The Fiduciary & Investment Risk Management Association


The Certified Trust Auditor is a professional designation signifying competence and expertise in the trust auditing industry. This prestigious designation is currently held by over 400 people nationwide. It is accepted as evidence of trust audit proficiency by the regulatory examiners, general auditors, audit committees, and others interested in the profession. Individuals who receive this designation are guided by a Code of Ethics and Statement of Responsibilities.

Becoming a CTA
Benefits of Membership in FIRMA
CTA Code of Ethics
CTA Statement of Responsibilities


The certification has been available to individuals in the trust auditing, examining and compliance profession since 1985. The certification process and the CTA membership program were administered by the CTA Board of Advisors (Board) until 1989. The Board was composed of individuals with significant experience in the areas of trust and bank auditing, federal regulatory supervision/examining and trust compliance.

Certification was awarded to individuals who successfully passed a comprehensive written examination administered by Cannon Financial Institute, Inc. (CFI). In addition, it was recognized that certain individuals in the profession had already demonstrated their proficiency in trust auditing throughout their careers. These individuals were allowed to petition the Board for certification based on evidence of their trust audit expertise and experience. A number of CTAs were awarded the CTA designation based on Board review throughout the period from 1985 to 1988. With the formation of the National Association of Trust Audit and Compliance Professionals, Inc., the certification of all trust auditors is the sole responsibility of CFI. FIRMA supervises the CTA national membership program and recognizes continuing CTA certification through the administration of the CTA Continuing Education Program.


The CTA designation is available today only to individuals who successfully complete the CTA/CP Examination. Candidates are tested in the areas of auditing and compliance skills, trust operations, regulatory requirements and fiduciary responsibilities. The written examination is offered throughout the year by CFI at formal testing locations. The examination is also offered by proctor at college and university campuses throughout the United States.

Candidates interested in becoming a CTA and taking the Examination should contact the FIRMA Office.


Upon successful completion of the Examination, individuals are designated as a CTA if they have completed three years of work in the auditing/examining/compliance profession. Designation as a CTA allows individuals:

  • To qualify for membership in The Fiduciary & Risk Management Association, Inc.;
  • To continue their professional development through meeting the continuing education (CE) requirements;
  • To be recognized in the profession for their competency and technical skills;
  • To be guided by the CTA Code of Ethics and Statement of Responsibilities;
  • To be the only voting members of FIRMA for purposes of election of Board members and other FIRMA matters which come before the membership;
  • To receive discounts on educational offerings of FIRMA, including the annual FIRMA National Training Conference;
  • To be listed in the membership directory as a CTA, allowing peer recognition of proficiency.
  • Upon certification and payment of current membership dues to FIRMA, CTA/CPs receive a wall certificate reflecting their CTA designation, a copy of the Code of Ethics and Statement of Responsibilities, a copy of the by-laws of the association, a copy of the CE requirements, the FIRMA membership directory, and the FIRMA Newsletter.