Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

Our support for audit committees

Audit committees are a vital part of an organisation, supporting good governance, strong public financial management and effective internal audit and external audit.

CIPFA considers that a dedicated and effective audit committee is important for all public sector bodies and for local government and police, key principles are set out in a CIPFA Position Statement. In addition, CIPFA has developed a range of resources to guide and support both the members of audit committee and those interacting with the committee.

Policy and research

The CIPFA Position Statement on Audit Committees sets out the key principles that CIPFA recommends for audit committees operating in local government. The Position Statement reflects CIPFA's support for audit committees and recognises the value they can add to good governance and strong public financial management.

In 2016 CIPFA conducted surveys of audit committees in UK local authorities and of police audit committees in England and Wales. The survey findings are set out in a series of briefings on key themes, including audit committee effectiveness, working with internal audit and training and support for the committee. There is also a specific briefing for the findings relating to police.


To accompany the Position Statement, CIPFA has published additional guidance to support the establishment, operation and effectiveness of audit committees. The publication covers the core functions of the committee, including details of the relevant legislation and professional standards that the committee members should be aware of.  It includes a Knowledge and Skills Framework to support the appointment, training and development of audit committee members and resources to enable self-evaluation and improvement planning.

CIPFA regularly publishes briefings for audit committee members to assist them in their work.  The briefings highlight new developments that are relevant for the work of the committee and include in-depth articles on key themes.  The briefings are available through the CIPFA Better Governance Forum.

Training and network events

CIPFA runs a regular programme of audit committee events covering roles and responsibilities, core functions and new developments impacting on the work of the committee. Regional venues provide the opportunity to network with other audit committee members. 

In-house training 

Training is also available in-house, covering a range of topics such as:

  • roles and responsibilities
  • understanding good governance
  • risk management
  • working with and supporting internal audit
  • external audit
  • counter fraud
  • reviewing the financial statements
  • practical skills.

Contact our in-house training team for more information T: 020 7543 5600.

Facilitation and advisory services

CIPFA is able to deliver a range of advisory services such as a review of committee effectiveness.

Contact our our team for more information or call T: 020 7543 5600.

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