Briefing / Head of internal audit annual opinion

22 March 2023 Lisa Robertson
1 CPD hour

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The accountable officer of each NHS organisation has the responsibility for maintaining a sound system of internal control and governance that supports the achievement of the organisation’s policies, aims and objectives, while safeguarding quality standards and public funds. Internal audit has a key role in providing assurance over these arrangements, which is reported in the annual head of internal audit (HoIA) opinion.

The HoIA opinion is an integral piece of an organisation’s governance framework, providing assurance to inform the annual governance statement, and identifying improvement opportunities. It is informed by internal audit work throughout the year, as set out in the risk-based audit plan.

This paper looks at what the HoIA is; why it is important; the requirements for the HoIA; and key considerations. It will be of particular interest to internal auditors, finance directors and their teams, non-executive directors and directors of governance.
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