This week, The IIA is hosting its annual Global Council meeting in Lima, Peru. Global Council is a truly extraordinary forum that enables delegates from IIA institutes around the world to gather and deliberate important strategic issues facing not only IIA Global, but the global internal audit profession itself. Last year’s Global Council was held in New Delhi, India, and next year’s meeting will be in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Few professional bodies boast the impressive international footprint of The IIA. With more than 180,000 members in 190 countries, it is the most widely recognized advocate and standard-setting body for the profession worldwide. There are formal institutes in more than 105 countries that serve the members in their countries directly. On top of all this, The IIA’s premier globally recognized certification (Certified Internal Auditor) recently passed the milestone of 115,000 certified professionals around the globe.
I am often asked the question: “With its vast footprint and diverse international membership, how can The IIA ensure it is speaking with a single voice about the important issues facing the profession?” I typically answer the question by describing our governance structure, which ensures representation on our Global Board of Directors reflects the geographic diversity of our membership. Currently, our board comprises members from 18 countries representing members on all six inhabited continents. The Board helps to formulate and approve The IIA’s strategic plan, which provides intermediate and long-term objectives. In addition, it is the governing body that directly oversees the operations at The IIA’s Global Headquarters in Altamonte Springs, Fla. The Global Board’s committees ensure our professional standards, guidance, and advocacy messages are consistent and relevant to all.
The work of the Global Board and other governing arms of The IIA are vital to our effectiveness. However, it is the annual Global Council meeting that offers the best opportunity for the views of members and their institutes to influence the future direction of the profession. Members in every country — no matter how large or small their membership numbers — have an equal voice in the general assembly-like body that is the Global Council.
This year, more than 120 attendees and delegates from more than 60 countries are examining emerging trends, leading practices, opportunities, and risks relating to the global profession. These delegates are deliberating various options and providing important input and recommendations for future strategic conversations by the Global Board of Directors.
Attending the annual Global Council meeting is always an exhilarating experience for me. It reinforces the global nature of our profession, serves as a source of new ideas and insights from our diverse membership, and fosters the advancement of the profession everywhere. I welcome your thoughts on other ways The IIA can assimilate the perspectives of members and other professionals from every country.
Richard Chambers, CIA, CFE, CGFM, QIAL, CRMA, CGAP, is the founder and Chief Executive of Richard F. Chambers and Associates, LLC. From 2009-2021 he served as the president and CEO of The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), the global professional association and standard-setting body for internal auditors. Chambers has more than four decades of experience serving in and on behalf of the internal audit profession.