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Root Cause Analysis for Internal Auditors

Course Description

Print-friendly Course Description and Outline

This course will provide you with some of the key root cause analysis tools and techniques that can be utilized in the planning, fieldwork, and reporting phases of an internal audit — in order to enhance audit effectiveness, strengthen audit observations reported, and facilitate deeper discussions with management on issues identified. These tools can be used apart from or in conjunction with existing audit methodologies, tools, and techniques. You will have the opportunity to practice and apply the skills learned during the course through a case study and exercises, which should enable you to integrate the tools and techniques into your audit engagement activities.

This course is designed for:

  • Chief audit executives who would like to gain an understanding of how root cause analysis concepts, tools, and techniques can be incorporated into their internal audit department’s audit strategy to enhance audit effectiveness and value add.
  • Audit managers interested in learning how to lead and manage root cause analysis efforts on their audit projects.
  • Auditors-in-charge who want to develop skills for using root cause analysis tools and techniques in supervising their audit projects.
  • Senior and staff auditors seeking an opportunity to practice root cause analysis tools and techniques on their audit engagements.

Course Objectives

  • Identify the purpose, importance, and key terms of root cause analysis.
  • Identify the relevant IPPF Standards and related root cause analysis Implementation Guidance.
  • Identify the importance of process documentation and understanding it as the groundwork for effective root cause analysis, utilizing the process profile worksheet.
  • Identify measures of success and trigger events as key elements in root cause analysis.
  • Apply root cause analysis concepts, tools, techniques, skills, and templates within an audit setting.
  • Explain how root cause analysis can be used to significantly enhance reporting of audit results.
In-person classes are 2 day(s). For online courses, please click on the Details & Pricing link to review session times and dates.
Course Duration: 2 day(s)
CPEs Available: 16
Knowledge Level: Intermediate
Field of Study: Auditing
Tools and Techniques I: New Internal Auditor course, or equivalent experience
Advance Preparation: 
Delivery Method: eLearning (Group-Internet-Based); On-site Training (Group-Live); Seminar (Group-Live)

Root Cause Analysis Overview

  • What is root cause analysis?
  • Purpose and importance of root cause analysis
  • Key root cause analysis terms
  • IPPF Standards and Implementation Guidance
  • Required auditor skills for root cause analysis
  • Benefits of root cause analysis
  • Root cause analysis considerations

Root Cause Analysis in Planning

  • Audit planning phase purpose and structure
  • What is a process?
  • Tool: SIPOC diagram
  • Trigger events
  • Measures of success
  • Tool: Process profile worksheet
  • Tool: Flowcharting
  • Tool: Failure mode and effects analysis

Root Cause Analysis in Fieldwork

  • Audit fieldwork phase – Purpose and structure
  • Controls testing
  • Business process analysis
  • Tools and techniques
  • Root cause identification
    • Tool: The 5 Whys
    • Tool: Fishbone diagram
    • Tool: Fault tree analysis
  • Root cause measurement and prioritization
    • Data analytics
    • Tool: Pareto chart
    • Tool: Scatter diagram

Reporting Root Cause Analysis Results

  • Relevant IPPF Standards and related Implementation Guidance
  • Components of an audit observation
  • Tying root cause analysis audit findings to planning documentation
  • Matching and inking root causes to recommendations and management action plans
  • Creative problem solving
  • Root cause analysis reporting tools
  • Cause and effect matrix
  • Payoff matrix

​Most courses can be delivered through on-site training. You might be surprised that the organization leading the profession is just as committed to the delivery of affordable training.​​

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