Professional internships constitute learning by impacts activity, which may contribute to the development of professional and institutional capacities within an organisation in order to incorporate new methodologies, techniques, strategies, processes, among others, conducted through the experience exchange and knowledge sharing produced among interns and professionals of the host SAI.
An internship holds many benefits. For interns, we could mention increasing their professional and working skills in multi-disciplinary, multi-lingual and multi-ethnic teams; learning of a specific topic, strategy, public audit technique; and the expansion of its professional network, among others. At the same time, organisations benefit from the learning experience of their professionals as they can use them to implement new processes, techniques, methods, etc. and be further reflected in their institutional development.
In the case of supreme audit institutions, professional internships facilitate continuous professional education in a specialised area of public audit. At INTOSAI, internships are performed with great success in the Regional Group of the Organisation of Latin American and Caribbean Supreme Audit Institutions, chaired by SAI Peru with the collaboration of the Superior Audit Office of Mexico and the financial assistance of GIZ.
Since 2012, 16 professionals from the SAIs of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru and Puerto Rico have been trained in three programmes. Such training was conducted over a period of three months and covered an online and a face-to-face phase.
The distance-learning phase covered the online training of interns on the organisation’s mandate, internal regulations and relevance of SAIs. It also included structure, attributions and professional practice on performance auditing at the SAI of Mexico, emphasising the planning methodology and conduct of audits.
The face-to-face phase covered the intern’s training at the Superior Audit Office of Mexico so that participants could acquire new knowledge, develop skills and/or methodological, technical and administrative abilities necessary for the practice of performance audits, as well as participate directly in this type of audit.
The fourth edition of the programme is presented this year where 11 professionals from the SAIs of Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Uruguay are part of the distance-learning phase.
It is worth mentioning that internship programmes in OLACEFS have made a positive contribution to performance auditing at the SAIs of Peru and Costa Rica and it is expected that more SAIs in the region will follow this trend.
For further information on the Internship program in the OLACEFS visit: www.ccc-olacefs.com
By SAI Peru – Chairman of the Subcommittee on Cooperative Audits