The need for competent internal audit staff in South Africa is increasing significantly. Skills development
initiatives are high on the agenda of the internal audit profession globally. Prior research has addressed
competencies in various professional disciplines, as well as general competencies for internal auditors, but
little research has been done to determine the perceived levels of importance of the competency requirements
specifically for internal audit staff. This study aims to expand this knowledge area, first by identifying the levels
of importance accorded to the various competencies, as presented in formal professional guidance.
Thereafter, these required levels of competencies for internal audit staff are compared with the perceived
levels of importance ascribed to them by South African and global internal audit leaders. The study found that
there are inconsistencies in the categorisation of competencies and skills in the officially published internal
audit guidance. Despite this, the views of South African leaders do not differ significantly from their global
counterparts, although it appears that the overall level of perceived importance held by those in internal audit
practice is higher than that in the published internal audit guidance. It is recommended that the IIA
standardise, align and revise its guidance on required competencies and skills.
THIS ARTICLE SHOULD BE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE FOLLOWING TWO ARTICLES IN THIS SPECIAL EDITION:
Internal audit competencies: skills requirements for internal audit management in South Africa, by Fourie et al.
Internal audit competencies: skills requirements for chief audit executives in South Africa, by Coetzee et al.
Barac, Karin; Coetzee, G.P. (Philna)(Southern African Institute of Government Auditors, 2012)
This study explored specific features of the internal audit function in South Africa that affects the demand for
internal auditors in this country. The study compared the views of chief audit executives of large ...
Fourie, Houdini; Plant, Kato; Coetzee, G.P. (Philna); Van Staden, J.M.(Southern African Institute of Government Auditors, 2013)
Internal auditing is playing an increasingly important role within organisations. The growing demand for
internal auditors, as business and corporate governance partners to organisational management, places a
Barac, Karin; Motubatse, Kgobalale Nebbel; Erasmus, Lourens J.; Van Staden, J.M.(Southern African Institute of Government Auditors, 2013)
The role of internal auditors has changed especially dramatically over the last 20 years, with resultant
challenges to their formally acquired competencies. In response, the internal auditing profession regularly