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French Government Moves to Enhance Internal Audit Quality

New standards based on International Professional Practices Framework

Richard Chambers
President and CEO
Institute of Internal Auditors

France has formally adopted a national standard for internal audit practices within the French government administration. The new standard is based on The Institute of Internal Auditors’ International Professional Practices Framework® (IPPF), a globally recognized set of rules and guidelines that provides audit professionals worldwide with authoritative guidance for the professional practice of internal auditing.

The process began in 2006 with a constitutional directive to create mandatory guidance for government internal auditors. The process included creation of the Internal Audit Harmonization Committee, a 17-member panel tasked with ensuring development of a coherent and credible internal audit system.

The committee adopted and published the mandatory French rule in late 2013, based largely on standards from the IPPF. The French version follows the IPPF’s structure and, like the IPPF, includes a formal code of ethics, attribute standards, and performance standards.

“France becomes the first of the vaunted G-7 nations to recognize and employ our standards,” said IIA President and CEO Richard F. Chambers, CIA, QIAL, CGAP, CCSA, CRMA. “This is a significant step forward and a confirmation of The IIA as a standard-setter for regulators and governments around the world.”

Chambers also stated, “I would particularly like to thank our colleagues from The French Institute of Internal Auditors (IFACI) for the important role they played in facilitating this important development within their country.”

The new French standard is intended to be a part of a larger framework comprising both mandatory and non-mandatory audit guidance. As the committee continues its work toward development of the full framework, it plans to concentrate next on non-mandatory working methods and guidelines for internal auditors. Similarly, the IPPF contains both mandatory and recommended guidance. Inclusion of non-mandatory guidance within the two frameworks helps to ensure that internal audit rules are flexible enough to be suitable in any environment or situation.

About The IIA
The Institute of Internal Auditors (The IIA) is the internal audit profession’s most widely recognized advocate, educator, and provider of standards, guidance, and certifications. Established in 1941, The IIA today serves more than 180,000 members from 190 countries. The association’s global headquarters are in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

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