Cross Council Assurance Service – Internal Audit Pathway

The Cross Council Assurance Service (CCAS) is a framework for internal audit, assurance and advisory services established in August 2014 and is led by the London Borough of Barnet and supported by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) as its delivery partner. CCAS was developed to be the platform for collaboration and skills development for the Internal Audit teams across participating councils. The overarching aim is to deliver premium quality, efficient, innovative and technology enabled assurance services nationally.

Over 40 organisations are now members of the CCAS framework, and all of these organisations are making a real difference for the clients, residents and communities that they work with.

As part of its ambition CCAS is looking to build a pool of talented individuals who are keen to develop a career in Public Sector Internal Audit. Three member councils, the London Boroughs of Barnet, Barking and Dagenham and Lambeth are looking to recruit individuals into their team to be the next generation of Internal Auditors, to both grow and develop within their employing council and bring new and diverse thinking to help enhance Internal Audit as a profession.

Now is a great time to be joining Internal Audit in local government. The sector has gone through unprecedented changes over the last few years and has been at the forefront of responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic. With change and new ways of working comes different risks that a council needs to manage. Internal Audit are right at the heart of supporting organisations and their management teams to help mitigate these risks, through timely assurance provided in innovative ways, using data and technology wherever possible.


What you can expect as a CCAS trainee

Local Authorities and other public service organisations provide a wide range of services that support and benefit local communities, including education, social care, leisure, waste and regeneration. Local authorities put residents first, by tailoring services to their needs through the effective use of public funds, ensuring that all facets of society benefit fairly and equally.


As an apprentice on the CCAS Internal Audit Pathway you will become an important part of this work. You will, over time, work in varied areas covering a diverse range of exciting projects across the council’s various functions, helping to provide an opinion on the effectiveness of the control framework and risk mitigations in those areas, to a range of stakeholders including residents, senior management and elected and independent members.

The key objective of the role is to work in a team that ensures the timely and accurate delivery of internal audits in accordance with the annual plan and strategy, and to provide advice and recommendations to help council departments to improve their internal control processes supporting them to deliver better and more effectively to residents, service users and other key stakeholders.

What you will do and gain

In addition to working towards a formal qualification (IIA level 4 apprenticeship), the Pathway will differentiate itself from other training schemes as participants will develop specifically as an internal audit professional and will have the opportunity to work cross-borough and alongside PwC colleagues.

You will spend 20% of your working hours gaining skills and knowledge to work towards the IIA Practitioner Level 4 apprenticeship standard. This will typically include attending workshops, on-line learning, webinars, coaching or shadowing.

Your apprenticeship programme will help you grow in your role and gain valuable skills and experiences for your current and future work.

In addition to working towards your apprenticeship you will:

  • Work with and be supervised by experienced senior audit staff, to conduct audit assignments and follow-up activities from the current audit plan.
  • With the support and direction of supervising officer/s, research the activities being audited by spending time with the area of the council being audited; walking through how they operate a task/process; and reviewing policies, processes and standards related to the activity being audited.
  • Use your ideas, technology and data skills to enhance the way audits are delivered and provide maximum insight to our audit customers.
  • With the support and direction of supervising officer/s, communicate the results of audit work to audit management and audit clients, by contributing to written (e.g., audit reports) and verbal communications.

The duration of the position is 18 months – 2 years [TBC]


What you’ll need

CCAS trainees are encouraged to apply from all backgrounds (school leavers/ apprentices/ graduates/ experienced hires).

Applicants must be 16 or over, living in England and not in full-time education.

Applicants must have a willingness to undertake professional qualifications and have GCSE English and Maths Grade C or above (or equivalent).


Case Study

“My name is Jabeen and I am an internal audit apprentice at the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

I joined the internal audit team in November 20, having been on a career break. This was a perfect way for me to bridge gaps in knowledge and experience and allowed me to enter into a totally new field.

Working in internal audit within the Council is a unique opportunity in that you get to work within all areas of the council. With it being such a large operation, you are always learning and developing new and existing skills in engagements across different service areas. I have been able to apply the knowledge learnt to complete my own audit engagements. As you progress and gain confidence your managers will encourage you to become more independent in your work.

The programme of study that I am undertaking is the same as that which will be delivered in the internal audit pathway apprenticeship, this will lead to an internal audit practitioner qualification from the chartered institute of internal auditors, the IIA.

The internal audit pathway is an amazing opportunity for anyone, be you a school leaver or a mature student like myself. The pathway is an excellent way to gain the technical skills and experience required to be an internal auditor, gain a qualification and get paid whilst doing it!

MBKB are the learning providers for apprentices on the IA pathway and provide really good support in getting you through the apprenticeship milestones, including mock exams and mock professional discussions which is a requirement of the end point assessment, undertaken with the IIA, towards the end of the course.

Your council colleagues will also be on hand to provide guidance in your day-to-day work with ample shadowing opportunities with managers and experienced auditors alike. As an apprentice you will be fully supported. And at the end of the apprenticeship there maybe potential for full time employment within the service/Council.

Working for the council has many benefits and for me the two that stick out the most are the flexibility in working patterns which enables me to strike the right balance between work and life, especially as I have children and the other is that your work contributes to improving the local community the Council serves.

Being a council that is part of the Cross-Council Assurance Service, or (CCAS) means I get to benefit from networking days organised by CCAS and PricewaterhouseCoopers, PWC.

CCAS is a framework for internal audit and assurance services amongst other things. It has over 40 organisations as members including a number of Councils, a health authority, and a housing association. 

CCAS is led by Barnet Council and supported by PWC and promotes collaboration and skills development for Internal Audit teams across the member councils.  The aim of CCAS is to not only deliver great assurance services but also to grow and develop the next generation of internal auditors to bring new and diverse thinking to help enhance internal audit as a profession.

I’ve attended regular training days and workshops provided by CCAS which have been really useful and it’s great to meet peers and colleagues from across London and share knowledge and experiences at the impressive PWC offices.

The new internal audit pathway apprenticeship is a really exciting opportunity and a great way to get into an interesting, challenging and rewarding career in internal audit, while at the same time knowing you’re helping make a real difference for the clients, residents and communities the Council works with.”

Apply now to become an Audit Apprentice


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