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Code of Professional Conduct

All leading professional bodies, such as the IIA, have a code of conduct to guide the member and raise the level of trust and confidence of the public in the profession. All members must express their commitment to the code when they join the IIA and to subsequent changes to the code which may be agreed from time to time. The rules and procedures for dealing with any allegation of infringement against the code are described in the Professional Complaints Procedures. This code and the procedures are available to the public.

Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors

The IIA is a professional association focused exclusively on internal auditing in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland and supporting, promoting and training the professionals who work in it.

The objects of the IIA are to promote and develop the profession of Internal Auditing and to foster and maintain investigations and research into the best means and methods of developing and applying such a profession and to encourage, increase, disseminate and promote knowledge, education and training, standard setting and the exchange of information and ideas in respect of all questions relating thereto or connected therewith.

The mission of the IIA is

  • To develop the profession to ensure that it has the knowledge, skills and expertise to be essential to the success of organisations
  • To promote the role and value of the profession to ensure that it is recognised as essential to success

Applicability of the Code and relationship with Global body

This Code applies to all members of the IIA. Members of the IIA are also members of The Institute of Internal Auditors Inc, the global professional body. This Code incorporates the Code of Ethics issued by the global body. Therefore, by applying the Code, members are also applying the global Code of Ethics.

Purpose of the Code of Professional Conduct

The code of professional conduct sets out the elements of professional standards and ethical considerations, which the Institute requires from members and shall be binding on all members of the Institute. It contains two principles adopted by the IIA - the overriding principle of professionalism - acting in the public interest - and the principle of treating people fairly and, from the Code of Ethics, an additional four principles and the rules of conduct.


For Institute members, breaches of the Code of Professional Conduct will be evaluated and administered according to The Institute's Professional Complaints Procedures. The fact that a particular conduct is not mentioned in the Rules of Conduct does not prevent it from being unacceptable or discreditable and therefore, the member liable to disciplinary action.

Principle of Professionalism - acting in the public interest

Acting in the public interest involves having regard to the legitimate interests of those who rely upon the objectivity and integrity of the assurance about governance and the management of risk, including control, that the internal audit profession provides to support the orderly functioning and propriety of organisations. These include employers, employees, investors, the business and financial community, clients, regulators and government. This reliance imposes a public interest responsibility on the internal audit profession.

Professional internal auditors should take into consideration the public interest and reasonable and informed public perception in deciding the actions to take, bearing in mind that the level and nature of the public interest varies between organisations depending on their role, size, systemic importance or public prominence.

Therefore, a professional internal auditor's responsibility is not exclusively to satisfy the needs of an individual employer or client. In acting in the public interest a professional internal auditor should observe and comply with the ethical requirements of this Code.

Courtesy and respect

Professional internal auditors should treat all people fairly without prejudice on any grounds.

Principles from the Code of Ethics 

1. Integrity

The integrity of internal auditors establishes trust and thus provides the basis for reliance on their judgement.

2. Objectivity

Internal auditors exhibit the highest level of professional objectivity in gathering, evaluating and communicating information about the activity or process being examined. Internal auditors make a balanced assessment of all the relevant circumstances and are not unduly influenced by their own interests or by others in forming judgements.

3. Confidentiality

Internal auditors respect the value and ownership of information they receive and do not disclose information without appropriate authority unless there is a legal or professional obligation to do so. 

4. Competency

Internal auditors apply the knowledge, skills and experience needed in the performance of internal auditing services. 

Rules of Conduct from the Code of Ethics

Rules of Conduct describe behaviour norms expected of internal auditors. These rules are an aid to interpreting the Principles into practical applications and are intended to guide the ethical conduct of internal auditors.

1. Integrity

Internal auditors:

1.1 Shall perform their work with honesty, diligence and responsibility.

1.2 Shall observe the law and make disclosures expected by the law and the profession.

1.3 Shall not knowingly be a party to any illegal activity, or engage in acts that are discreditable to the profession of internal auditing or to the organisation.

1.4 Shall respect and contribute to the legitimate and ethical objectives of the organisation.

2. Objectivity 

Internal auditors:

2.1 Shall not participate in any activity or relationship that may impair or be presumed to impair their unbiased assessment. This participation includes those activities or relationships that may be in conflict with the interests of the organisation.

2.2 Shall not accept anything that may impair or be presumed to impair their professional judgement.

2.3 Shall disclose all material facts known to them that, if not disclosed, may distort the reporting of activities under review.

3. Confidentiality

Internal auditors:

3.1 Shall be prudent in the use and protection of information acquired in the course of their duties.

3.2 Shall not use information for any personal gain or in any manner that would be contrary to the law or detrimental to the legitimate and ethical objectives of the organisation.

4. Competency

Internal auditors:

4.1 Shall engage only in those services for which they have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience.

4.2 Shall perform internal auditing services in accordance with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.

4.3 Shall continually improve their proficiency and the effectiveness and quality of their services.