The Institute of Internal Auditors has introduced a new Qualification in Internal Audit Leadership program to identify and nurture the internal audit profession’s next generation of leaders.

The new qualification was unveiled on the second day of the IIA’s annual international conference in London. The IIA also introduced the first recipients to earn the qualification.

The program is aimed at helping top internal auditors, including chief audit executives, develop skills proven to be key indicators of success specific to internal audit leadership. It also is intended to empower aspiring leaders to develop those skills.

“As internal auditing continues to evolve and respond to new risks and other critical issues, we must identify the skills and experiences that define a new kind of leader,” said IIA president and CEO Richard F. Chambers in a statement. “QIAL allows us to do just that by focusing on those who bring success-oriented attributes, such as innovation and strategic thinking, to companies, organizations, and government agencies.”

The QIAL program focuses on internal audit leadership skills, organizational abilities, ethics, and innovation and change. QIAL-qualification skills are evaluated in a three-step process: Candidates must critically analyze complex information in three separate case studies and produce written responses for each providing insight for a senior-level audience. They must prepare and present to a senior-level panel, followed by a rigorous question-and-answer session. The final step is a 90-minute interview that focuses on personal and professional experience.

Candidates with extensive experience, including recent CAE experience, have the option of submitting documentation regarding their own experiences as well as supporting evidence, in place of the case studies.

QIAL candidates are assigned a panel of accomplished senior audit executives who provide focused feedback and coaching. The knowledge and skills identified and developed through the QIAL program are linked to The IIA’s Competency Framework.

Riyad Al Mubarak, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority in the United Arab Emirates and one of the inaugural QIAL recipients, described the designation as a must-have for any senior auditor. “Definitely, the CAE at a minimum should have this certification, because it asserts the ability of that chief audit executive to deliver the value and services expected from him,” he said in a statement.

Joanne Traice, another QIAL recipient and director of group audit and risk for DP World in the United Arab Emirates said growing demands on CAEs—to deliver more value, be more strategic, and have a greater business-risk mind-set—require an international standard that demonstrates the competencies required for today’s audit leaders. “For me personally, the QIAL has aligned my priorities as a CAE and reinforced my mind-set that we are agents of change with a challenging but exciting and evolving task in our hands,” Traice said.

The QIAL program’s inaugural class was introduced at the London conference, where all but two were on hand to receive certificates acknowledging their achievement. The group includes IIA members from the UAE, Australia, Canada, Egypt, India, Jordan, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Qualification in Internal Audit Leadership (QIAL) Recipients





His Excellency Riyad Al Mubarak

Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority


UAE National

AbdulQader Obaid Ali, CRMA

Dubai World

Chief of Group Internal Audit

UAE National

Aisha Majid Abdullah Bushlaibi

Municipality and Planning Department – Ajman

Head of Internal Audit

UAE National

Aldrin Sequeira

Jumeirah Group

Chief Internal Audit Officer


Arindam De

Protiviti – UAE 

Managing Director


Asem Al Naser, CIA


Chief Internal Auditor


Farah Araj, CIA

National Holding LLC

Chief Audit Executive


Joanne Traice

DP World - UAE

Director – Group Internal Audit and Risk


Mohamed Albouhy, CIA


Associate Director – UAE 


Nada Al Chalabi, CIA

Dubai World

Senior Audit Manager 


Seth Peterson, CIA, CRMA

First National Bank – Sioux Falls, N.D.



Karl Hendricks, CIA

KPMG (Lower Gulf)


South African

Registration for the next group of QIAL candidates begins in August with case studies starting in October and panels and presentations in December. The number of openings for each class is limited. Click here for more information on the QIAL program.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access