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Chief Internal Auditor Programme for Banking & Financial Services

Boost your career in executive development
  • This course will take place using Video Conferencing Technology.  To find out more, please contact

    “A very interactive course where ideas are shared by all participants, simply great learning” Head of Internal Audit, Ecobank

    “The trainer is highly experienced, with a diverse background” – Chief Internal Auditor, Habib Bank Limited

    In recent years, the corporate spotlight has focused increasingly on Chief Internal Auditors and on the impact and influence they and their teams can have. Their personal and professional relationships with their key stakeholders are vital to the reputation of the internal audit function and the support it receives within the organisation. This course will provide the Chief Internal Auditor with practical guidance aimed at enhancing their position and profile within their organisation, as well as the reputation and performance of their team.

    The course will enable the Chief Internal Auditor to understand and develop attributes that demonstrate world-class performance, with particular emphasis on teamwork, relationships, innovation and the drive for continuous improvement.

    The Chief Internal Auditor and his or her team are seen as key parts of the governance, risk and assurance framework and this course will also help the Chief Internal Auditor leverage the work of other assurance functions so as to present a more coordinated role in reporting to the relevant Board level committees (usually Audit and Risk) on strategic change and its impact on this framework.

    The course will also enable Chief Internal Auditors to better deliver against increasingly demanding objectives set by their own management and Audit Committees, and frequently influenced by a wider range of stakeholders such as regulators and professional bodies. The recent guidance from the CIIA to internal audit functions in financial services and the public sector, as well as the newly updated corporate governance code from the Financial Reporting Council are evidence of this.
    In particular, the new CIIA Financial Services Code supplements guidance already readily available via the International Standards for Professional Internal Auditing and has implications for Chief Internal Auditors across all industries. Its role in further formalising the authority, positioning and influence of the Chief Internal Auditor, will be explored with a view to optimising its use.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Understand how to create the most effective reporting lines and to build efficient channels of communication, both inside and outside the Boardroom
    • Develop and build powerful relationships with all key stakeholders, understanding the levers and buttons which help build maximum impact and credibility within an environment of growing regulation and accountability.
    • Learn how the Chief Internal Auditor (and their team) can leverage the principles of the CIIA code to work effectively across all organisations.
    • Hear about and exchange “war stories” from a variety of Audit Committee and executive environments.
    • Develop an approach to reflect the objectives, values and culture of the organisation.
    • Understand the skills and resources required to deliver a challenging plan and what does this mean for the shape of the team.
    • Learn how to get the most out of a co-source relationship, recognising the value that Audit Committee chairs now believe this can bring to all internal audit functions.
    • Develop approaches to plan and audit more complex areas such as governance, culture and strategy.

    Benefits of attending:

    • You will improve your performance, profile and reputation as a Chief Internal Auditor.
    • You will understand the challenges that new Chief Internal Auditors should expect and you will get practical guidance and real life examples of how to meet them head on.
    • You will develop your skills to communicate better in the Boardroom or in key executive committee meetings, both verbally and through improved reports.
    • You will learn to build a more receptive culture for internal audit.
    • You will learn best practices for enhancing the performance, impact and credibility of your internal audit team.

    Note - A good level of spoken and written English is required to attend this course. Delegates should be of an intermediate standard in English at a minimum. Please refer to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages - as a guide the level required is B2. 

  • Pre-Course Webinar (1 hour)
    • Course outline and timetable.
    • Introduce the course instructor and the delegates.
    • Discuss and prioritise the course objectives.
    Includes reference to the pre-course survey completed by the delegates.
    Day 1

    Module 1 (8am – 10am UK)

    1.1 The role and position of the Chief Internal Auditor (CIA)

    • The role of the Chief Internal Auditor and how this is perceived across a range of organisations.
    • Reporting lines for the CIA and how to maintain independence.
     Group exercise: Review example CIA Role Profiles.
    1.2 Stakeholder relationship management
    • Understanding and prioritising the multiple layers of IA’s stakeholders.
    • The importance of relationship management at all levels of the IA team.
    • The challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and beyond.

    Group Exercises: a. List and prioritise all IA stakeholder relationships.
                                   b. Discuss examples of disruption caused by the pandemic.

    BREAK (1 hour)

    Module 2 (11am – 1pm UK)

    2.1 The derived authority for a Chief Internal Auditor
    • Importance of the IA Charter and the Audit Committee terms of reference.


    Break-out case study: To consider sample IA Charters (IA reporting and authority) and Audit Committee Terms of Reference (IA focus).

    2.2 Regulatory IA requirements and other relevant guidance.
    • Understand global and local regulatory IA requirements
    • Review industry guidance and from professional bodies


    Group discussion: How to balance the key regulatory and other industry guidance.

    BREAK (30 minutes)

    Module 3 (1.30pm – 3.30pm UK)

    3.1 Audit Planning, the Audit Universe and other Critical information
    • What are the CIA and other stakeholders’ roles in risk-based audit planning?
    • What critical management information (MI) should the CIA and their team receive?

    Breakout Exercise: Review and prioritise examples of the internal and external MI which is essential to the effective development, ongoing review and delivery of the audit plan.

    3.2 The key attributes of a Chief Internal Auditor
    • Independence and Building Relationships
    • Visibility at the “top table” and influence with executives and NEDs
    • IA skills and resource assessments, including the effective use of co-source

    Group Discussion: Relationship building – tips and tricks.

    Day 2

    Module 4 (8am – 10am UK)

    4.1 Professional Internal Audit Standards and other guidance.
    • The IIA’s Mission, Core Principles and key International Standards.
    • Planning – the role of the audit universe, the move to more dynamic audit planning and the key to aligning with the firm’s own risks and objectives.
    • Fieldwork – the methodology and principles behind population profiling, sample selection and testing.
    • Reporting – engagement reporting and reporting to the Audit Committee.

    Class Discussion: How best to apply QA when assessing the key standards.

    4.2 The Changing shapes of Internal Audit functions

    • How can the CIA build the most effective team structure with access to the required breadth and depth of skills and experience – and at the right price?
    • Substantial growth in co-source arrangements and providers, way beyond traditional IT audit space
    • Increased expectations by Audit Committees as to how to access & use specialist skills.

    Class Discussion: The pros and cons of different structures – centralised v decentralised; aligned by geography or line of business; in-house or co-source?
    For co-source, we discuss the selection process, performance assessment, team integration and stakeholder impact.

    BREAK (1 hour)

    Module 5 (11am – 1pm UK)

    5.1 Attributes of a World Class Internal Audit function
    • Definition of “world class” and how it can be applied to internal audit
    • Examples of applying “guidance” from experts; e.g. Kobayashi, Drennan & Pennington
    • Views of IIA/Firms/IA evangelists
    • Performance; particularly process productivity, stakeholder satisfaction, strategic alignment and reporting for impact
    • Use of balanced scorecards and other KPIs to measure performance

    Group Discussion: Covering a range of examples of measures/KPIs and their relative advantages and disadvantages.

    Breakout Case Study to review and critique a sample internal audit MI pack.

    BREAK (30 minutes)

    Module 6 (1.30pm – 3.30pm UK)

    6.1 External Quality Assessments (EQAs)
    • EQAs are becoming more evident, as standards require them to be performed at least every 5 years and regulators are looking for the results.

    Group Case Study: Undertaking EQAs – Who does them, how are they structured and what are the most common findings?

    6.2 Quality Assurance and Improvement Programmes (QAIPs)
    • How should a CIA set up and maintain an effective internal audit QAIP
    • How to assess your own team’s effectiveness – and your own effectiveness.
    • The benefits and pitfalls of feedback forms and (internal) peer reviews.

    Day 3

    Module 7 (8am – 10am UK)

    7.1 Audit Reporting
    • Writing for Impact – tips and tricks for quicker and more impactful reporting.
    • Grading audit issues and reports – High/Medium/Low? Red/Amber/Green? Join the debate to discuss the options and associated pros and cons.
    • Trends, themes and root causes – how best to capture and report.
    • Presenting annual opinions – how to balance executive and AC expectations.

    Breakout Case Study: How the Audit Report can (at times) be “a barrier to getting things fixed”. Review and discuss some example audit reports and AC papers.

    7.2 State of the internal audit profession in 2020/2021
    • Understanding what the major global consulting firms are predicting.
    • Sources of guidance from within your industry and from professional bodies (IIA, COSO, IRM, ISACA, ICAEW).
    • Audit Committee priorities and global hot spots for internal audit in 2021, including key areas such as Culture, Cyber and Operational Resilience.

    BREAK (1 hour)

    Module 8 (11am – 1pm UK)

    8.1 Auditing complex areas, such as governance, culture and strategy.
    • Many audits include aspects of governance and culture within their scope. We examine the pros and cons of this compared to overarching firm-wide reviews.
    • Guidance available and what MI and soft skills do you need.

    Group Case Study: How to approach the audit of culture.

    8.2 Auditing Change Projects
    • The change management challenge and the CIA’s critical role in major projects and initiatives that are key to organisational objectives.
    • Auditing projects in flight, understanding project language and how to use the project infrastructure to challenge, report and escalate issues.
    • What to do when asked to “sign off” and the role of postmortems.

    Breakout Case Study: Using a real-life example of a major systems implementation, some typical risk and audit issues and challenges.

    BREAK (30 minutes)

    Module 9 (1.30pm – 3pm UK)

    9.1 Building a more efficient internal audit function
    • Meeting stakeholders’ challenge to “deliver more with less”.
    • Examine the range of tried and tested techniques and systems in place to help deliver efficiencies. These include:
      • Data Analytics and Continuous Auditing
      • Combined Assurance and assurance mapping
      • Agile auditing.

    Group Discussion: Each of these techniques is often the subject of more extensive courses. Discussions will therefore focus on relevant examples and the extent to which these are operating or could be introduced within the delegates’ own firms.

    Group Case Study: To review and help redesign an assurance map

    Module 10 (3pm – 3.30pm UK)

    10.1 Course summary and close
    • Summary of main areas covered throughout the programme
    • Questions and aspects for further discussion
    • Course Evaluation by participants
    • Issue of certificates and close.
  • Our Tailored Learning Offering

    Do you have five or more people interested in attending this course? Do you want to tailor it to meet your company’s exact requirements? If you’d like to do either of these, we can bring this course to your company’s office. You could even save up to 50% on the cost of sending delegates to a public course and dramatically increase your ROI.

    If you want to run this course at a location convenient to you or if you want a completely customised learning solution, we can help.

    We produce learning solutions that are completely unique to your business. We’ll guide you through the whole process, from the initial consultancy to evaluating the success of the full learning experience. Our learning specialists ensure you get the maximum return on your training investment.

  • We have a combined experience of over 60 years providing learning solutions to the world’s major organisations and are privileged to have contributed to their success. We view our clients as partners and focus on understanding the needs of each organisation we work with to tailor learning solutions to specific requirements.

    We are proud of our record of customer satisfaction. Here is why you should choose us to help you achieve your goals and accelerate your career:

    • Quality – our clients consistently rate our performance ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’. Our average overall score awarded to us by our clients is nine out of ten.
    • Track record – 10/10 of the world’s largest banks have chosen us as there training provider and we have delivered training across the largest banks and have trained over 25,000 professionals.
    • Knowledge – our 100+ strong team of industry specialist trainers are world leading financial leaders and commentators, ensuring our knowledge base is second to none.
    • Reliability – if we promise it, we deliver it. We have delivered over 25,000 events both in person and online, using simultaneous translation to delegates from over 99 countries.
    • Recognition – we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council and the CPD Certification Service. In an independent review by Feefo we scored 4.2/5 on service and 4.7/5 on Coursecheck
This course can be run as an In-house or Tailored Learning programme


  • David Alexander

    My experience from countless Audit Committee meetings has given me unique insight as to what works well and how to get the best out of the players - chairmen, heads of internal audit, external audit partners and other key participants.


    The course instructor is a respected Head of Internal Audit with over thirty years’ experience in internal audit and risk management, gained from executive assurance and consulting roles with a range of major organisations. David has worked as Head of Internal Audit for several large financial services firms, including HSBC, Kleinwort Benson, Coutts, Benfield and Catlin. He has also led a series of co-sourcing and quality assessment assignments during his time at PwC, and held a Senior Management position at Deloitte earlier on in his career.David has experience having led large and small audit teams; from over 100 staff based in multiple locations around the world, to creating audit and risk teams from scratch. He has most recently undertaken a series of interim Head of Internal Audit roles; hitting the ground running in situations that needed immediate care and attention.David currently works as a consultant and trainer on various aspects of assurance. This includes external quality assessments of internal audit functions and advice on governance and regulatory issues, particularly in financial services. He is an experienced trainer and presenter on many topical aspects of internal audit, such as integrated assurance, regulation and the relationships with the Audit Committee and the Board. David is a Chartered Accountant and has worked closely with all the major and mid-tier consulting firms, as well as the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors, and holds regular dialogue with regulators such as the PRA, the FCA and Lloyd’s of London.