The international definition of the profession is as follows:
Internal audit is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization's operations. It helps an organization achieve its goals by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.
Internal auditors have an in-depth understanding of the business culture, systems, and processes. The internal audit function provides assurance that internal controls in place are adequate to mitigate the risks, governance processes are effective and efficient, and organizational goals and objectives are met.
In the Netherlands, internal audit departments are mandatory for banks (as stipulated in the Organization and Management Regulation of The Nederlandsche Bank) and at the ministries of the government (as stipulated in Article 66 of the Compatibility Act). All companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange must have an internal audit function as well.
IIA Netherlands is affiliated with this organization. IIA-Inc. was founded in New York in 1941 and has now affiliates in more than 100 countries. IIA-Inc. promotes the profession at global level and sits around the table with organizations such as the International Federation for Accountants (IFAC), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank.
All members of IIA Netherlands automatically become members of the international institute. This means that members can share in the collective knowledge of colleagues throughout the world. For instance through a subscription to the Internal Auditor magazine. Because of this 'global membership', members also have the opportunity to participate in the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) exam with a discount.
IIA-Inc. has eighteen international committees. Members of IIA Netherlands are in the Board of Directors, the Board of Trustees of the Research Foundation, the Professional Issues Committee, the Public Sector Committee, the International Conference Committee, the Advanced Technology Committee, the Ethics Committees and the Committee on Quality.
The ECIIA promotes the profession of internal auditor at European level. This includes inter alia consultation with the European Union and the European Commission, Ferma (Federation of European Risk Management Associations) and Ecoda (European Confederation of Directors' Associations). The ECIIA also coordinates the promotional activities with the affiliated IIA institutes around Europe. In addition, the ECIIA conducts research into relevant developments in corporate governance, risk management and internal audit. Every autumn, the ECIIA organizes a two-day European conference.