The year 2019 has been marked by significant progress for the institute and the internal audit community against a backdrop of change. Not only did we reach our 70th anniversary, but we continued to grow our membership above and beyond the 10,000 milestone. Meanwhile, global membership surged past 200,000.
It is clear from this that demand for professional internal auditors continues to increase in the UK and internationally. And so, to support our growing membership more effectively, the institute has in 2019 continued its planned investment programme in new talent, new technology and increased capacity.
Changes in the corporate governance landscape, most notably corporate collapses, have increased demand for greater transparency and accountability in the business world. This, in turn, has created both challenges and opportunities for the institute and the profession. On the one hand, paving the way for internal audit to enhance its role as a cornerstone of good corporate governance.
As an Institute, we’ve responded by doing all we can to harness that opportunity and influence debate on the future of audit and corporate governance. Indeed, in 2019, the Institute has seen a flurry of independent reviews and inquiries, along with consultations by the government and regulators, in relation to audit and corporate governance reforms.
Our policy and research programme has gone from strength to strength, providing guidance to professional internal auditors and helping to engage and inform our wider stakeholders.
In September, we published the fourth edition of our annual research report, Risk in Focus, which was conducted with eight European institutes of internal auditors. And before that, Harnessing the Power of Internal Audit: A good corporate governance guide for audit committees and directors, written in partnership with the Institute of Directors and launched in March.
Arguably the most important thing the institute does to support internal auditors is to provide opportunities for professional development and accreditation.
This year, over 600 people participated in our professional training courses, and our chartered member count has exceeded 2,300. We have, likewise, seen positive uptake for our apprenticeship programmes.
It has also been a record year for the institute in providing external quality assessments (EQAs). Not only have we completed over 20 EQAs, but we have also published a vast array of technical guidance on subjects ranging from providing ethical assurance to boards and data protection to reporting gender pay gaps.
In 2020, we will continue engage members as we develop our Internal Audit Code of Practice. We will provide guidance, research and support as we assess the major risks facing organisations and conduct ongoing thought-leadership work such as Risk in Focus. We will continue to organise successful events across the UK and Ireland.
We will grow our membership and provide opportunities for development and networking and will continue to influence the debate about the future of audit and corporate governance.