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Why attending a workshop was a good idea

By Chris, who has just started studying the CIA

In April, I attended a two day workshop for part one of the CIA. Overall, I found the workshop to be really useful and it was expertly delivered by our facilitator, Ros, who presented the content in an engaging way, often bringing the theory to life through examples. I wanted to take this opportunity to share what I found useful as a result of attending, some of which I expected beforehand and some of which came as a bit of a surprise.

How the workshop delivered on my expectations

  1. Intensive course: I expected the two days to be an intensive run through of part one, and it didn’t disappoint. We covered each of the three sections, completing quizzes and engaging in group discussions as we went through. This provided a chance to test and top-up my current levels of knowledge and identify areas I needed to focus on during future study.
  2. An approach to answering questions: I expected to learn how to develop an effective approach to answering the multiple choice questions and, throughout the workshop, I was able to pick up hints and tips. One of these tips was learning to rule out absolute and definitive answers more often than not.

Workshop benefits I didn’t expect before attending

  1. A mental reframing: As an internal audit trainee with less than a year’s experience in practice I found that, when I was attempting the questions before attending the workshop session, they often seemed to be asked at a high level and I was answering them incorrectly. Ros clearly explained early in the session that we should approach the questions as if we were the Chief Audit Executive. This change in mental approach has made a huge difference to my performance in the practice tests.
  2. Learning from others: Before the session, I knew that this was a group workshop, but I didn’t expect that to be one of the major reasons the two days were so useful. Hearing how others were putting the standards into practice within their organisations was invaluable, allowing me to put the course content into different contexts, while also learning how other organisations were managing their internal audit function.
  3. Encouragement and motivation: One of the less technical (but equally important) benefits of the part one workshop was the support, encouragement and motivation from others within the group. It was good to know that the challenges I was experiencing with the questions were similar across the board, and hearing success stories of those who have gone on and passed since the workshop has provided me with additional motivation.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, I hope you managed to find something useful within it, and I would be keen to hear your thoughts and opinions.

31 May 2017