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Forensic partner to lead internal audit course

Internal auditors looking to develop better interviewing skills can now learn from former police chief inspector turned forensic consulting partner, Robert Cockerell.

Professional Development Reporter 11 February 2021
— 1 minute read

The Institute of Internal Auditors - Australia has now launched a new course on effective interviewing for internal auditors featuring Korda Mentha forensic partner Robert Cockerell.

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The former Victoria police detective chief inspector believes internal auditors “have a great eye for the telling detail” but can do more to develop better interviewing skills that draw out crucial information.

“When it comes to the domain of the interview, however, I have noted some room for improvement, especially considering the hugely pivotal role the interview process can play in shedding light and identifying control failures and other issues during the internal audit,” said Mr Cockerell.

“Interviews are vital to the successful execution of the internal audit review, and internal auditors need to develop their skills and confidence in this vital area.

“Internal auditors need to understand what information they are seeking and need to plan the interview accordingly and ask simple questions that are easily understood.”

IIA - Australia chief executive Peter Jones said the course would cover the fundamentals of interviewing before progressing onto advanced interviewing skills.  

“Currently, interview experience is gained through understudying other internal auditors,” Mr Jones said. 

“This is not only inefficient, it does not guarantee that they will learn how to interview well or understand the many different approaches to conducting an effective interview that can draw out vital information.”

Mr Cockerell said the online course will also give trainees a better understanding of verbal cues and speech patterns, and how to detect deception when individuals avoid answering questions by hedging, omitting crucial facts, or feigning forgetfulness and ignorance.

“Understanding neurolinguistics is also important,” he said.

“The link between language and body movement such as movement of eyes is critical. The interviewer must also be aware of physical symptoms such as restlessness, dryness of the mouth, avoiding direct gaze and excessive sweating, which are great indicators of deception.”

Forensic partner to lead internal audit course
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