What is internal scrutiny?
Internal scrutiny is the process of checking that your financial (and other) controls and risk management procedures are effective. According to the Academy Trust Handbook (ATH) (section 3.2), this should cover:
- Evaluating whether your financial and other controls are compliant and suitable – checks include whether procedures are effective, and whether they've been followed (by checking transactions)
- Advice to the board on how to address weaknesses in your controls and procedures
- Making sure all categories of risk are adequately identified, reported on and managed
As an audit and risk committee, your role is to oversee the person or people who carry out this work. However, you won't do this work yourself. You'll set the programme of work they follow, and receive reports.
You must agree as a committee who will perform this work for your trust. There are different approaches you can take, which we've set out below.