3i Programme

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3i Programme

BackgroundProgramme ObjectiveParticipating SAIsCooperating PartnersProgramme results frameworkProgramme Implementation StrategyIssai Certification ProgrammeProgramme team


The IDI launched 3i Programme Phase-I in 2012 to support SAIs in developing countries in implementing ISSAIs. The results framework of phase-I included, development and dissemination of global public goods i.e. iCATs and ISSAI Implementation Handbooks, ISSAI certification programmes for financial, performance and compliance audit that have led to certified pool of about 250 ISSAI facilitators in English speaking regions and OLACEFS so far, 3i cooperative audits, 3i community portal for sharing information and experiences and startup support at SAI level.

The delivery of the first phase has been completed in the English speaking regions and will continue in OLACEFS, ARABOSAI and CREFIAF during this operational planning period. The IDI has learned many valuable lessons during the delivery of phase I in English, through an external evaluation of the programme and after consultations with key stakeholders.

In the meanwhile, the 2014 global survey showed an overwhelming need for continuation of support for ISSAI implementation. In view of the above, support for ISSAI implementation will be a continuous work stream in the IDI. This workstream will be divided into different phases of 3i programme for helping the IDI focus its support on certain elements during any given period.

Lessons learned from Phase I

We have learned that there is a need to step back and provide support to SAIs in understanding their current practices, stakeholder expectations and national context even before they start mapping their current practices to ISSAI requirements by using the iCATs.

There is a need to relook the iCATS in light of the new level 4 standards and to explore the possibility of providing a phased approach to meeting requirements.

The iCATs would add more value if they are used to review methodology instead of strategy. They could also be positioned as QA tools.

There is a need to create a critical mass of SAI staff that has the ability to implement ISSAIs in the audit practice. This would possibly involve certification and training programmes delivered on a regular basis. In case of certification programmes, we need to move from participation based certification to competency-based certification. However, certification is an excluding process. There is a need to supplement certification with blended learning programmes (on the job, in the SAI, pilot audits) to create critical mass for ISSAI implementation.

SAIs need holistic support in implementing ISSAIs. This entails more support provided at SAI level. Focusing on technical support alone will not be sufficient. SAIs will need to consider change management strategies that impact both the people and the organisation.

A robust quality assurance mechanism at the SAI level is necessary for getting any assurance on the status of ISSAI implementation. SAIs have expressed a need for support in establishing such QA functions.

We have also experienced the need to link the 3i communities of practice with the communities operated for blended learning support as a part of the cooperative audits.

Programme Objective

SAIs move towards ISSAI compliant audit practices.

objective participating SAIs

Participating SAIs

cooperation partners table

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Cooperating Partners

The ISSAI Implementation Programme is as a partnership programme between the INTOSAI Professional Standards Committee, its sub committees on Financial, Performance and Compliance Audit, INTOSAI Capacity Building Committee and relevant English speaking INTOSAI regions. The programme aimed at creating capacity for implementation of level 4 ISSAIs in financial audit (including compliance audit) and performance audit in the five English speaking regions of AFROSAI-E, ASOSAI, CAROSAI, EUROSAI and PASAI and in ARABOSAI and OLACEFS region.

Programme activities in the five English speaking INTOSAI regions has started in 2012, and in Arabic and Spanish speaking regions has started in 2014.

The IDI is partnering with following partners for implementation the 3i programme:

Intosai Professional Standards Committee


Intosai Capacity Building Committee


Intosai Regions


Financing Partner - 3i Arabosai


eLearning Partner


Programme results framework

results framework

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Programme Implementation Strategy


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The objective of the 3i Programme Phase II is – supporting SAIs in implementing ISSAIs. The programme envisages achieving this objective by implementing the following results framework:

  • Development, revision and maintenance of 3i Products
    IDI has developed iCATs, ISSAI Implementation handbooks, courseware for 3i Phase I. In line with the changes to the ISSAIs and the lessons learned from Phase I implementation, IDI will update the products. Material developed under the three audit streams will place an emphasis on audit methodology. IDI will also develop products necessary for implementation guidance for the SAIs e.g. Moving towards ISSAI compliance.
  • Strengthening ISSAI certification programmes
    The certification programmes will be rolled out for all three audit streams. To enhance the credibility of the ISSAI Facilitators, IDI will move from certification of participation to a certification based on competency. Such certification will have a link to the cooperative pilot audits and the QA activity. It will ensure acquiring the audit knowledge and skills for application in the field. After the facilitators are certified, they will update their knowledge of the ISSAIs and current practices annually through a continuous professional education system. Along with this, IDI will also be a part of the INTOSAI Certification for Auditors which is based on the competency framework.
  • ISSAI based cooperative audits
    IDI will support the SAIs in conducting ISSAI based audit with its cooperative audit model. Other IDI programmes e.g. SDGs, SAI fighting corruption have cooperative audit elements which will be done following the same model. IDI will explore the possibility to link the “3i programme phase II” cooperative audit and other programmes which have cooperative audit elements. This will reduce the overlapping of audit and help the SAIs to focus on their respective audits.
  • 3i community portal
    The existing 3i portal will be integrated with the IDI community portal, with a 3i Community of practice on the IDI community portal. It will build on the network of ISSAI experts, mentors and the pool of ISSAI facilitators created through Phase I. The portal will provide easy access to 3i related information, 3i products and other products developed. The competency-based certification programme, cooperative audits of other programmes will create a larger community. It will also widen the network to include other SAI professionals, experts and stakeholders.
  • Quality assurance programme:
    Quality Assurance will be considered both at the SAI level and at audit level. It will focus on implementing quality as a focal point of SAI work and its business processes. After the SAI completes a pilot audit, there will be a quality assurance review of the audit. QA at the SAI level will require interventions at different stages. There will be an assessment of QA status in the SAIs along with the mapping exercise of SAI audit practices. The IDI will cooperate with the regions to identify the need and feasibility for a quality assurance programme at SAI or regional level. The iCAT will be positioned as a QA tool. This will confirm following the ISSAI compliant audit methodology as well as the use of iCAT as a QA tool.
  • SAI level ISSAI implementation support
    Phase II will start with the SAI level pilot. This includes support in training of SAI staff, conducting iCATs, developing ISSAI implementation strategies, setting up QA mechanism, conducting pilot audits, etc. An SAI level support model will be used which is described below. A pool of trained ‘ISSAI Implementers’ will support the SAI level support process in the pilot SAIs as well as other participating SAIs and regions.

SAI level support Model

SAI level support focuses the technical elements of conducting ISSAI compliant audit which is based on ISSAI compliant audit methodology. For successful implementation, the technical process of ISSAI implementation needs to have a parallel process of awareness raising, advocacy, leadership and change management and organisational and institutional change in the SAI. The IDI will assist the SAIs in integrating all these processes in their implementation strategy.

programme implementation process

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Before starting an SAI level pilot, the SAI will identify the following teams:

  1. SAI Project Management Team –This team will coordinate the SAI level pilot with the IDI team. The team will consist of five members – project leader from SAI management, one member each from financial audit, performance audit and compliance audit, and one QA member. The project management team will facilitate the smooth implementation of SAI level pilot project.
  2. SAI Mentor team – The SAI, in consultation with the IDI, will identify a mentor team of five (or as appropriate) members from SAI who will work together with the IDI team in facilitating all interventions during the SAI level support. The mentor team will be selected based on agreed criteria between the SAI and the IDI. The mentor team will assist the SAI to deal with the technical aspect of the ISSAI implementation, and facilitate sustainable implementation of ISSAIs in the SAIs audit practices.
  3. Financial audit team and QA team/ Performance Audit team and QA team/ Compliance Audit Team and QA Team – Team to be trained in all stages of implementing financial/ performance/compliance audit ISSAIs. Each team will comprise of 10-15 auditors depending on the size of audit staff in the SAI, and will include staff at different levels, viz; auditors, team leader, and reviewer/supervisor. The teams selected should be those that will be carrying out the pilots and QA review. The teams shall be selected based on the agreed criteria set by SAI and the IDI.

The stages of the SAI level support are as follows:

  1. Initial mapping & risk assessment: As a first step in implementing ISSAIs, the SAI will map its current audit practices to ascertain the nature of audit output and engagement, stakeholder expectations and the types of audit actually being carried out in the SAI. A guidance on moving towards ISSAI compliance and iCATs can be used to conduct initial mapping to ascertain the current situation in the SAI and to see what is required for the SAI to become ISSAI compliant in its audit practices. In conducting the initial mapping exercise, the SAI will identify the risks and propose measures to mitigate those risks, taking into account the factors related to both internal and external environment of the SAI.
  2. ISSAI implementation strategy: The results of the initial mapping exercise and iCATs will be used to develop a detailed ISSAI implementation strategy that is aligned with the SAI’s overall strategic plan. At this stage, the SAI will determine baselines and targets for the pilot audits as well as for its overall strategy. SAI will also consider the organizational changes necessary, if any, to implement ISSAIs in the long term.
  3. Define audit methodology: SAI will use the results of the iCATs, review current audit methodology and adapt IDI’s ISSAI Implementation Handbooks to redefine audit methodology so that it is ISSAI compliant. SAI will redefine methodology for financial audit, performance audit and compliance audit.
  4. Implement ISSAIs in audit practice: The IDI will support SAI in testing and piloting its new audit methodology by conducting pilot audit(s). The number of pilot audits in all three streams of audit; financial, performance and compliance audit will be determined considering the SAIs situation. Audit methodology will be later adjusted based on the pilot audit experience. The IDI expects the SAI to take up further training of SAI teams and carry out further ISSAI based audits. Over a period of time, all SAI teams working in the respective audit streams will be trained in the new audit methodology by the teams trained by the IDI.
  5. Quality assurance: To ascertain compliance with ISSAI based audit methodologies in audit practice, an independent Quality Assurance Review will be conducted for pilot audits. The QA will be conducted by a team independent of audit team engaged in pilot audits. The IDI will reorient the iCATs for use as QA tools and provide guidance on using these tools in setting up a QA mechanism.

Leadership, Advocacy & Change Management

The SAI leadership is a critical element of implementation of 3i Phase II SAI level support. The IDI will engage in dialogue with the Head of the SAI before signing the statement of commitment to ensure that the benefits of ISSAI implementation and ISSAI compliant audits are well understood. The IDI will also ensure that the SAI leadership is taken on board during the implementation of the project. The middle management at the audit supervisory role in the SAI influences the audit practices and outputs. Therefore, the IDI will embark on the greater engagement of the middle management right from training to conducting the audit and QA review process. This will ensure that there is a buy-in and ownership of moving towards ISSAI compliance.

The SAI level support will include advocacy programmes to ensure that ISSAI implementation initiative and processes are well disseminated to both internal and external stakeholders of the SAI. The IDI in collaboration with the SAI team will advocate the adoption and implementation of ISSAIs in the SAI.

The initial assessment exercise of ISSAI implementation may indicate changes required at both institutional and audit levels. In this model, the team conducting the initial mapping exercise will be asked to identify the enablers and barriers to change, and prepare a change management strategy. The IDI and assessment team from the SAI will involve SAI top management, and middle management throughout this process to set the right tone at the top for change to take place in the SAI if required.

About the Programmes

The ISSAI Certification Programmes are a component of the ISSAI Implementation Initiative (3i programme) Phase-I. Following three certification programmes are offered in a blended manner.

  • ISSAI Certification Programme (Financial Audit)
  • ISSAI Certification Programme (Performance Audit)
  • ISSAI Certification Programme (Compliance Audit)

Each certification programme includes:

Level 2 ISSAIs covering independence, accountability and transparency, code of ethics and quality control mechanism in the SAI, and Level 4 ISSAIs pertaining to financial or performance or compliance audit guidelines.


The objective of the ISSAI Certification Programmes is to create capacity for implementation of ISSAIs by developing a pool of at least 180 ISSAI facilitators for all three audit streams put together (financial, performance and compliance audit) in the five English speaking regions of INTOSAI. For OLACEFS region at least 48 ISSAI facilitators, for ARABOSAI at least 30 and for CREFIAF at least 40 ISSAI Facilitators.


261 participants from 67 SAIs were selected to participate in the three ISSAI certification programmes. 96 for Financial audit, 81 for Performance Audit and 84 for Compliance audit. Region wise 80 participants from AFROSAI-E, 80 from ASOSAI, 43 from CAROSAI, 32 from EUROSAI and 26 from PASAI participated in the programme.While 261 participants attended the first e-course on iCATs, 232 participants completed all modules successfully (83 for financial audit, 77 for Performance Audit and 72 for Compliance Audit) participated in the 2nd eLearning course on Implementing financial/performance/compliance audit ISSAIs. After completing the Facilitating ISSAI Implementation workshop and submitting the individual Action Plan 201 participants have been certified as ISSAI Facilitators. Three iCATs, ISSAI implementation guidance materials and e-course material are developed.

In ARABOSAI 82 participants have completed all stages of the certification programme and awaiting certification upon submission of the final iCATs. In OLACEFS 56 participants have been certified as ISSAI Facilitators and 6 as ISSAI mentors. In CREFIAF 96 participants are now undergoing the certification programme.


The pool of IDI-PSC certified ISSAI Facilitators will assist their SAIs and SAIs in the regions in implementing ISSAIs, will help in conducting iCATs, development of manuals, conducting training and will be involved in the capacity development regarding ISSAIs.


1. Design meeting for E-courses on iCATs, 16 July to 3 August 2012

2. Nomination and Selection of Participants for ISSAI Certification Programmes – August – September 2012

3. E-course on iCATs22 October - 7 December 2012

4. Design meeting for E-courses on Implementing ISSAIs (Financial, Performance, Compliance), 2013

5. Design meeting for Workshop on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation, April 2013

6. E-courses on Implementing ISSAIs (Financial, Performance, Compliance), 2013/2014

7. Workshops on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation – 2013/2014

ISSAI Experts

The ISSAI Experts are nominated by the three sub-committees of the INTOSAI Professional Standards Committee. The list of ISSAI Experts is mentioned in the 3i Directory section. 

Roles of Expert:

  • Represent the respective subcommittees of the PSC
  • Provide contents for product development
  • Ensure alignment with subcommittee views
  • Quality assure contents
  • Mentor resource team and participants
  • Participate actively on the 3i community portal and be a driver for sustaining the ISSAI knowledge network and community of practice
  • Provide expert advice and support to participants and SAIs

ISSAI Mentors

ISSAI Mentors are expert audit practitioners from the 5 INTOSAI regions who are involved in the development of the products and act as online mentors of the E-courses. The list of ISSAI Mentors are mentioned in the 3i Directory.

Roles of Mentors:

  • Work with ISSAI experts in designing, developing and delivering products for the 3i programme.
  • Share information and experiences related to ISSAI implementation in the SAI/region
  • Be e-mentors for the participants of the ISSAI Certification Programme
  • Participate actively on the 3i community portal and be a driver for sustaining the ISSAI knowledge network and community of practice
  • Provide advise and support to participants and SAIs

ISSAI Facilitators

The participants of the ISSAI Certification Programme who will successfully complete all three stages of the programme will be certified as the IDI-PSC ISSAI Facilitators. The roles and responsibilities of the ISSAI Facilitators as suggested by IDI are:

  1. Facilitating implementation of iCATs in the SAI – The ISSAI facilitators have been trained in planning, conducting and reporting on ISSAI Compliance Assessments Financial, Performance and Compliance Audit. It is recommended that trained ISSAI facilitators be a part of the SAI team that conducts iCATs in the SAI.
  2. Developing ISSAI Implementation strategy for the SAI – In 2013 the ISSAI facilitators will be trained in the development of ISSAI Implementation strategy based on the iCATs. It is recommended that they assist or be included in the management team that will draft the ISSAI implementation strategy based on the iCATs.
  3. Engagement with institutional level work in the SAI – The ISSAI facilitators are being trained not only in technical issues related to the implementation of ISSAI at level 4 but they have also been exposed to SAI level issues at level 2. It is our recommendation that ISSAI facilitators be involved in SAI projects related to SAI independence, transparency, accountability, ethics and quality.
  4. Facilitating projects and programmes related to ISSAI Implementation in the SAI - The ISSAI facilitators can be used for facilitating a wide range of projects related to ISSAI Implementation. These projects could range from participating in the SAI’s drive to create awareness and buy in for ISSAI implementation, developing a SAI pool of ISSAI facilitators, developing ISSAI based manuals, conducting pilot audits, managing projects for ISSAI implementation, providing advice and support to colleagues in the SAI with regard to ISSAI implementation, engagement in knowledge sharing activities related to ISSAI implementation e.g. website, articles, seminars etc.
  5. Participation at regional and global level – As mentioned in the programme announcement, we hope that the ISSAI facilitators will not only facilitate ISSAI implementation at the SAI level, but also participate in ISSAI implementation activities at regional and global level.
  6. Participation in the 3i Community Portal – The ISSAI facilitators will also be expected to participate actively on the IDI’s 3i Community Portal, share knowledge and experiences related to ISSAI implementation and be an integral part of the ISSAI knowledge network and the community of practice.

Programme team

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Archana Shirsat Deputy Director General Professional and Relevant SAIs Department This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Shofiqul IslamSenior Manager Professional and Relevant SAIs Department This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Maria Lucia Lima Senior ManagerThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Karma Tenzin Senior Manager Professional and Relevant SAIs Department This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Jade Quarrell Senior Manager Professional and Relevant SAIs Department This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Chithra Ramasubramanian Senior Coordinator Professional and Relevant SAIs Department This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.