Skip to Content

Building an Effective Internal Audit Activity in the Public Sector

Practice Guide The IIA Jul 15, 2022

Intended to serve as a practical, step-by-step approach for internal audit leaders, this guide summarizes the standards, staffing, and resources needed to successfully plan and implement or improve an internal audit activity in the public sector. It reviews existing literature, applicable IPPF guidance, and practical advice from experts who have been through the experience.

This practice guide will help:

  • Identify issues to address in establishing an effective internal audit operational delivery model or in improving an existing internal audit activity in compliance with the IPPF and national and local requirements.
  • Apply practical considerations when establishing or improving an internal audit activity's processes such as:
    • Creating a strategic plan.
    • Establishing a delivery model and organizational position and relationships.
    • Identifying necessary resources and competencies and hiring and training staff.
    • Creating and carrying out an enterprisewide risk assessment and audit plan; performing and reporting on assurance services and consulting engagements including quality assurance.
    • Reporting on internal audit performance and collecting feedback from stakeholders to help ensure organizational value.
  • Recognize and handle the political dimension (or potential interference) on internal audit within the public sector, in its planning, performing, and reporting on assurance work in line with the IPPF.


The Institute of Internal Auditors