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Audit & Risk Awards 2019: Categories and criteria

In collaboration with PwC.

The Audit & Risk Awards 2019 are now live – and this year they have a new theme: "Reimagining internal audit". If you think you, your team or your manager are demonstrating superb internal audit practice and paving the way for audit in the future, nominate today.


Entries will be judged purely on what applicants include on their nomination forms and on whether they have met all the criteria and provided the information requested.

Failure to provide requested endorsements from senior management/the head of internal audit will result in the entry being rejected.

The judges will be looking for clear evidence of results and the way in which an individual, team or system has met an explained need or resolved a problem.

Individuals can nominate themselves or their team, as well as their colleagues, but must provide supporting endorsements where these are requested.

Organisations and teams can send in multiple nominations as long as each nomination meets all the required criteria.

Potential nominees who are in any doubt about the appropriate category in which to nominate someone should contact the A&R editor at


Outstanding team (3 categories)

  • public sector
  • private sector (non-financial services)
  • financial services sector

We want to hear about teams that have performed exceptionally and/or have achieved exceptional results – whether as part of business as usual or in relation to a specific situation. We are looking for teams that have overcome challenges (within their organisations or externally), have operated in new, unfamiliar or technically demanding areas or who have otherwise demonstrated exemplary professional auditing skills, teamwork and personal abilities.

Inspirational leader

We are looking for internal audit teams to nominate a chief audit executive or a head of internal audit who has demonstrated not only superb technical skills, but who has also achieved exceptional results because of their leadership, strategic and soft skills. The winner will be inspirational not only to members of their own team, but also more widely within their organisation. Evidence should include not only examples of successful audits, but also accounts of the ways in which this person leads their team, sets an example, encourages junior internal auditors and increases the influence of internal audit within the wider organisation.

Best newcomer

We are looking for employers to nominate a recently qualified IIA member or someone still studying for their exams who has demonstrated exceptional qualities, or who has gone beyond the call of duty to ensure that their organisation is protected from a particular risk, or to carry out a particularly difficult audit in challenging conditions. We are looking for professionals who have demonstrated exemplary technical skills and who have also shown dedication, initiative, excellent judgment and a range of the soft skills essential to the role.

Best innovation in training and development

Has your organisation implemented an innovative new training scheme or a new system for developing the skills of the internal audit team? Has it found a way to engage staff with their continuing development obligations or introduced better ways to share the collective knowledge and expertise of the team with peers and new recruits? We are looking for bright ideas and lateral thinking about training and development as well as for evidence of improved results or increased motivation to take and pass additional qualifications.

Best use of technology

Technology is a great enabler, but it takes people to think of the best ways to use it to achieve their ends. We want to hear about how technology has transformed or radically improved the way you tackle the challenges you face as internal auditors. Entries should provide details of the challenges the implementation was supposed to address, the way in which it has met or exceeded expectations and clear evidence of exemplary results.

For example, can you demonstrate ways in which you have:

  • Adopted foundational tools" to support collaboration, data extraction/ analytics and automation?
  • Built a deliberate technology strategy and aligning that to your talent strategy?
  • Actively contributed to the wider firm’s strategy for responsible innovation?
  • Brought a new perspective on the risks (and associated controls) arising from new technologies?

This article was first published in May 2019.