The development and rapid growth of the internal audit profession internationally, as well as the promulgation
of new legislation in the RSA, combined with the assimilation of the King reports on governance into daily
business life, has resulted in an increasing desire for internal auditors to possess a more diverse and
sophisticated skills set. Users of internal audit educational services in turn have increasingly shown that they
desire universities in the RSA to provide them with entering trainee internal auditors who are in possession of
sufficient and appropriate skills that identifies them as work-ready.
The South African educational system has undergone a fundamental restructuring since 1994 that has
resulted in the creation of three different university types, each with its own distinctive focus. All three types
are permitted to offer internal auditing educational programmes.
The empirical research underlying this article obtained perceptions in respect of expectation gaps pertaining to
the work-readiness of entering trainee internal auditors held by participants who had obtained their highest
academic qualifications from one of the three types of South African universities. Hypotheses were formulated
based on the research problem and objective of the article.
The study concludes that an internal audit expectation gap does exist, and based on the results of the
research it is further concluded that relationships do exist between internal audit educational expectation gaps
regarding technical skills capabilities and the types of universities attended by the internal audit manager
respondents; and that relationships do not exist between internal audit educational expectation gaps regarding
behavioural skills capabilities and types of universities attended by the internal audit manager respondents.