In the current corporate governance climate, it has become imperative that internal audit functions have the appropriate tools with which to self-regulate and monitor adherence to established professional standards.
In the interest of maintaining consistent standards to which internal audit functions would be held relative to self-regulation, The IIA established formal quality assurance standards that must be followed for internal audit functions to be considered in compliance with the Standards.
Quality assurance is the process of assuring that an internal audit function adheres to a set of standards defining the specific elements that must be present to ensure that the function operates appropriately.
Specifically, IIA Standards 1300: Quality Assurance and Improvement Program states that '' the chief audit executive must develop and maintaion a quality assurance and improvement program that covers all aspects of the internal audit activity.''
The interpretation for this standard goes on to explain that "a quality assurance and improvement program is designed to enable an evaluation of the internal audit activity’s conformance with the Standards and an evaluation of whether internal auditors apply the Code of Ethics.
The program also assesses the eficiency and effectiveness of the internal audit activity and identiies opportunities for improvement."