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IIA Standards board meeting in New York

Technical blog by Liz Sandwith, chief professional practice advisor |  28 July 2016

Last week I was in New York for the IIA Standards board meeting. It was a first for me on a number of different levels – first time in New York, first time attending an IIA Global event and also it was the 75th anniversary of the IIA so there was lots of excitement surrounding the conference. Mark Carawan our President was there as was Ian Peters, the institute's CEO, sharing with the global audience positive messages from the UK and Ireland. 

I was there to share my thoughts and the thoughts of members in the UK and Ireland on the revisions to the Standards proposed by IIA Global earlier in the year. I was fortunate enough to be able to contribute to the discussions relating to the proposed changes and also listening to responses from members and institutes worldwide.

One of the most interesting and surprising elements, although I am not sure why I was surprised as we are a global body, was that the Standards Board memberships consists of colleagues from across the globe: Japan, China, UAE, Australia, France, India, Romania, South Africa and well as a number of members from the US chapters and myself from the UK. 

Over the two days one of the consist discussions was around translation and how the meaning of words change when translated into different languages, eg 'appropriate' and 'adequate'. There aren’t always two such words in every language but the meaning of the two words has subtle differences in English so we explored other words that convey the meaning but would be recognised in every language.  

There was a lot of discussion about the decision to remove, in the majority of the Standards, the requirement to comply with the definition. Reference was made to compliance with the Core Principles, Code of Ethics and Standards, the view taken after lengthy discussion was that it isn’t possible to comply with a definition and that by default if one is complying with the standards then one is complying with the definition. 

The discussion also focussed on the IPPF and the importance of the Implementation Guidance which accompanies each of the standards and explains in greater detail how to interpret and comply with the Standards. The message coming from colleagues around the world is that internal auditors need to 'adapt at the speed of risk' and need a strong yet flexible framework that identifies what we stand for and guides us on our promise to protect and enhance, the IPPF support internal auditors in delivering on our promise and also provides the strong yet flexible framework we need to face the challenges of a rapidly changing business environment with new risks appearing daily. 

The changes to the Standards come into effect from 1 January 2017, the revised Standards will be published in October 2016 and members and internal audit teams are able to comply sooner if they wish but they must be compliant by 1 January 2017. 

I started my two days wondering how we would fill the days simply discussing the Standards but I left feeling refreshed, invigorated and enthused that colleagues around the globe struggle with the same challenges we do in the UK and Ireland in comply with the new IPPF.

Further reading

The Framework for Internal Audit Effectiveness: Introducing The New IPPF 

Next blog post: Is the retail sector unclear about the role of internal audit?

Content reviewed: 22 March 2018