The Institute of Internal Auditors has introduced an Environmental, Health & Safety Audit Center to highlight the growing role of EHS auditors in corporate governance.

The IIA is seeing the scope of EHS auditors’ work expand beyond regulatory compliance to encompass risk mitigation, sustainability and other areas. The center will focus on expanding the reach of EHS auditing as its importance grows.

The new center evolved from the IIA’s planned merger with the Auditing Roundtable, an EHS auditing group created in 1982 that offers training and advocacy for the profession. The merger, announced last year, is pending final state regulatory approval.

The new EHS Center includes a dedicated website, which the IIA unveiled Tuesday, with offerings for members of the new IIA center. The website will be available free online through June 30. The center’s director, Tammy Wyche, has worked in the areas of hazardous waste management, environmental, health and safety auditing, employee training programs, and regulatory compliance.

The new center will help EHS professionals improve their skills and education through a mix of content, training, educational products and research. The center also will serve as an advocate for the profession, highlighting changes in regulations, new legislation, emerging technology, and evolving stakeholder demands that affect the profession and its practitioners.

“The needs of today’s EHS auditors have grown in complexity as stakeholders demand more of them,” said Auditing Roundtable Board president Bill Qualls in a statement. “This new specialized center from the IIA offers the resources of a global organization with the capacity to expand training and advocacy at a crucial time for the profession.”

The risks associated with workplace health-and-safety regulatory compliance have expanded, the IIA pointed out. This positions EHS auditors to offer great value to their organizations. The variety of environmental regulations and growing pressure on corporations to integrate sustainability into their business plans also offer new opportunities and challenges to EHS auditors.

“At a time when the influence of EHS auditing is growing rapidly, it is only natural for The IIA to launch the Environmental, Health & Safety Audit Center,” said IIA president and CEO Richard Chambers. “The new EHS website is just the start of our efforts to develop a specialty center dedicated to the serving the unique needs of EHS professionals.”

The IIA has previously recognized the service provided by the EHS profession. The Board of Environmental, Health and Safety Auditor Certifications (BEAC), a joint venture of the IIA and the Auditing Roundtable, has offered several certifications for professionals to demonstrate their expertise in EHS-related topics since 1997.

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