $150 service charge per part will apply.

CPE Credit for CIRA Courses

Twenty CPE credits are available for each part of the course of study, Parts 1, 2 and 3.

Retaking an Examination

If an applicant fails to pass an examination, it may be retaken with another section of the course and examination for $200, or separately, without the course, for $100. The fee for any rescheduled exams is $100.

Additional Information

For detailed standards and requirements as determined by the AIRA Board of Directors, see AIRA Bylaws, Article VII

Question Resolution

For assistance regarding refunds, program cancellations, or other program related matters, please contact our offices at (541) 858-1665 or by email aira@aira.org.

National Registry of CPE Sponsors

"Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors" is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org.