CIPFA and CEF Deliver Professional Training for Albanian Public Sector Auditors
We have been successfully cooperating with the Charted Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) in offering a professional qualification training program for public sector internal auditors (TIAPS) to several countries across South East Europe. We are happy to share some thoughts by Sara Breen, Head of International at CIPFA, as we welcomed a new generation of Albanian public sector internal auditors at the opening ceremony of the Training of Internal Auditors in the Public Sector of Albania (TIAPS Albania) project earlier this spring.
“CIPFA is the only professional accounting body in the world exclusively dedicated to public finance. However, accounting is not our only area of expertise - supporting the development of public sector audit has been a core focus of CIPFA’s work for many decades. Internationally, we are working closely with audit offices in countries across the world to develop standards, develop effective legislation, and build organizations and capacity to provide accountability and transparency in the use of public funds.
In our focal regions, our approach is to work closely with regional and country partners, with the aim of building sustainable and lasting relationships that combine international best practices with deep knowledge of the local context. In South East Europe, we have been working closely with the CEF to support the development of strong public finance for the last 15 years. Together, we have developed and delivered capacity building programs for public finance practitioners, accountants, and auditors across the public sector in countries including Albania, Montenegro, and Serbia. We have previously worked together on the rollout of the public sector accounting (PACT) and TIAPS certificate-level training programs in Albania.
We are very proud to continue our close partnership with the CEF through this new TIAPS project in Albania and have greatly appreciated the level of collaboration that has been shown by the CEF and our other partners in the planning and development of the training program so far. CIPFA’s internal audit expert Francis Nicolson, who is a former Global Director at the Institute of Internal Auditors, has worked closely with the CEF, OECD/SIGMA, and experts from the Central Harmonization Unit within the Ministry of Finance and Economy in the development of this qualification to make sure that it is not only aligned with best international practice but that it is also tailored to the Albanian context. We are looking forward to continuing this collaboration on the development of the learning materials, as well as to playing an active role in the localization working group.
For this new program, we have changed our approach to the design and delivery of the training in order to maximize its effectiveness. Unlike other previous TIAPS training programs in the region, these modules have been developed specifically for this project, combining international standards and education with the local Albanian context. We have given particular focus to making the training as practical as possible, including teaching by the CEF’s expert regional and local tutors and incorporation of on-the-job training. This will support the participants in assimilating and embedding the learning, and increase the potential for them to apply their new knowledge and skills in the workplace.
We would like to thank all the partners who have enabled this project to come to life. Firstly, we would like to extend our gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovenia for providing the funding to support this program. Equally important has been the support and enthusiasm of the Central Harmonization Unit within the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Albania, who have been a driving force in the development of this program, and have contributed so greatly to shaping it. Finally, we are very grateful for the support of our colleagues at OECD SIGMA who have helped to ensure the quality and relevance of the program. This project is a truly collaborative effort, and we look forward to continuing to build these relationships over the life of this project and beyond.”