The Institute of Internal Auditors has unveiled the latest enhancements to its nearly 70-year-old framework that governs the internal audit profession globally.

The International Professional Practices Framework has been updated to try to strengthen the position of internal audit as a key player in the organizational structure, says Larry Harrington, senior vice chairman of the IIA’s global board and chairman of the task force that governed the framework update. “As we traverse an increasingly complex business environment, we must be clear what internal audit’s mission is and underscore the basic tenets and principles that will continue to propel our profession forward,” he said in a statement. The framework was last updated in 2007.

The IPPF is a blueprint for how the body of knowledge and guidance for internal auditors fits together to support the professional practice of internal audit. It encompasses all the authoritative standards and guidance written by the IIA, which is a professional association that sets the standards for the profession.

A key update to the IPPF is the establishment of a mission for internal audit and the outlining of 10 core principles that should underpin the professional practice of internal audit. The mission of internal auditors under the new framework is “to enhance and protect organizational value by providing risk-based and objective assurance, advice, and insight.”

The new core principles of the framework are meant to highlight what effective internal auditing looks like in practice, says the IIA, focusing on the individual auditor, the internal audit function, and the internal audit outcomes. The framework says internal auditors must demonstrate integrity, objectivity, competence, and due professional care, and must be proactive, insightful, and focused on the future.

The new framework also specifies that “practice advisories” will become a more comprehensive suite of

“implementation guidance,” and practice guides and global technology audit guides will be grouped as “supplemental guidance.” 

The IIA says the changes to the framework do not affect other key mandatory elements of the framework, such as the definition of internal audit, the code of ethics, or other professional practice standards, but standards will be evaluated and may need to be revised over time to support the recent revisions to the framework.

With the early July release of the enhanced framework, IIA says existing practice advisories will remain current until they are retired with the issuance of implementation guidance. Implementation Guide 1000: Purpose, Authority, and Responsibility, and Implementation Guide 2110: Governance is available, and the corresponding practice advisories are retired. New implementation guides will be released on a quarterly basis  beginning in October 2015. All existing practice guides and global technology audit guides are supplemental guidance with the launch of the new framework. Position papers have been removed from the IPPF, with existing position papers continuing to be maintained on the IIA’s standards and guidance web pages until transitioned. The IIA says it will communicate future changes as they happen.