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Board briefing: Culture

As part of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors' (CIIA) involvement with the Financial Reporting Council's (FRC) culture project, we produced a new report on evolving approaches to embedding and assurance in organisational culture. The Board Briefing summarises the key findings and recommendations from our research, and takes a look at the most important issues for audit committees.

Download the board briefing

Read the full research report

Key points

  • Internal auditors need to have the competencies, credibility and confidence to engage in meaningful discussions about behaviour, culture and ‘soft controls’, and essentially, the right mindset and skills to audit culture. 
  • Internal audit’s role as the inside-outsider as well as its positioning are key to succeeding in the culture sphere. 
  • The use of gut feel can play a part in the audit of culture but in the digital age, assurance providers can make much greater use of hard as well as soft indicators to reduce the subjectivity of their findings.
  • A pressing issue is how organisations learn from failure instead of apportioning blame. Some industries have tackled head on the issues relating to speaking up and blame.
  • Safety-critical industries such as aviation have developed sophisticated tools and techniques to develop and monitor their safety systems which are underpinned by culture. These tools and techniques can be applied to other sectors.

Our full report, including our case studies, can be found here.

Content reviewed: 1 February 2023

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