Internal audit charter

The Internal Audit charter (the Charter) is a formal document that defines the internal audit activity’s purpose, authority and responsibility. 

The CERN internal audit charter has been signed by the Director-General, the PFGB Chair and the Audit Committee Chair on 18 December 2018.

The internal audit activity is ruled by stringent professional standards issued by a global authority, the Institute of Internal Auditors. These International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (the Standards) include mandatory guidance such as Standard 1000: “The purpose, authority and responsibility of the internal audit activity must be formally defined in an internal audit charter, consistent with the Definition of Internal Auditing, the Code of Ethics and the Standards. The Head of Internal audit must periodically review the internal audit charter and present it to senior management and the board for approval.”

  • Therefore, the existence of a charter, formally approved at the highest level of the Organization, is a key pre-requisite for the CERN Internal Audit Service (the IAS) to be compliant with the standards of the profession.
  • Secondly, the internal audit charter is a necessary precondition to the independence of the service by establishing its reporting line at the highest level of the Organization, the Director-General for CERN and the Pension Fund Governing Board for the Pension Fund, and clarifying its interaction with the subsidiary body of Council in charge of assisting Council on audit matters, the Audit Committee.
  • Thirdly, the internal audit charter is a public document, proactively communicated at all levels of the Organization. If a question should arise, the charter provides a formal, written agreement with the Director-General about the Organization’s internal audit activity.
  • Finally, the internal audit charter facilitates a periodic assessment of the adequacy of the internal audit activity’s purpose, authority and responsibility. In particular, the mandatory five yearly external quality assessment of the Internal Audit Service is based on the internal audit charter.

The IAS first equipped itself with an audit charter on 30 June 2007. This charter was subsequently revised and approved on 28 September 2009 and 26 November 2014, and then on 02 February 2018. 

The Head of Internal Audit is responsible for periodically assessing whether the internal audit activity, as defined in the Charter, continues to be adequate to enable the IAS to accomplish its objectives, in an ever evolving Organization. The revised charter is drafted by the CERN Internal Audit and approved by the Director-General and the Chair of the PFGB following consultation with the Audit Committee.