IIA Seeks Input on Proposed Changes to Global Internal Audit Framework

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is calling on its more than 180,000 members worldwide to provide feedback on recommended enhancements to the global standard setter’s International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF).

Last modified in 2007, the IPPF encompasses all the authoritative standards and guidance promulgated by the IIA, and is considered the blueprint for how the body of knowledge and guidance fit together to support the internal auditing profession.

A global task force commissioned by the IIA suggested several major enhancements to the framework, including introduction of a mission statement and core principles, along with new guidance designed to focus on emerging issues. The proposed changes would not affect the content of existing key IPPF elements, such as the definition of internal auditing, the Code of Ethics, or the Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards), the IIA noted. However, the standards are constantly being evaluated and could be revised to support the proposed framework revisions.

12 Core Principles of Internal Auditing

1. Demonstrate uncompromised integrity. 
2. Display objectivity in mindset and approach.
3. Demonstrate commitment to competence.
4. Be appropriately positioned within the organization with sufficient organizational authority.
5. Align strategically with the aims and goals of the enterprise.
6. Have adequate resources to effectively address significant risks.
7. Demonstrate quality and continuous improvement.
8. Achieve efficiency and effectiveness in delivery.
9. Communicate effectively.
10. Provide reliable assurance to those charged with governance.
11. Be insightful, proactive, and future-focused.
12. Promote positive change.

A key component of the 90-day exposure period, which began on August 4, is a survey available to IIA members, as well as regulators and other key stakeholders of the internal audit profession. The exposure draft outlines the proposed changes and seeks evaluation and comments on each. The deadline for responses is November 3.

If approved by the IIA Executive Committee and Global Board after the exposure period, elements of the new framework could be available in the first quarter of 2015. A more fully populated new framework could then be as available sometime in 2016.

The IPPF review led to a proposed mission statement and a previously unarticulated set of core principles for the profession. The new mission statement would state that – in each respective organization – internal audit strives “to enhance and protect organizational value by providing stakeholders with risk-based, objective and reliable assurance, advice and insight.”

The new set of 12 core principles highlight what effective internal auditing looks like in practice as it relates to the individual auditor, the internal audit function, and internal audit outcomes (see sidebar). For example, the core principles applying to individuals would include demonstrating uncompromised integrity, and displaying objectivity and commitment to competence.

“It has been gratifying working with such a talented group of internal audit professionals as part of this effort,” Robert Hirth, chairman of the IPPF Re-look Task Force, said in a written statement. “I truly believe the proposed enhancements, especially the new principles, will be of significant value to practitioners worldwide.”

Additionally, a key enhancement to the IPPF would be the creation of an emerging issues guidance category to assist practitioners in addressing more quickly emerging trends, changing stakeholder expectations, identified regulatory or legislative concerns, and/or new topical issues. Essential to the emerging issues guidance is the understanding that it would be developed and issued with minimal delay.

The task force also recommended restructuring guidance elements of “practice advisories” and “practice guides” to better reflect their intent, including renaming them as “implementation guidance” and “supplemental guidance,” respectively, the IIA noted. The new structure would not eliminate the content of existing practice guides and practice advisories, but it is envisioned that they would be revised, re-issued, or replaced over time.

“After months of careful consideration, we are proposing enhancements we believe make the IPPF more reflective of the profession’s core principles and mission, and more responsive to changes in the marketplace,” said Larry Harrington, IIA senior vice chairman of the board and the IPPF Re-look Task Force Steering Committee chairman.

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