Internal Audit Environment: European and regulatory challenges

The IFACI Professional Certification draws its inspiration from the Governmental (§3.96) and International (§1312) Standards for Internal Auditing which prescribe that an independent external assessment be conducted at a frequency rate defined by the Council at least every 3 to 5 years.

The ECIIA (European Confederation of Internal Auditing Institutes) clarified its position via “The Internal Audit in Europe”: Since the Internal Audit Activity plays a key role in providing objective assurance on the governance, risk management and internal control processes on which these organizations report to their stakeholders, the ECIIA suggests that more rigorous quality assurance requirements might be appropriate. This would include requiring external quality assessments to be undertaken more frequently than once every five years.  It might also be appropriate to use for those assessments a certification methodology that is better understood by the users of the governance reports.  This certification process gives internal audit activities a visible endorsement of their professionalism and of the quality of their work.  It inspires confidence and provides credibility to the assurance they give.

This approach is accentuated in the banking sector by the guidelines of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which highlights the importance of regular external assessment (§48) in compliance with the IIA requirements (§56).

The decree of 28 June 2011 set the ministerial objectives and the interdepartmental framework of the Government’s Internal Audit policy. This decree renders mandatory the implementation of a risk control system on the basis of internal control and audit in each ministry. It creates a committee for harmonization of the Internal Audit Activity (CHAI) to ensure application of the International Professional Practices framework of the internal audit in government administration and harmonizes the departments’ work methodology on audits