Quality Assessment Manual for the Internal Audit Activity
The new Quality Assessment Manual for the Internal Audit Activity was published by the Internal Audit Foundation in 2013. This manual has been updated to respond to issuance of The IIA’s International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards), the related changes in the internal audit profession, and the increasingly demanding business environments in which the profession operates.
In accordance with The IIA's Standards, "The chief audit executive must develop and maintain a quality assurance and improvement program that covers all aspects of the internal audit activity" (Standard 1300). The Manual was designed to provide guidance and step by step modules for the chief audit executive (CAE) in establishing and maintaining a quality assurance and improvement program, as well as for assessors, internal and external, in testing and assessing that program. The current edition updates and expands that guidance and enhances the models and assessment tools.
The current edition remains divided into chapters based on the principal elements of the quality program required by the Standards, with a continued strong emphasis on external assessments, as summarized below:
This chapter provides an overview of The IIA’s International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards) and the other documents that make up the International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF). It explains how they have evolved as the profession has matured and how their application should be tailored to each organization without compromising conformance with the Standards. In particular, it presents and discusses the 1300 series of Standards that deals specifically with quality assurance.
Quality Assessment Manual, Chapter 1
This Chapter discusses the building an effective Quality Assurance and Improvement Program (QAIP). Similar to establishing a total quality management program where products and services are analyzed to verify they meet stakeholder expectations, operations are evaluated to determine their efficiency and effectiveness, and practices are assessed to confirm their conformance to standards, maintaining an effective QAIP also requires leaders who are responsible for setting the proper tone in support of quality.
Quality Assessment Manual, Chapter 2
The focus of this Chapter is external assessments as required by the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards) at least once every five years. Specifically, the self-assessment with independent external validation, which involves the use of a qualified, independent external assessors or assessment teams to conduct an independent validation of the internal self-assessment and a report completed by the IA activity. A self-assessment with independent external validation includes a comprehensive and fully documented self-assessment process that requires the chief audit executive (CAE) to complete or review the self-assessment work, and normally provides limited attention to benchmarking, review, and consultation as to implementation of leading practices.
Quality Assessment Manual, Chapter 3
The focus of this Chapter also is the external assessments which must be conducted every five years as required by The Institute of Internal Auditors’ (IIA’s) International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards). The approach discussed here is the full external assessment which requires an assessment by an outside independent assessor or assessment team. The objective of the full external assessment is to evaluate an internal audit activity’s conformance with The IIA’s Definition of Internal Auditing, Code of Ethics, and Standards. This approach may also focus on identifying opportunities to enhance internal audit processes, offering suggestions to improve the effectiveness of the internal audit activity, and promoting ideas to enhance the activity’s image and credibility.
Quality Assessment Manual, Chapter 4