There is a hierarchy to IRCA grades that reflect both the work that you do and the level of responsibility that you have.
If you are employed to work solely on audits within your organisation there are two grades available to you.
You might start as a Associate Auditor if you have not yet undertaken audits or if you are playing a junior role in an audit team. However, if you undertake ‘partial system’ audits and you have undertaken the relevant IRCA training you can regrade to Internal Auditor.
As with Internal Audit, the Associate Auditor grade is the entry level grade for the new or inexperienced auditor.
Once you have met the audit requirements you can regrade to the Auditor grade.
As your experience and seniority grows you may find yourself leading audit teams. In which case you might want to undertake and Lead Auditor course and regrade in order to gain recognition that you are working at that level.
Finally, some auditors progress into senior management roles, with oversight for audit activity but aren’t necessarily undertaking many audits themselves. In these circumstances, regrading to Principal Auditor would recognise your seniority, experience and involvement in auditing.