Internal audit: further information

Further information on our Internal Audit Division.

Our Internal Audit Division provides internal audit services across all areas of the Scottish Government, as well as to a large number of associated public bodies, from Transport Scotland to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. 

It also serves as the Audit Authority on behalf of the European Commission for European funds spent in Scotland through the European Structural and Investment Funds and the European Maritime and Fisheries Funds, and provides the internal audit service to the Common Agricultural Programme in Scotland, which supports the rural community. 

The role of internal audit

The role of internal audit is to provide independent assurance that an organisation's risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively. It looks at the big risks and issues that the organisation faces and thinks about whether these are being well managed. It does this through a combination of:

  • assurance, which involves assessing how well the systems and processes designed to keep the organisation on track are working
  • advisory support, to improve systems and processes where necessary

All of this is done in accordance with Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.

Internal audit can challenge current practice, champion best practice and be a catalyst for improvement, so that the organisation as a whole achieves its strategic objectives. It has a duty to provide an unbiased and objective view, and must be independent from the operations it evaluates.

Internal audit reports to the highest level in an organisation – this is generally the Accountable Officer, which for the Scottish Government is the Permanent Secretary, and the organisation’s Audit Committee.

Internal audit is different and separate from external audit, whose primary function is to review the financial statements of an organisation. While internal audit does undertake some work in finance, its role is far wider and covers all aspects of an organisation’s business.   

For more information about the work of the Internal Audit Division, contact the Internal Audit Business Support Hub at

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