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Internal Auditing Inspiration - Getting volunteers to perform internal audits.


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I'm not sure if this has been discussed previously, or if I'm in the right category, so allow me to apologize in advance if I'm not quite doing this right! (I comment, I don't usually start a thread haha)

My company has an issue in getting volunteers to perform internal audits. It's a very small facility and management has proposed some sort of incentive program to inspire people to volunteer to be trained to do area audits. Has anyone encountered this before? What sort of incentives were used or deemed appropriate? I thought about something along the lines of local food gift cards for auditors who complete their area audit within the timeframe set on our schedule (it appears to be an issue, I've only just started but there are some areas that have been fairly deficient in the past for audits...)

Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! :thanks:

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
Publish the recommended attributes of a good auditor from ISO 19011 and ask the chief exec to seek volunteers for training.

Here they are:

- ethical
fair, truthful, sincere, honest, and discreet

- open-minded
willing to consider alternative ideas or points of view

- diplomatic
tactful in dealing with people

- observant
actively observing physical surroundings and activities

- perceptive
aware of and able to understand situations

- versatile
able to readily adapt to different situations

- tenacious
persistent and focused on achieving objectives

- decisive
able to reach timely conclusions based on logical reasoning and analysis

- self-reliant
able to act and function independently while interacting effectively with others

- acting with fortitude
able to act responsibly and ethically, even though these actions may not always be popular and may sometimes result in disagreement or confrontation

- open to improvement
willing to learn from situations, and striving for better audit results

- culturally sensitive
observant and respectful to the culture of the auditee

- collaborative
effectively interact with others, including team members and auditee personnel

Some of these may be learned but many cannot.

Also ensure that performance reviews include performance as an internal auditor, problem preventer (mistake proofing) and as a root cause remover.


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Its been my (20 years) experience that a good internal auditor can be difficult to find. Your coworkers were hired to do a job, most likely it was not as an internal auditor. It can be very challenging to find someone capable.
For example, i drafted a tremendously intelligent person to join our audit team. He was very knowledgeable about many of our processes. He was not, however, open minded, collaborative, or diplomatic. His audit results were very one sided and were not a useful tool to improve. Nor did they really determine effectiveness.
I have also been asked to train a particular person who i thought would be a terrible candidate. They use a very risk based approach to auditing. They are open minded, yet understand the way things need to be done. One of my better auditors now.


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@Mikey324 - That is sometimes the case, it can be surprising!

Thank you everyone for your input. I am fortunate, we have a good team of volunteers! But it's hard for them to always go above and beyond their usual job duties to be able to audit another area. They all communicate well and appear to be very open minded. I think, as @John Broomfield said - having a little bit more given to them either at review time or bonus time could be a good incentive. (Other than my amazing cookies that I will be baking for meetings, OBVIOUSLY haha)

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
People have an intrinsic need to be fulfilled. All too often, internal auditing is perceived as a valueless exercise, witch hunt, finger pointing activity by your peers and top management extracts no value from it. If and when a high performing internal audit team delivers findings that are welcomed by the leadership of the organization, they will be commended for it and (hopefully) recognized and rewarded (not necessarily monetarily) for the work done.

But, as long as internal auditing is perceived and expected to be a non value added activity, it will be very hard for anyone, in the giving and receiving ends of an audit to be fulfilled.


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The above is true. I have found much better value in increasing the quality of my auditors and decreasing the quantity of them. Our internal audit program has started to provide a lot more value. The results you get from someone who truly wants to audit and drive improvement go well above the person who just wants to get it done by the deadline.
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