Code of Conduct for Internal Auditors

Ethics are the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group. Ethical behavior is the foundation of professionalism.

Auditors certified by the RABQSA are required to sign a Code of Conduct. Most internal auditors are not certified auditors, yet it would be appropriate for them to also sign a code of conduct.

Years ago, I created a Code of Conduct for internal auditors based on the IIA Code of Ethics, the RABQSA Code of Conduct, and the IRCA Code of Conduct. I recently examined the current codes from these organizations, as well as, considered the ISO 19011 Audit Principles and the Auditor Ethics paper from the ISO 9001 Auditing Practices Group, to update my Internal Auditor Code of Conduct.

Audit program managers could ask their internal auditors to sign this code of conduct each year to emphasize the importance of adhering to the principles and ethics of the organization.

Purpose
To communicate the integrity, objectivity, confidentiality, and competence expected of internal auditors, as well as, to provide a means for them to pledge their commitment to these principles.

Integrity 
The integrity of internal auditors establishes trust and provides the basis for relying on their judgment. As an internal auditor, I pledge to:

1. Perform my audit assignments with honesty, accuracy, fairness, and discretion.
2. Not engage in activities that might discredit the audit program or our organization.
3. Report audit results truthfully and disclose any unresolved diverging opinions.
4. Act in a professional and courteous manner, even under adverse audit conditions.

Objectivity
Internal auditors must be objective in gathering, evaluating, and communicating information about the activities being examined. They must make a balanced and impartial assessment of all the relevant facts and not be unduly influenced by their interests, or those of others, in making judgments. As an internal auditor, I pledge to:

5. Disclose any activity or relationship that may affect my unbiased assessment.
6. Not accept anything that may impair, or appear to impair, my judgment.
7. Include all the material facts to avoid any distortion of my audit report.

Confidentiality 
Internal auditors must respect the value and ownership of the information they receive and not disclose it without the appropriate authority, unless obligated for legal or professional reasons. As an internal auditor, I pledge to:

8. Be prudent in the use and protection of the information acquired during my audit duties.
9. Not use the information for personal gain or in any way detrimental to the organization.

Competence
Internal auditors must apply their knowledge, skills, and experience in the performance of their assessment duties. As an internal auditor, I pledge to:

10. Accept assignments only if I possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience.
11. Perform audits in accordance with the procedures and practices of the organization.
12. Continually improve my proficiency and the quality and value of my audit services.
13. Assist other auditors under my supervision to develop their audit management skills.
14. Use my auditing knowledge to help improve the quality of our products and services.
15. Prepare well for my audit assignments and report findings using verifiable evidence.

I agree to act in accordance with this code of conduct to uphold the integrity of our audit program and the ethical standards of our organization.

Signed by: __________________________
Printed Name: _______________________
Date: ______________________________

If you have any comments or suggestions for the proposed Internal Auditor Code of Conduct, please send them to Larry@WhittingtonAssociates.com.