This account of internal audit is set within the context of higher education in the UK and a fictitiously named Riverbank University. The study evaluates the recent introduction of “Internal Academic Audit” to the University and compares the process with that of the internationally recognised ISO 19011 Guidelines for Auditing Quality Management Systems, used both in the private and public sectors. A thorough review of the literature on audit theory was conducted in order to gauge best and worst practices. The aim was to identify any theory‐practice gaps between the British Standard guidelines and actual internal academic audit performance, as well as any possible reasons for them. Finally, it is suggested that when compared with the British Standard's model the internal academic audit process is somewhat less robust, particularly in terms of auditor selection and training.
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