Professional standards (the International Professional Practice Framework) require the chief audit officer to “develop and maintain a quality assurance and improvement program (QAIP) that covers all aspects of the internal audit activity.” The QAIP should be designed to provide reasonable assurance to stakeholders of the Internal Audit Department that it:
Performs in accordance with its charter, which should be consistent with the definition of internal auditing, the professional standards, and the code of ethics
Operates effectively and efficiently
Is perceived by stakeholders as adding value and improving the University’s organizations
The QAIP includes two parts: internal assessments and external assessments.
The external assessment is considered the Internal Audit Department’s audit. External quality assessment reviews (QARs) must be conducted at least once every five years by a qualified, independent assessor or assessment team from outside the University. These can be full external assessments or self-assessments validated by an independent external party. An external assessment provides full objectivity, builds stakeholder confidence and can validate the quality of the internal audit function while ensuring the expectations between the Audit, Compliance and Enterprise Risk Management Committee, senior leadership and internal audit are aligned. Such a review provides internal audit with opportunities for improvement.
The department also continually audits itself to maintain high quality work and simultaneously prepare for the next external assessment. All work done by a member of the department is reviewed by a peer and the chief audit officer during each engagement. Additionally, twice a year, each team reviews two audits at a high level to look for any areas that do not conform to the standards and other opportunities for improvement.
How did internal audit fare on its first quality assessment review?
The University’s Internal Audit Department had its first external quality assessment review (QAR) in fiscal year 2013. Of the 11 standards judged by the external reviewer, 10 received the highest rating of “generally conforms.” The other standard – monitoring progress - received the next highest rating “partially conforms.”
The reviewer recommended that the department devise a monitoring system that would ensure thorough and timely follow up on all corrective actions promised by campus units. The QAR report was issued in March 2013, and in the same month, a database was created to track audit findings and verify timely corrective actions are implemented.
Another external quality assessment review is scheduled for fiscal year 2018.
May is Internal Audit Awareness Month, and each week during this observance the Internal Audit Department is providing a short article to assist the campus to become better informed about internal audit.
See more at Inside UNC Charlotte
 The definition of internal auditing: “Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.”