Audit and risk committee: choosing the best approach to internal scrutiny

Your trust has 4 main options for who carries out your internal scrutiny. Assess the options, choose the best one for your trust, and learn how to review the effectiveness of your approach.

Last reviewed on 10 November 2023See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 40761
  1. What is internal scrutiny?
  2. There are 4 main options
  3. Factors for making the choice
  4. Reviewing your approach
  5. Resources

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. 

There are 4 main options

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