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Global Institute of Internal AuditorsBreadcrumb SeparatorAbout the ProfessionBreadcrumb SeparatorAbout Internal AuditingBreadcrumb SeparatorCommon Body of Knowledge CBOK

Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK)

What is a Body of Knowledge?

Common Body of Knowledge CBOKA body of knowledge may be defined as a living reference that represents the collective knowledge of a profession. The key elements described within are referred to as areas of knowledge, which reflect generally accepted practices within the profession. These include the associated activities and the tasks and skills necessary to be effective in their execution, as well as the professional standards and guidance used by the practitioners of the profession, such as The IIA’s International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF), which includes mandatory guidance and strongly recommended guidance.

The IIA has decided to refer to this collective knowledge of the internal audit profession as the Common Body of Knowledge of Internal Auditing.

CBOK Study – A History

Since the beginning of the promulgation of the Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, and especially since the beginning of the Certified Internal Auditor® (CIA®) certification program in the early 1970s, the leadership of The IIA has commissioned studies of internal auditing. The very first CBOK project took place in 1972, followed by various research projects undertaken by different groups.

In 2005, the Internal Audit Foundation (formerly The IIA Research Foundation) established the William G. Bishop III, CIA, Memorial Fund to honor former IIA President William (“Bill”) Bishop. The Fund supported CBOK 2006 – the most comprehensive global study on the internal audit profession at that time. It was decided that to build on this project and to support the profession in staying relevant, vibrant, and visionary, regular periodic research was necessary; thus the CBOK study was created.

CBOK study components provide a rich overview of information on how the profession develops and how it is being practiced and viewed worldwide. CBOK study projects may reveal:

  • Compliance to and adequacy of the IPPF.
  • Current status of the internal audit activity within organizations.
  • Activities and types of audits that are being performed.
  • Tools and techniques used by internal auditors.
  • Skills and knowledge possessed by internal auditors.

In 2010, the following two components were commissioned as part of the CBOK study:

The IIA’s Global Internal Audit Survey
The IIA's Global Internal Audit Survey was conducted during the first half of 2010 to understand the current state and future expectations of the internal audit profession, The 2010 survey, which was completed by 13,583 professionals from more than 107 countries, resulted in five reports available as free downloads to IIA members.

Stakeholders’ Expectations and Perceptions Study
A Call to Action: Stakeholders’ Perspectives on Internal Auditing focuses on the value of internal auditing from the perspective of stakeholders such as chief executive officers and audit committee members. It was the first time the Foundation administered a survey of stakeholders in the United States. In the future, this type of survey will take place on a global level. The report, including valuable information especially for CAEs, is available as a free download to IIA members.

For more information, e-mail research@theiia.org.