A new qualifications program designed to identify and support the next generation of leaders in the internal audit profession was introduced on Tuesday by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).
The Qualification in Internal Audit Leadership (QIAL) program, which was unveiled by the IIA during its annual International Conference in London this morning, is aimed at helping top internal auditors, including chief audit executives (CAEs), develop skills proven to be key indicators of success specific to internal audit leadership. The QIAL program focuses on internal audit leadership skills, organizational abilities, ethics, and innovation and change.
The program also is intended to empower aspiring leaders to develop those skills.
“As internal auditing continues to evolve and respond to new risks and other critical issues, we must identify the skills and experiences that define a new kind of leader,” IIA President and CEO Richard Chambers said in a written statement. “QIAL allows us to do just that by focusing on those who bring success-oriented attributes, such as innovation and strategic thinking, to companies, organizations, and government agencies.”
QIAL-qualification skills are evaluated during the following three-step process:
- Candidates must critically analyze complex information in three separate case studies and produce written responses for each providing insight for a senior-level audience.
- They must prepare and present to a senior-level panel, followed by a rigorous question-and-answer session.
- The final step is a 90-minute interview that focuses on personal and professional experience.
QIAL candidates with extensive experience, including recent CAE experience, have the option of submitting documentation regarding their own experiences, as well as supporting evidence, in place of the case studies.
Candidates are assigned a panel of accomplished senior audit executives who provide focused feedback and coaching. The knowledge and skills identified and developed through the QIAL program are linked to the IIA's Competency Framework.
The QIAL program’s inaugural class was also introduced on Tuesday, where all but two were on hand to receive certificates acknowledging their achievement. The group includes IIA members from Australia, Canada, Egypt, India, Jordan, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.
“Definitely, the CAE at a minimum should have this certification because it asserts the ability of that CAE to deliver the value and services expected from him,” said Riyad Al Mubarak, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority in the United Arab Emirates and one of the inaugural QIAL recipients.
Another recipient, Joanne Traice, director of group audit and risk for DP World in the United Arab Emirates, said growing demands on CAEs – to deliver more value, be more strategic, and have a greater business-risk mindset – require an international standard that demonstrates the competencies required for today’s audit leaders.
“For me personally, the QIAL has aligned my priorities as a CAE and reinforced my mindset that we are agents of change with a challenging, but exciting, and evolving task in our hands,” she added.