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A Peer’s Perspective on

Rotational Programs
February 2010

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DISCLAIMER
Copyright © 2010 by The Institute of Internal Auditors located at 247 Maitland Avenue, Altamonte Springs,
FL 32701, U.S.A. All rights reserved. Published in the United States of America.

Except for the purposes intended by this publication, readers of this document may not reproduce,
redistribute, display, rent, lend, resell, commercially exploit, or adapt the statistical and other data contained
herein without the permission of The IIA.

The information included in this document is general in nature and is not intended to address any particular
individual, internal audit activity, or organization. The objective of this document is to share tools,
resources, information, and/or other knowledge that is accurate, unbiased, and timely. However, based on
the date of issuance and changing environments, no individual, internal audit activity, or organization
should act on the information provided in this document without appropriate consultation or examination.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Executive Summary .......................................................................................................................... 1

Rotational Program No. 1: The Coca-Cola Co. ................................................................................ 4


Snapshot of Coca-Cola‟s Rotational Program .............................................................................. 4
Benefits of the Program................................................................................................................ 5
Challenges ................................................................................................................................... 5
Recommendations for Success .................................................................................................... 6

Rotational Program No. 2: The Home Depot .................................................................................... 7


Snapshot of The Home Depot‟s Rotational Program.................................................................... 7
Benefits ........................................................................................................................................ 8
Challenges ................................................................................................................................... 8
Recommendations for Success .................................................................................................... 8

Rotational Program No. 3: General Electric Co. ............................................................................. 10


Snapshot of GE‟s Rotational Program ........................................................................................ 10
Challenges ................................................................................................................................. 11
Benefits ...................................................................................................................................... 11
Recommendations for Success .................................................................................................. 12

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
In October 2009, The IIA asked chief audit
executives (CAEs) to provide information on the Interviewees for This Peer’s Perspective
staffing and sourcing of their internal audit activities,1
including the use of rotational programs (i.e., hiring Connie McDaniel
Vice President and Chief of Internal Audit
internal auditors into internal auditing or rotating Corporate Audit Department
them from the business for a specified time, after Company: Coca-Cola Co.
which the employees rotate out of the internal audit Tenure in current position: Since August 2009
activity and into other business units or functions). Years working with the company: 20 years
Size of internal audit activity: 140 domestic,
Although 69 percent of CAEs indicated that their regional, and international internal auditors
internal audit activity has a staffing model consisting Industry: Food and beverage
of career internal auditors only, nearly one-third
(31 percent) stated they have a rotational model in Kelly Barrett
Vice President
place consisting of a blend between career internal Internal Audit and Corporate Compliance Department
auditors and rotational positions (28 percent) or Company: The Home Depot
rotational positions only (3 percent). (Read Tenure in current position: 4 years
“Snapshot of CAE Responses to October 2009 Years working with the company: 7 years
Size of internal audit activity: 60 internal auditors
Survey” on page 2 for more information.) Industry: Home improvement retailer

In addition, a February 2009 blog by IIA President Brian Worrell


and CEO Richard Chambers, CIA, CGAP, CCSA, Vice President
GE Corporate Audit
discusses the benefits and challenges of having a Company: GE
rotational model for the CAE and internal audit Tenure in current position: 4 years
activity as well as safeguards to minimize the risks Years working with the company: 18 years
associated with such a model.2 According to Size of internal audit activity: approximately 750
global internal auditors
Chambers, CAEs who are rotated into their role from Industry: Manufacturing and Financial Services
other areas of the organization bring a tremendous
level of energy and enthusiasm to the role and a
fresh and innovative perspective to such fundamental tasks as risk assessment and internal audit planning.

On the other hand, despite the many positive aspects of the rotational model, there are clear drawbacks.
The most obvious drawback, Chambers explains, relates to the actual or perceived objectivity of CAEs who
are scheduled to spend a short tenure (i.e., less than three years) in an internal audit leadership role as
many of these executives often are from the finance area of the organization — with a clear expectation
of returning there after serving as the CAE. The rotation‟s brief duration might also make it difficult for the
CAE to achieve the level of effectiveness that often comes with tenure in a senior executive position.
Furthermore, if the entire internal audit activity is part of the rotational model, including the CAE, there is a

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Recent Impacts on the Staffing and Sourcing of North American Internal Audit Activities (PDF, 820 KB); a total of 817 members of The IIA’s
GAIN Flash Survey Network participated in the survey: 22 participants work in Fortune 100 companies, 129 work in Fortune 500 companies,
and 195 work in Fortune 1,000 companies. In addition, 39 percent of all the organizations represented in the survey have revenue sizes of
US $1 billion to US $10 billion; 20 percent are located in the financial services, banking, and real estate industry; and 94 percent are based in
North America.
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February 2009 blog featured on Chambers on the Profession: “The Rotational Model: Is It Good for Internal Auditing?”

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significant challenge in accumulating the institutional knowledge of the company‟s risk and controls that an
effective internal audit activity needs.

To minimize these risks, Chambers offers five recommendations. As Chambers explains:

1. The audit committee should understand the advantages, disadvantages, and risks of the rotational
model, and be engaged in the selection and evaluation of the CAE.
2. The audit committee should pay particular attention to risk assessment results and audit coverage
of the area from which the individual is drawn and/or will be placed into at the end of the rotation.
3. If possible, the CAE should have an administrative reporting relationship outside of the area from
which he or she is drawn and/or will be placed into once the rotation period ends.
4. The terms of the rotation should preclude the individual from returning to the same functional area
from which he or she is drawn.
5. The rotation should be at least a five-year assignment. The longer the individual is expected to
serve as the CAE, the lower the perceived risk of objectivity impairment.

Snapshot of CAE Responses to October 2009 Survey


CAEs who indicated they use a rotational model (31 percent) also were asked to identify the source of
professionals rotating into internal auditing, the length of the rotation, and the opportunity for advancement
within the internal audit activity at the end of the rotation. According to survey results:

64 percent of all CAEs stated that their internal audit activity consists of internal auditors recruited from
business units within the organization.
60 percent of CAEs recruit candidates from other companies.
54 percent of CAEs recruit staff from public accounting firms.
31 percent of CAEs recruit staff from colleges and universities.
32 percent stated that three years is the typical length of a staff rotation followed by two years
(30 percent), and between three and five years (28 percent).
59 percent of CAEs indicated that internal auditors are sometimes offered the opportunity to assume
an audit manager position at the conclusion of their rotation.
36 percent of all internal audit activities rotate all staff except the CAE.
30 percent of all internal audit activities rotate all staff.
22 percent of all internal audit activities rotate all positions except managers and the CAE.

Source: Recent Impacts on the Staffing and Sourcing of North American Internal Audit Activities (PDF, 820 KB)

To obtain more specific information on the subject, The IIA interviewed three CAEs from Fortune 100
companies regarding the use of rotational programs for their internal audit activity. These CAEs agree that
the use of the rotational program over a more traditional staffing model has greatly enhanced the skill sets
available to the internal audit activity, positioned the internal audit activity as a talent agent for the
organization, and provided internal auditors with career opportunities to continue expanding their
professional horizons.

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Five common themes were discussed by each CAE pertaining to their rotational program. These are:

The rotational program is seen as a key source of talent for the rest of the organization due to the
high-caliber of all staff rotating out of the internal audit activity and their overall business acumen.
The rotational programs were created out of a need to recruit highly skilled staff as well as train
employees to become future business leaders.
Internal audit positions are rotated regardless of staff level. This allows for an influx of new skills
and talent every year into the internal audit activity. Although the CAE position is currently not
rotated in two of the three companies, it will be in the future.
New internal auditors have an average minimum of three years of audit experience or two to three
years of general professional experience upon hiring.
Rotations last anywhere from two to three years. However, regardless of the rotational period‟s
duration, employees undergo an extensive training period where they learn about all aspects of the
organization and are provided with hands-on experience as early as possible. This ensures new
internal auditors add value to the internal audit activity as quickly as possible.
The main obstacle pertains to ensuring the continuity of the internal audit activity. To this end, only
approximately one-third of all positions are rotated into the organization or into other positions
within the internal audit activity during any rotational period.

Following is a snapshot of each company‟s rotational program. CAEs looking to implement a similar staffing
model for their internal audit activity can greatly benefit from the recommendations provided in this Peer‟s
Perspective.

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ROTATIONAL PROGRAM NO. 1:
THE COCA-COLA COMPANY
Snapshot of Coca-Cola’s Rotational Program

The Coca-Cola Co.‟s internal audit activity department for up to seven years or more. In
consists of 140 domestic, regional, and addition, directors rotate but not as frequently
international internal auditors. Currently, the and some of our IT auditors have been in the role
company has 35 internal auditors who work in longer due to the expertise needed and the
North America, 80 who work in the company‟s difficulty in finding qualified auditors with
regional offices (i.e., locations outside North technology experience.”
America where Coca-Cola has a bottling center),
and 25 who work internationally covering Although the company does hire internally, the
200 countries. Expertise covered by internal audit majority (approximately 95 percent) of the
staff includes IT, code of conduct, and finance. recruiting is done externally. Internal candidates
usually rotate out of the internal audit activity
“The program started in the early 1980s. Prior to after two years as they already have knowledge
that, we had a traditional audit department with in and experience working for the company. At
career auditors,” explains Connie McDaniel, the end of their rotation, they are often placed in
Coca-Cola‟s vice president and chief of internal a department or location different from the one
audit. “Therefore, the main focus of the rotational they were hired.
program was to modernize the internal audit
activity and expand their skill level.” “When recruiting internally, we usually hire
employees from the finance and business areas
Coca-Cola‟s internal audit rotational program is of the organization,” says McDaniel. “Typically,
for all staff levels. Depending on the position (i.e., these are employees who have expressed an
staff, manager, or director), applicants must have interest to go into internal auditing and are
anywhere from three to seven years of looking for a professional developmental
experience to be considered. Once they are opportunity with the organization.”
hired, internal auditors are asked for a
commitment of three years, after which they are Although internal auditors have been promoted to
rotated out into the business. Although the audit management positions at the end of their
company goes through periods in which staff rotation, this is not the norm. However, some
might stay an extra year or leave after two years, internal auditors have returned to the internal
in general, the rotation ends after the third year. audit activity as managers or directors after
working in different business functions.
“We generally don‟t have career internal auditors.
However, at the manager and director level, the
rotation might extend for more than three years
depending on the person and the needs of the
organization at the time,” says McDaniel. “Some
of our managers have stayed with the

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Benefits of the Program

Coca-Cola‟s rotational program is seen as a key assigned to report to a development manager. In


source of talent for the organization. Because of addition, new auditors work on different audits
the work they do, internal auditors have throughout the year, which enables the
experience in various aspects of the development manager to obtain direct feedback
organization, which proves beneficial as they on every audit performed by the new hire.
rotate out into other business areas. Leadership
positions held by former internal auditors include Additionally, each project is managed by an audit
that of chief financial officer, division vice lead who is an experienced auditor working on
president, and controller. that particular project. Therefore, new hires learn
by working with each lead, which enables them
“We hire auditors who are interested in the to develop into audit leads in the future.
nature of our global business and are interested
in traveling,” says McDaniel. “To date, we‟ve had “Because the rotation ends in three years, our
little trouble attracting and placing talent since goal is to ensure internal auditors learn as quickly
our auditors are some of the most sought-after as possible so that they are ready to expand their
employees in the organization.” knowledge in other areas of the organization by
the end of the rotation,” says McDaniel.
Challenges “Therefore, we have found that new auditors
learn best by doing, supported by targeted
According to McDaniel, funding of the training.”
international audit program is under ongoing
pressure due to the high travel costs. However, Furthermore, the department has to ensure all
the benefits of the program continue to outweigh internal auditors who are rotating out of the
the cost. department find a suitable position in the
organization. As a result, time is devoted to
Keeping the continuity of the internal audit marketing each employee to prospective
activity is somewhat of a challenge as well. business leaders.
To ensure the internal audit activity continues to
perform its work in a smooth fashion, only one- “We help internal auditors rotate out of the
third of the entire staff is rotated out every year. department by producing a résumé book every
This also means anywhere from 10 to 20 year containing a description of their skills and
employees are hired each year into the program. experience. In addition, we have ongoing
“We have a robust staffing and onboarding discussions with managers and directors from
approach, in which we identify and hire talent, other business functions regarding which
then place each new hire in our staff onboarding candidates they would like to hire into their
program, which lasts two to three weeks,” she department,” says McDaniel.
explains.

As part of the ongoing staff development


program, new internal auditors are required to
complete certain courses every year and are

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Recommendations for Success

To ensure the rotational program‟s success, To hire the right staff, McDaniel recommends the
McDaniel recommends that CAEs consider their implementation of a talent acquisition process
entire staffing and people development strategy. that is commensurate with the internal audit
To this end, questions CAEs need to answer activity‟s and organization‟s staffing needs.
include: McDaniel uses a robust talent acquisition
process in which they, rather than human
At what level will you bring in staff (e.g., resources, identify potential candidates through a
will you hire internal auditors directly out rigorous screening and interviewing process.
of college or only with professional
experience)? Furthermore, McDaniel uses a disciplined
Do you have training programs to scheduling approach to ensure internal audit staff
support the development of new staff? If obtain a mix of audits, so they get the broadest
so, will training be provided based on the possible experience. “We rotate internal audit
staff‟s level of experience? “CAEs need leads so, over time, every staff member has a
to consider training needs post hire, and chance to lead a variety of internal audits during
training programs must vary based on their rotation,” she adds.
the level you bring staff in,” she explains.
“We have a two-week conference each However, McDaniel retains experienced audit
year in January that covers current managers and directors with excellent people
topics, such as internal audit, accounting, development skills to ensure the internal audit
and fraud issues; IT training; and activity‟s stability and to retain the institutional
personal development. If you hire directly knowledge gained by staff. “These managers and
out of school, you would likely need directors do not rotate as often as the other
much more audit training.” positions to provide continuity and guidance to
Do you have other avenues or sources of incoming internal audit staff,” she adds.
talent that the program will compete with
or supplement? Finally, Coca Cola‟s internal audit activity also
What skill sets does the organization has a strong performance management system
need, and does the internal audit profile and culture that provides robust, candid feedback
and training fit these requirements? after each and every audit. As explained earlier,
What is the rotational program‟s cost- McDaniel assigns a development manager to
benefit? “One needs to be comfortable each staff. “After each audit, the audit staff
that the benefit exceeds the cost, as prepares an evaluation, the audit lead for that
there is a cost to built-in turnover,” audit prepares the review, and the development
McDaniel warns. “We have assessed the manager reviews and approves the review before
cost and benefit of our rotational program it is finalized by the audit lead with the audit
as high on the benefit side, but the staff,” she explains.
program‟s cost should be explicitly
acknowledged.”

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ROTATIONAL PROGRAM NO. 2:
THE HOME DEPOT
Snapshot of The Home Depot’s
Rotational Program

The Home Depot‟s internal audit rotational Candidates also have to do a project report and
program was established eight years ago. business case and present this information to
Currently, the internal audit activity has 60 us,” Barrett adds.
internal auditors out of 350,000 total employees.
One of the main reasons behind the Once the assessment phase is completed and
establishment of the program was to create a the auditor is hired, he or she is asked to commit
leadership development program for staff. Prior for two years. This enables staff to obtain the
to the rotational program, the internal audit necessary skills to be promoted into a
activity consisted of career auditors who managerial position either within or outside the
performed store compliance audits only. internal audit activity. To date, the rotational
program has successfully placed internal auditors
“To be considered, internal auditors need to have in all business areas including finance, HR,
three to four years of work experience,” says merchandising, operations, and supply chain.
Kelly Barrett, The Home Depot‟s vice president of Internal auditors who choose to stay as part of
internal audit and corporate compliance. In terms the internal audit activity have to make an
of skill sets, Barrett looks for certified public additional two-year commitment. Currently, the
accountants or people with a finance CAE position is not rotated.
background. “In fact, 55 percent of our staff have
a finance background, but we also hire Work-wise, internal audit directors and senior
engineers, consultants, and IT personnel as they managers are aligned with a specific functional
have the same kinds of critical thinking skills and area and provide services to that area. Audit
training in mathematical concepts as associates project cycles typically last three months. During
with a finance background,” she adds. the two-year rotation, audit managers and staff
are rotated each quarter to a different area —
Although internal candidates are considered, finance and shared services, IT, merchandising,
most are hired externally. Internal candidates are international, operations, supply chain, and
selected from all organizational areas, including marketing. Therefore, new auditors complete a
those with store experience. Auditors who total of eight rotations during their two-year
previously worked in the stores do well in the commitment, rotating twice into one area. “We try
program because they have a lot of working our best to schedule the associate‟s last rotation
knowledge about store operations that can be in the business area that they want to be placed
shared with other associates in the program. into when they move out of the department,” says
Barrett.
In addition, prospective candidates go through an
extensive assessment program. “We conduct “Our goal is for internal auditors to understand
structured interviews to assess a candidate‟s every aspect of the business. This is what makes
critical thinking and presentation skills. our staff valuable to the organization and what

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makes our department valuable to the business,” their rotation. “We are committed to generating
Barrett explains. “In addition, our auditors high-caliber employees. Otherwise, other
perform a lot of business process improvement business functions will not look to us as a source
program audits, so they develop strong of quality staff who are knowledgeable in all
knowledge about the business area they work in aspects of the organization,” she says. “In other
as well as ways to improve it.” words, we need to ensure we maintain a pull
rather than a push from other business leaders
Benefits by creating valuable associates.”

Due to the project life cycle‟s quarterly nature, One final obstacle is ensuring the continuity of
internal auditors obtain an in-depth the internal audit activity by keeping the
understanding of how the organization works. experience and knowledge internal auditors
“When you work on projects in both store obtain or develop while participating in the
operations and merchandising you understand a program. As a result, Barrett performs a lot of
lot about how the company works as well since work with succession planning to figure out which
these two areas are interconnected,” says internal auditors will be promoted into audit
Barrett. Therefore, by the time an internal manager, senior manager, and director positions.
auditor‟s two-year rotation ends, he or she “Overall, the main goal is to keep experienced
understands how the entire business operates auditors who are knowledgeable about the
and the big-picture ramifications of organization in the program so they, in turn, train
organizationwide initiatives. new auditors,” she adds. The department also
stores everything electronically to facilitate
Challenges document archiving and retrieval as well as the
transfer of knowledge from one auditor
Each year, Barrett‟s group places approximately generation to the next.
24 employees into the organization at large.
Consequently, one of the main challenges of the Recommendations for Success
rotational program is ensuring internal auditors
find the right position at the end of the two-year Prior to implementing a rotational program,
commitment. However, the high quality of internal Barrett recommends that CAEs consider the
audit staff has enabled auditors to find suitable different areas within the organization where staff
career opportunities within the organization. can be placed into after they finish the program
According to Barrett, because The Home Depot and whether there will be enough jobs that
is a larger company, there are more opportunities routinely become available. Given the nature of
for auditors to find the right position once a the rotational program, CAEs also need to
rotation is over. “This is one of the reasons why a consider how to ensure the internal audit
smaller organization might not benefit from a activity‟s continuity by finding a way to retain the
rotational model like The Home Depot‟s,” institutional knowledge internal auditors gain
explains Barrett. during their tenure as well as determining what
level of employees are needed to run the internal
Another challenge is ensuring internal auditors audit activity successfully. One way to do this is
have the right skills to be placed into positions by promoting internal auditors to management
outside the internal audit activity at the end of positions. If this is the case, CAEs need to

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determine how promotions will work within the
rotational program (e.g., how long will employees
have to commit to the program once they get
promoted). At The Home Depot, the commitment
is two years at every promotion to manager,
senior manager, and director.

Training is also a key program element and is


essential for the rotational program‟s success.
“You also need a great training program to
ensure internal auditors have the tools they need
to perform their work effectively.” In addition to
technical audit training, the training program
includes professional development, feedback,
and coaching processes and activities.

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ROTATIONAL PROGRAM NO. 3:
GENERAL ELECTRIC (GE) CO.
Snapshot of GE’s Rotational Program

GE‟s Corporate Audit department is based in Once the senior manager rotation is over,
Fairfield, Conn. The company‟s internal audit auditors are eligible to be promoted to executive
rotational program was implemented in the early audit manager or become an executive at a
1910s and serves as a leadership development different business unit. Executive audit manager
and training program for the company and the rotations last 18 months to two years. Auditors at
internal audit activity. Currently, 430 internal this level become audit experts in a particular
auditors are part of the rotational program out segment, geographic location, or process such
of which 100 to 150 auditors are hired on a as compliance. “At the end of the executive audit
yearly basis and are rotated out every two manager rotation, the person has a total of seven
years. If hired internally, candidates must have years of internal audit experience and is at the
a minimum of two years of experience with executive level in the company,” says Worrell.
the company. “So as you can see, this is a career acceleration
as well as a leadership training program.”
Internal candidates make up 95 percent of the
new hires for the internal audit activity‟s rotational The remaining 300-plus internal auditors work in
program. Sixty percent of all new hires come the financial services business unit. These
from the organization‟s entry-level training positions do not rotate and are filled with internal
programs from departments such as finance, and external candidates. These internal auditors
IT, engineering, sales, and marketing. Before typically stay in the position for two to three years
anyone is able to join the internal audit activity, in a particular country and then either accept a
the internal candidate‟s business unit finance leadership role in the organization or seek
leader must make a recommendation. Once the employment opportunities in other internal audit
interview process is over, candidates go through or control areas.
a one-month trial to decide if they like the team
and vice versa. Approximately 75 percent of all In addition, GE‟s internal audit activity consists of
candidates make it through the one-month trial. a nonrotating advisory practice group. Members
of this group have certified public accounting and
New internal auditors start out as associates internal audit experience and serve as technical
who travel 100 percent of the time to different consultants for internal auditors, giving them
locations around the world. After two years, assistance on issues, and provide additional
auditors are either promoted to audit manager or continuity. Advisory group members also have
go back into a business. Audit managers also anywhere from five to 15 years of experience in a
travel 100 percent of the time and rotations last a particular area such as revenue recognition,
year. At the end of the rotation, audit managers leasing, IT, or general audit practice. Worrell‟s
can either stay as members of the internal audit audit group also consists of three nonrotating
activity for an additional year as senior managers labor compliance specialists who handle work
who specialize in a business segment or go out visas and scheduling.
into a business.

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To run the rotational program effectively, Worrell A third challenge is the program‟s operational
performs an annual gap analysis to determine cost. “Our rotational model is costly due to the
the organization‟s audit needs and the technical amount of travel involved, the living expenses of
skills and competencies needed to be an staff while on travel, and our training program,”
effective internal audit and leadership Worrell explains. One way to ensure the
development program. In addition to control- program‟s costs are understood is to continue
based audits, Worrell‟s group conducts reviews producing high-quality staff who will then become
pertaining to U.S. Generally Accepted business leaders in addition to demonstrating the
Accounting Principles, compliance, and process internal audit activity‟s worth through its work.
improvement. Audit work is structured on a “GE as a whole has made a huge investment in
trimester basis so that internal auditors are our program because the organization has seen
working in one area for four months. However, its benefits in terms of the caliber of our audit
anywhere from one to six audits can be work and the high quality of our staff. Our audit
completed during this timeframe. At the end of committee believes in our work and process so
each trimester, the entire internal audit activity much it would not allow us to abandon this
gets together for formal training sessions and leadership development model.”
business updates.
The final challenge pertains to the CAE‟s time.
Challenges According to Worrell, it takes time to help
regulators understand how the rotational model
“One of the biggest obstacles we‟ve had to and internal audit process works. “Looking at it
address is the continuity of the internal audit from the outside, if you don‟t understand the
activity at a business level to ensure we are not process then it‟s hard to believe we are providing
losing risk and control coverage,” says Worrell. the right internal audit coverage. Therefore, there
To address this, Worrell makes sure those in is an investment on the CAE‟s time to educate
leadership positions have at least three years of regulators on how the rotational process works,”
experience with the organization, which helps to he says.
ensure the internal audit activity‟s continuity in a
particular business area. Additionally, Worrell is Benefits
considering extending the rotation‟s timeframe of
senior managers from one year to 16 months. The benefits of GE‟s internal audit rotational
model are two-fold. “Our rotational program is a
Another challenge is continuously improving the source of top talent for the organization through
technical training of the internal audit activity. our robust leadership development and training
Currently, internal auditors get a total of six activities,” comments Worrell. “Every year, we
performance evaluations per year. Information hire new auditors who provide a „fresh set of
from each evaluation is used to make sure eyes,‟ looking at business processes and
internal auditors obtain the necessary skills to countries differently without being stuck in a
succeed professionally. The training also particular way of doing things. We get the best
changes depending on the staff level. At first, the and brightest young talent in internal auditing.”
training program is more technical in nature and The program‟s continuous source of top talent
progresses into more leadership and industry also is able to provide new and fresh ideas to the
training toward the end. organization as a whole. Among the company‟s

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top 40 leaders, more than a third came from the organization? If you are able to answer this
internal audit rotational program. question you will have an easier time getting the
support you need to get the program up and
The way the program is structured also enables running,” says Worrell.
Worrell to give internal auditors the type of
training they need to become business or audit Third, CAEs need to spend time developing the
leaders through hands-on experience. “People training program to ensure internal auditors
are not sitting in an office every day,” he receive the audit and leadership skills needed to
explains. “As a result, they get more work done, succeed during their rotation and with the
provide more audit coverage, and get a very organization. One way to do this is by performing
diverse experience.” a stakeholder analysis of the rotational program.
“Having a robust training program has been a
New internal auditors also go through an key success factor for us,” says Worrell. “We
orientation process lasting two-plus weeks that have an extensive feedback and evaluation
brings them up to speed with internal audit topics process that enables us to understand how each
such as how to perform an audit, cycle training, person and team is performing.” As Worrell
leadership concepts, and internal audit case continues to explain, knowing how to put teams
studies. Additionally, training is performed three together has enabled him to know where to place
times per year on the particular areas that they individuals within the internal audit activity, which
are auditing. consequently helps employees thrive
professionally making them better candidates for
“Our auditors follow a training curriculum based leadership positions within the organization.
on the length of time they‟ve been with the
department, their staff level, and the area or Similarly, career acceleration is a fourth factor
service they are placed to audit,” says Worrell. CAEs need to keep in mind. To this end, CAEs
Training is performed internally by the audit need to plan how internal auditors will be
advisory group with help from other GE executive promoted and understand the opportunities that
leaders and is linked to each of the six appraisals will be available to them at the end of the
managers perform throughout the year. In rotation. “Given the amount of sacrifices required
addition, each manager is responsible for from our staff at a personal level, career
ensuring training opportunities are included in the acceleration at the end of each rotation is key,”
auditor‟s goals and objectives. says Worrell. “Hence, the rotational program has
to be a win for the individual as well as the
Recommendations for Success organization.”

Worrell has four recommendations for CAEs who Finally, CAEs need to understand that an
are looking to implement a rotational model for effective rotational program takes time. “If you
the first time. First, CAEs need to think about the want to go into a rotational model, you can‟t do it
output or the internal opportunities that will be overnight. You need to make sure you have the
available to internal auditors once the rotation is proper business support and robust processes to
over. Second, CAEs need to think about the get the program up and running. In GE, for
value proposition for their organization. “What‟s example, it is acceptable to move across the
the win for the internal audit activity and the business, so if it‟s counter to the culture of the

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organization for staff to move from business unit
to business unit, the rotational model won‟t work,”
Worrell concludes.

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