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Online: Auditing culture

This course will look at cultre in an analytical way and give audit teams a practical set of tools and techniques to audit culture.

Everyone talks about culture being a cause of problems arising, but what do we really mean by culture? And even if culture is a cause of problems, what causes the culture to be like this? And if we think it’s “poor tone at the top” what causes the tone at the top to be poor? This webinar will look at this topic in an analytical way and give audit teams a practical set of tools and techniques to engage in this area properly and – above all – make sure we also comply with IIA standards in this area.

We have split the one-day virtual course into two half days :
Monday March 21st from 13.00 – 16.30 and Tuesday March 22nd from 9.00 – 12.15. We will be using Zoom for this session and offer training in advance to get you familiar with Zoom and make sure you are able to log on.

Who should attend?

Heads of internal audit and audit managers.

Course programme


  • Definitions behaviour, sub-culture and culture.
  • Different models of culture, including various regulatory factors.

Where does culture come from?

  • Psychological factors – individual, national, group dynamics and dealing with authority/politics.
  • Differences between the espoused and real culture – understanding defensive routines.

Why is culture hard to measure?

  • What can and cannot be inferred from staff surveys.
  • The link between risk appetite and risk culture and the problem of finding suitable criteria when looking into cultural issues.

Practical approaches and good practices

  • Paying attention to audit behaviours and management attitude towards audits.
  • Root cause analysis and culture.
  • Thinking about the 3 lines and a proper IA role?
  • practical first steps.

Looking ahead

  • Recognising the limits of internal audit in this area especially the fact that any opinion may quickly be out of date (e.g. when CV19 impacted organisations).
  • Being able to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of using consultants to help you work on this area.

CPE competency areas covered

  • Professionalism
  • Performance (Organisational governance | Risk management | Internal control
  • Environment (Organisational strategic planning and management)
  • Leadership and communication (Communication)


7 CPE points for CIA and Diplomert internrevisor.


James C. Paterson is a finance professional who then became the Chief Audit Executive for AstraZeneca PLC. Before that he also worked in HR. He has been consulting and training since 2010 and delivers workshops for 12 IIA institutes across Europe, including Albania, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK & Ireland. James has also presented at several 3 IIA International conferences on a range of topics. He is the author of the book “Lean Auditing” which is about new ways of auditing to drive efficiency and effectiveness and added value. His specialist areas of work include Assurance Mapping, Root cause analysis, Audit culture and influencing and political savvy for internal auditors.

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