The Standards

Description of Internal Auditing

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) defines Internal Auditing as:

An independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization's operations.  The internal audit activity 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.

Internal Audit exists to provide valuable advice and recommendations to the employees and management of Creighton University. 


International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing

Internal audit activities are performed in diverse legal and cultural environments; within organizations that vary in purpose, size, complexity and structure; and by persons within or outside of the organization.  While differences may affect the practice of internal auditing in each environment, compliance with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards) is essential if the responsibilities of internal auditors are to be met.  If internal auditors are prohibited by laws or regulations from complying with certain parts of the Standards, they should comply with all other parts of the Standards and make appropriate disclosures.

Assurance services involve the internal auditor's objective assessment of evidence to provide an independent opinion or conclusions regarding a process, system or other subject matter.  The nature and scope of the assurance engagement are determined by the internal auditor.  There are generally three parties involved in assurance services: (1) the person or group directly involved with the process, system or other subject matter - the process owner, (2) the person or group making the assessment - the internal auditor, and (3) the person or group using the assessment - the user. 

Consulting services are advisory in nature and are generally performed at the specific request of an engagement client.  The nature and scope of the consulting engagement are subject to agreement with the engagement client.  Consulting services generally involve two parties: (1) the person or group offering the advice - the internal auditor, and (2) the person or group seeking and receiving the advice - the engagement client.  When performing consulting services the internal auditor should maintain objectivity and not assume management responsibility. 

The purpose of the Standards is to:

  1. Delineate basic principles that represent the practice of internal auditing as it should be.
  2. Provide a framework for performing and promoting a broad range of value-added internal audit activities.
  3. Establish the basis for evaluation of internal audit performance.
  4. Foster improved organizational processes and operations.

The Standards consist of Attribute Standards and Performance Standards: 

  • Attribute Standards address the characteristics of organizations and parties performing the internal audit activities.
  • Performance Standards describe the nature of internal audit activities and provide quality criteria against which the performance of these services can be evaluated.

The Standards are part of the Professional Practices Framework.  The Professional Practices Framework includes the Definition of Internal Auditing, the Code of Ethics, the Standards and other guidance.  Guidance regarding how the Standards might be applied is included in Practice Advisories that are issued by the Professional Issues Committee.

The Standards employ terms that have been given specific meanings that are included in the Glossary.