Quality Assurance and Improvement Plan (QAIP)
The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Standards require all internal audit activities to develop and maintain a quality assurance and improvement program (QAIP). A component of the program includes having internal and external assessments. It is mandatory that every internal audit activity undergoes an external quality assessment conducted by a qualified independent team or independent validator once every five years to comply with IIA Standard 1312. This review is an assessment of compliance with the International Professional Practices Framework of the IIA, evaluates conformance with the IIA’s definition of internal auditing, the Standards, and whether internal auditors apply the IIA code of ethics.
There are two approaches for meeting the requirement of the IIA’s Standards for conducting a quality assessment review:
- Full External Assessment. This method uses a qualified, independent team led by an audit expert. Team members should also be competent professionals who are well-versed in the Standards, assessment methodology, and successful internal audit practices. The assessment team works on-site of the internal audit activity, using the Manual to conduct interviews, surveys, benchmarking, and a review of work papers. The assessment team also drafts a report stating the internal audit department’s conformance or nonconformance to the Standards and providing any recommendations for improvement.
- Self-Assessment with Independent Validation. This method begins with the internal audit function performing a self-assessment of its compliance with the Standards. A competent independent evaluator who is well-versed in quality assessment methodology then validates the self-assessment. In addition to reviewing the self-assessment and substantiating the work done by the self-assessment team, the evaluator makes an on-site visit, interviews senior management, and issues a separate report.
The UWF Internal Auditing and Compliance department use the Self-Assessment with Independent Validation method. A QAIP was performed in 2016 of the UWF auditing function. The result was the highest rating given of Generally Conforms.