Risk Assurance – Training and Events

Current Open Course Dates:

Risk & Assurance Insights
I effectively learned a lot in a what was a compressed one day and a half training about assurance mapping. James was able to explain the complexity and tried to make it simple. Nice balance of theory and practice. I feel confident in applying a different approach to different audits. I liked the easy going atmosphere. James is actually one of my favored instructors. He is always very approachable and encouraging. He knows exactly how to trigger you to think about how to approach assurance mapping, that in relation to your own organization. Exceeded my expectations.

Course Details:

  • Assurance mapping – a practitioner’s workshop

    Open and in-house

    An assurance map (AMAP) is a tool to ensure key risks are assured across your organisation – driving out gaps and overlaps in the assurance jigsaw. The idea seems straightforward but there are many stories of lengthy, complex and incomplete assurance mapping efforts. This workshop will give you a good grounding in the principles and practical application of AMAPs so that you can start using this approach with greater confidence in a range of ways – from audit planning to assignment management; from overall audit opinions to the delivery of efficiency opportunities between audit and compliance functions.

    Who should attend?
    Head of internal audit and internal audit managers.

    What will I learn?
    Upon completion you will be able to:

    • deliver AMAPs in a timely and cost effective way, with clear benefits for key stakeholders
    • save time and effort in terms of delivering AMAPs with internal resources, or managing the efforts of others
    • recognise the key components of an effective assurance map
    • assess your current efforts and plans to deliver an assurance map so that you can avoid the common pitfalls and difficulties, including important lessons concerning the scope of an assurance
    • map and key stakeholders to engage
    • build a realistic business case for an assurance map, including likely ‘quick wins’
    • prioritise your current efforts and understand future opportunities, including assurance scorecards and synergy opportunities


    Course programme

    • IIA and other definitions of an assurance map
    • the different assurance maps and their benefits
    • a framework for progressing with assurance maps
    • the common pitfalls
    • case studies – financial controls, compliance, projects, streamlined board reporting
    • frameworks for improving the co-ordination between audit and assurance providers
    • how assurance mapping can support synergy reviews
    • implications of an assurance approach for audit planning and assignments
    • review of progress / plans in your organisation and insights on key areas to prioritise


    For more information email James Paterson

  • Developing the Annual Audit Plan

    Open and in-house

    Course participants will learn how to incorporate the organisation’s key data into the plan and, as a result, establish the audit strategy of the future They will learn how to develop a planning methodology that emphasises outcome rather than output. This course will enables participants to focus on adding real value to the organisation by creating a concrete annual audit plan which is totally business-focused.

    What will I learn?

    By attending this course, delegates will have the knowledge and skills to address the following key issues related to annual audit planning:

    • Who should be consulted – including whether there a risk you are consulting too widely?
    • What is best practice in terms of linking the IA plan to key risk areas, whilst delivering core assurance areas?
    • How to factor in value and value add into the planning process?
    • How to address differences between Senior Management and the Audit Committee?
    • How to effectively address the question “Do you have enough resource”? in a way that gets a constructive debate going
    • What is the best way to approach longer term planning horizons, the annual plan and ad hoc audit work?
    • How to use the annual plan to deepen the relationship between the head of audit and senior stakeholders?


    Course programme

    • First port of call: The purpose of planning and its value add?
    • Are you using questions of value and value add into the planning process
    • Who should be engaged and what are the best practice questions that should be asked?
    • Leveraging other sources of intelligence
    • How to balance the multiple sources of information
    • Best practice ways of linking the IA plan to key risk areas, whilst delivering core assurance areas
    • Questions that help ensure that you don’t get too many ‘turkeys’ on the plan
    • Implications and action plans
    • How to address differences between Senior Management and the Audit Committee:
    • How to effectively address the question “Do you have enough resource?”
    • Clear and simple ways to present IA coverage
    • Best practices around longer term planning horizons, the annual plan and ad hoc audit work
    • Using the planning process to strengthen the relationship between the head of audit and senior stakeholders


    For more information email James Paterson

  • Assurance Frameworks (giving overall opinions for Governance statements)

    Bespoke in-house

    This 1-2 day workshop, running since 2011, is will be of interest to those in Risk, Assurance and Audit who have been asked to produce an overall governance statement or who want confidence that the assurance jigsaw puzzle has no missing pieces.

    The workshop explores overall governance considerations and more practical steps to put this into practice

    • Joining up the jigsaw
    • Eliminating black holes

    The workshop looks at the reasons why it is easy to have paperwork in place, but still have big surprise and what to do avoid being caught out. It discusses the critical question of how to judge what is “reasonable assurance”

    For more information email James Paterson

  • Co-ordinating the work of Risk, Compliance and Audit

    Bespoke in-house

    This new 1 day workshop will help managers in risk, compliance and audit to understand good and leading practices in how information can be shared between them and how to work in a co-ordinated way. It also explores the question of how to decide whether to place reliance on the work of others.

    For more information email James Paterson

  • Understanding Accountability Mapping

    Bespoke in-house

    This 1 day workshop, running since 2012, will be of interest to those in Governance, risk, compliance, assurance and audit roles where there is an awareness that accountabilities can be hard to pin down and who are looking for proven, practical and simple solutions to improve the position.

    Many organisations address role requirements in policy and procedure documents and in job descriptions, but it is often hard to assess whether anything is missing and whether what is documented is clearly understood in practice.

    • This workshop shows how accountability mapping tools can be used to support risk and assurance activities and to flush out gaps and overlaps address these.
    • It builds on frameworks such as RACI (McKinsey) and RAPID (Bain), but extends these to cover other crucial roles: The Overview (O) role that needs to co-ordinate cross-functional processes and the Execute (E) role typically used in shared service centres

    For more information email James Paterson

  • Risk Assurance and Governance Basics for Senior Executives and Board members

    Bespoke in-house

    This ½ day to 1 day workshop, running since 2010, acts as a refresher to experienced senior executives and board members around how the most well intentioned risk and governance activities can go wrong, looking at key behavioural and cultural factors and the critical clues that can alert senior executives and board members to the “hairline cracks” that can lead to significant issues later on.

    • Increasingly Senior executives and board members are asked to oversee a wide number of risk and assurance activities and form judgments on the key areas to probe further. Many of these risk areas are new, including issues in emerging markets, major projects and acquisitions and technology and cyber security related.
    • We will discuss key areas where problems can arise and what to do to manage these:
      • Risks with low probability and high impact (“Black Swans”)
      • Minor, day to day, issues that are almost routine and boring;
      • Key risks that appeared to be under control – and then suddenly went wrong (the “Swiss cheese” model of risk failure).

    For more information email James Paterson

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