In accordance with The IIA’s International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards), effective January 1, 2002, "The internal audit activity (IA activity) should adopt a process to monitor and assess the overall effectiveness of the quality program" (Standard 1310). As indicated in the Preface, earlier editions of this Manual were designed to provide guidance and tools for the chief audit executive (CAE) in establishing and maintaining a quality program, as well as for reviewers, 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 is 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: · Chapter 1 gives the rationale for a new edition of the Manual, based primarily on the Standards and the ongoing evolution of internal auditing. That evolution of internal auditing includes its increasing focus on business risk, closer alignment of its activities with management strategies and accountabilities, and its strong emphasis on assisting management through advisory and consulting services, while continuing to provide traditional assurance services. · Chapter 2 outlines the external quality assessment, which should be the capstone of any activity’s quality program. As specified in Standard 1312, such external assessments ..."should be conducted at least once every five years by a qualified, independent reviewer or review team from outside the organization." · Chapter 3 is designed to expand the external quality assessment process to a wider range of IA activities and provide another approach to comply with Standard 1312. This approach would require a rigorous and documented quality assessment, similar to that outlined in Chapter 2, performed under the direction of the CAE. This self-assessment would then be validated by an independent evaluator, with qualifications similar to those of an external quality assessment team. · Chapter 4 sets forth the elements of an IA activity’s internal quality assessment process, such as evaluation of conformity to the Standards, compliance with the charter, mission statement, objectives and policy manual, supervision, staff development, and other steps to assess the activity’s effectiveness and promote continuous improvement. · Chapter 5 is an overview of the program segments for quality assessment and other tools, with brief guidance for their use in external and internal assessments, as well as in self-assessments (Chapter 3). Chapter 5 also serves as an overall index and control document for applying the program segments and tools. Supplementing the five chapters of the Manual are five References and an Appendix containing practical guidance, model documents, and the various assessment tools described and referenced in the five chapters.
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