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Date : 8 May 2024

Timing : 9:00 - 16:00 (30 min lunch break)

CPE Points : 7

Deadline to register : 26 April 2024

Instructor: John Chesshire

Online Training


In an uncertain and challenging economy, organisations expect internal audit to go beyond reviewing historical activity and assessing low value transactions. Our key stakeholders require internal audit engagements that are insightful, forward looking, and go beyond simply preserving value to creating value for the organisations. As such, critical and creative thinking skills are essential characteristics of the 21st century internal auditor. Root cause analysis (RCA) helps us employ critical and creative thinking to identify the key, underlying causes behind our internal audit findings.


As internal auditors we can use RCA to obtain clear insight on the real, underlying causes of governance, risk management and control failures. Developing a clear understanding of what has gone wrong can lead us to create and propose robust solutions to avoid similar incidents happening again. Understanding the fundamental causes means that we can help our organisations take positive action to prevent recurrence of negative outcomes and to promote business opportunities.


We can sometimes take our internal audit fieldwork and testing for granted. We do not always give testing the love and attention that we save for the report at the end, or for the terms of reference at the start of the internal audit engagement. But effective testing is vital. It can make or break the internal audit engagement. It is the testing that generates the evidence we need to deliver insight and added value. RCA can encourage us to think critically and creatively to design and deliver more dynamic tests and to persevere until we generate meaningful results.


Applying critical and creative thinking to internal audit testing through effective RCA enables us to deliver clear insight and conclusions to support our business and board leaders in enhancing governance, risk management and internal control practice.

This course will help you think about RCA and testing in a new light. You will gain ideas on how to select and undertake testing activities that are efficient, economic, and appropriate to the context. You will learn new techniques that will give you the confidence and skills to undertake effective RCA testing that will help you deliver impactful internal audit results.


The course includes facilitator input, relevant theory, short practical discussions, and a range of task-based exercises to reinforce the methods you have learned and build upon existing knowledge.


Who Should Attend?

This course is designed for chief audit executives, internal audit managers, senior internal auditors and internal auditors involved in planning and providing assurance on governance, risk management and control. It is particularly relevant for internal auditors at all levels who want to add greater value and deliver enhanced insight through their fieldwork, testing and assurance engagements. Finally, this course will be of real benefit to those internal auditors who would like to improve their critical and creative thinking skills and thereby demonstrate their added value more effectively and efficiently in their organisations.


Course description

This course covers the following areas:


  • Theory and practice of effective root cause analysis
  • Relevant elements of the IPPF relating to effective root cause analysis and testing
  • Link between internal audit testing and assurance
  • Relationship between organisational culture and root causes
  • Benefits of effective root cause analysis
  • Six step framework for conducting root cause analysis
  • Need for effective testing as the golden thread from audit remit to reporting
  • Most effective root cause analysis testing, tools and techniques - including Five Whys, Fishbone diagrams and Logic Trees
  • Challenges with root cause analysis to avoid in practice
  • Best way of obtaining sufficient, reliable evidence from root cause analysis
  • Use of RCA in developing effective evidence-based conclusions


Four key IIA Global core competencies covered

  • Internal Audit Delivery
  • Critical Thinking
  • Governance Risk and Control
  • Internal Audit Management



John Chesshire, CFIIA, QIAL, CRMA, CIA, CISA, has over 24 years' experience working in the internal audit, risk management, business improvement and governance fields. John is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute in the UK, an Independent Internal Audit Committee Chair, and was Chief Assurance Officer for the States of Guernsey until the start of 2021. He has delivered many well-received courses to IIA Luxembourg in the past, as well as to many other European Institutes of Internal Auditors.


His other recent clients include FTSE listed companies, multinationals, central and local government, law enforcement, charities, professional services companies, and international organisations such as NATO, the OECD, and UN Agencies. He is a principal examiner for the Institute of Risk Management and has been a visiting lecturer in the Governance and Assurance Hub at Birmingham City University.


He loves internal audit, is a great friend of IIA Luxembourg and particularly enjoys working in new and emerging areas of assurance interest.






Effective Root Cause Analysis for Internal Auditors

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