The Institute of Internal Auditors is merging with the Auditing Roundtable to create a new Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Center that will serve environmental, health and safety auditors around the world, starting in 2016.

The two organizations have been working on a merger for about a year, and in late February when members of the Auditing Roundtable overwhelmingly approved the proposed merger. That positive vote was followed by approvals by the IIA’s North American Board, Executive Committee and Global Board of Directors earlier this month.

“A significant majority of our members saw the clear value in joining forces with the IIA,” said Auditing Roundtable president Bill Qualls in a statement. “This vote helps assure that services for the EHS auditing community will continue uninterrupted at the highest levels. It also assures that the BEAC certification, which the AR and IIA have jointly overseen since 1997, will continue to resonate as a valued credential signifying the best our profession has to offer.”

In January, the AR board of directors unanimously approved a letter of intent to merge with the IIA and scheduled a vote of its membership. Member votes, which included proxies and in-person ballots, were tallied at the AR’s national meeting in Phoenix. The final count had 72 percent of members supporting the merger. A two-thirds vote in support was required under the AR’s bylaws.

“I couldn’t be happier with the positive outcome of the vote,” said IIA president and CEO Richard F. Chambers. “In the month leading up to the vote, AR members were diligent and tenacious in their analysis of the merger proposal, raised tough questions, and debated the pros and cons thoroughly. That due diligence, which we would expect from high-performing auditors, makes this vote especially gratifying.”

The letter of intent calls for the AR to merge into the newly created EHS Audit Center and for the current AR board to serve as the center’s initial advisory board. It also calls for the IIA to hire a dedicated director for the center and support staff as needed.

The transition period until the new center opens in 2016 will give the two organizations time to develop and execute an integration plan and provide for continued service by AR to its membership.

“Partnering with the IIA will allow us to extend our reach to the global EHS auditing profession and continue to provide value-added services to our community while continuing with the core elements that made the Roundtable successful,” Qualls said.

Leaders of both organizations believe that uniting the two organizations, along with the launch of the new EHS Audit Center, will elevate the professional practice of environmental, health and safety auditing globally by supporting auditors with targeted resources, training and networking opportunities.

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