Handbook for Audit Committee Members in Further and Higher Education (Fully Revised Second Edition)

cover - Handbook for Audit Committee Members


This handbook provides practical guidance for audit committee members and the executive. It covers roles and responsibilities, internal and external audit, review of the control environment, and includes a good practice checklist.








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Further and higher education institutions receive significant public funding and, therefore, it is of paramount importance that they adhere to the highest standards of corporate governance.

Aspects of corporate governance in the public services have been addressed by the Committee on Standards in Public Life. The committee's first report (the Nolan report) was published in May 1995 and identified and defined seven principles of conduct which should underpin public life.

Audit committees are responsible for forming an opinion and reporting on the internal control and financial reporting arrangements within an institution. As such, they play an essential part in the corporate governance process. The requirement for institutions to establish an audit committee is set out in the funding councils' audit codes of practice and is reinforced in the financial memorandum between further and higher education institutions and their respective funding councils.

The Handbook for Audit Committee Members in Further and Higher Education (Fully Revised Second Edition) updates the hugely popular 1996 publication. It provides a practical source of guidance and advice for audit committee members and the executive in further and higher education. It will also be valuable to other board members who retain some key audit responsibilities and for other interested parties.

It describes audit committee members' roles and responsibilities; the role of internal and external audit; and the responsibility of management to review critically the institution's control environment. This edition includes brand new sections on corporate governance and risk management. There is also greater emphasis throughout on 'questions to ask' and the good practice checklist in the appendices will help audit committee members to assess the effectiveness of their own audit committee. This will also form a useful basis for any future actions.

This publication has been prepared with the full support of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Learning and Skills Council, the National Council for Education and Training for Wales, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Scottish Funding Councils for Further and Higher Education. The handbook is designed to complement the audit codes of practice that have been produced by the funding councils.

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