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Draft code launched to help reduce risk of major corporate collapses

15 Jul 2019

A draft code to strengthen corporate governance and help reduce the risk of major corporate collapses by boosting the status, standards, scope and skills of internal audit has been launched today (15 July 2019).

The Internal Audit Code of Practice will be the first time that businesses and organisations outside of the financial services sector, will be given comprehensive benchmarks to meet and detailed guidance about running an effective internal audit function.

The draft Internal Audit Code of Practice makes 30 recommendations to strengthen corporate governance including:

• Unrestricted access for internal audit. Internal audit should not be stopped from looking at any part of the organisation it serves.
• Full access for internal audit to senior meetings including the right to attend executive committee meetings.
• Full access for internal audit to key management information.

The Internal Audit Code of Practice is being developed by an independent Steering Committee set up by the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors, chaired by Brendan Nelson - Audit Committee Chair of BP.

The draft Code builds on the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors’ work in developing a Financial Services Code in 2013. Within two years, the Code had raised the scope and standing of internal audit in financial services with the number of Chief Audit Executives attending Executive Committees rising from 48% to 84% and the number of organisations carrying out audit work on risk culture rising from 54% to 93%.

Internal Audit Code of Practice Steering Committee Chair, Brendan Nelson said:

“One of the best ways to help organisations better protect their assets and manage risk is to boost the status, standards, scope and skills of internal audit.

The draft Internal Audit Code of Practice contains 30 recommendations to strengthen corporate governance including unrestricted access for internal audit, full access for internal audit to senior meetings and full access for internal audit to key management information. The draft Code offers invaluable guidance about raising internal audit performance to help businesses and other organisations protect their assets, reputation and sustainability. “

Dr Ian Peters MBE, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors said:

“The draft Internal Audit Code of Practice will build on the success of the Financial Services Code we launched in 2013, which raised the profile and effectiveness of internal audit with the number of Chief Audit Executives attending Executive Committees rising from 48% to 84%.

We want to hear what businesses and other organisations would like to see in the first-ever Internal Audit Code of Practice and encourage them to take part in the public consultation we have launched today.”


Notes to editors:

1. The draft Internal Audit Code of Practice and public consultation is online here.

2. Members of the Internal Audit Code of Practice steering committee:

  • Brendan Nelson, Audit Committee Chair, BP
  • Carolyn Clarke, Head of Audit, Risk and Control, Centrica
  • Byron Grote, Audit Committee Chair, Tesco and Anglo American
  • Angela O’Hara, Director Assurance & Risk, Johnson Matthey
  • Colin Gray, Senior Vice President, Risk and Assurance, InterContinental Hotels Group
  • David Lindsell, Audit Committee Chair, Drax Group
  • Paul Kaczmar, Director of Internal Audit, Michael Page
  • Paul Boyle, Chairman, Protect (Committee Adviser)
  • Dr Ian Peters MBE, Chief Executive, Chartered IIA (Committee Observer)
  • Paul George, Executive Director Corporate Governance & Reporting, FRC (Committee Observer)

3. The Chartered IIA is the only professional body dedicated exclusively to training, supporting and representing internal auditors in the UK and Ireland. We have 10,000 members in all sectors of the economy. First established in 1948, we obtained our Royal Charter in 2010. Over 2,000 members are Chartered Internal Auditors and have earned the designation CMIIA. 

4. About 1,000 of our members hold the position of head of internal audit and the majority of FTSE 100 companies are represented among our membership. Members are part of a global network of 200,000.