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COVID Benchmarking Survey - now open

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

CIAN are conducting a COVID Benchmarking Survey and invite all charity and not for profit organisations to complete this.

The aim of the survey is to support charity and not for profit organisations in benchmarking their Internal Audit provision against other organisations in the sector.

You can complete the survey here

(OR, enter into the address bar of your web browser)

Questions are mostly multiple choice and the survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. The survey will be open for responses until Sunday 19th July.

Who should complete the survey?

The survey can be completed by any charity or not for profit and we recommend it is filled in by the Head of Internal Audit or equivalent individual in the organisation responsible for assurance over internal controls. If these individuals are furloughed, we would still encourage them to complete the survey as part of the benchmarking will be understanding how common furlough of charity internal audit is. The survey is being sent to all CIAN members. We ask each organisation to complete the survey only once.

Charities and not for profits who are not members of CIAN may complete this survey, but will only receive a copy of the results of the survey if they join CIAN (CIAN membership is free and you can register here).

We strongly encourage all CIAN member organisations to complete the survey. As with any benchmarking exercise, the more organisations who complete the survey, the more useful the data will be for everyone. We are taking the same approach as for our usual annual benchmarking surveys so only those CIAN members who complete the survey will receive the full (anonymised) dataset. Some high level findings will be shared with all CIAN members, but this will be limited and will not include breakdowns by organisation size/type so organisations those who do not complete the survey will miss out on much of the benefit.

Why are CIAN running a COVID Benchmarking Survey?

The aim of the survey is to support charity and not for profit organisations in benchmarking their Internal Audit provision against other organisations in the sector. The survey also provides an opportunity for CIAN to better understand the current situation of the Internal Audit profession within charities and will support us in advocacy activities and in delivering future activities that meet the needs of CIAN members. The questions seek to provide an overview of how internal audit in charity and not for profit organisations has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as how internal audit have supported their organisations during the pandemic.

What type of questions are there and how long will it take?

The questions are primarily multiple choice, but there are some free text boxes included in the survey. If you wish to provide any additional clarification or information alongside your responses, you can do so by emailing

The survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. For those who put shorter answers in the free text boxes, the survey may be quicker than this.

Questions cover topics including current risks and audit plan coverage; whether IA resources have been furloughed or redirected; whether IA are involved in return to office planning; and the activities IA have undertaken since the start of the pandemic.

Results and Data Usage

We will use the responses provided in this survey to produce an anonymised report and dataset to compare charity Internal Audit functions. Full anonymised results (with anonymised dataset) will only be shared with CIAN members who complete the survey. Highlights of findings will be shared with the wider CIAN network and may also be included in CIAN external communications, articles and publications and shared with select partners (such as Chartered IIA) in order to promote Internal Audit in the third sector and the work of CIAN.

Please be assured that the responses you provide will not be attributed to your organisation and only the two CIAN committee members analysing the data will see the names of organisations who have completed the survey.

What do I do if I have problems accessing the survey or if I have questions?

You can complete the survey here (or by putting into the address bar).

If you have any problems completing the CIAN COVID Benchmarking Survey, or if you have any questions about it, please contact us via email at:

What about the annual CIAN benchmarking survey?

Some members will have noticed that the annual CIAN benchmarking survey (usually in April) has not taken place yet in 2020. Due to the current circumstances, including uncertainty in resourcing, CIAN decided it was not appropriate to send out the usual CIAN annual benchmarking survey on internal audit provision. We will take a decision later in the year on when it is most appropriate to next send out the usual annual benchmarking questions, and whether this will be in 2020 or 2021 - if you have any strong views on this, please let us know at

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