Jan 11, 2017

Slovenian Mentors Share their Experience with Mentoring the On the Job Training Groups in Montenegro

Zdenka Vidovič and Mojca Ferjančič Podbregar share their experience with mentoring the On the Job Training groups in Montenegro. Slovenian mentors, in cooperation with mentors from the Ministry of finance of Montenegro, worked with groups of 3-5 internal auditors to empower them with skills and knowledge on how to use the theory in practical work and how to prepare quality audit report.

Zdenka Vidovič, CEF Expert and Mentor at On the Job Training  

« I took part in several On the Job Trainings for internal auditors in Montenegro. I worked with a number of groups, and my experience is very positive. I believe that these workshops are highly useful to complete the internal audit training.

I met some wonderful people. It is just amazing how positive this environment is for work because people are thirsty for knowledge. You can tell that they are motivated and want to make a contribution to the internal auditing profession. They are eager to learn, they want to get experience, particularly from us who are a bit older and more experienced.

At the workshops auditors go through the entire process: preparations, carrying out and reporting on the audit outcomes. Using a practical example, they learn how to conduct an internal audit engagement, i.e. they see what internal auditing looks like in practice.

By participating in the workshop, auditors acquired knowledge and experience to conduct an engagement independently, also those among them who have not worked in internal auditing before, which applies to several auditors. At the workshop we addressed all phases of internal auditing: how to prepare the required documentation, questions and tests, and how to perform a test, etc. We, international mentors, showed to them the potential problems, irregularities, system errors and weaknesses, as well as where to pay particular attention.

In my opinion, the On the Job Training was beneficial for the participants. They learned how to work in teams – those who had not worked in teams before. It was also useful for them to meet their peers and colleagues – experienced internal auditors who have been working on internal audit services and whom they can ask for help in the future. This cooperation between less and more experienced internal auditors is evident already now. What I have also noticed is that they have been collaborating closely with their leaders, the local mentors, particularly Stoja Roćenović, who is really like a »mother« to the internal auditors and helps them a lot. There is also Nina Blečić, who has shown strong motivation and desire to train internal auditors and to help develop the profession in the country; and then there is the younger local mentor Valentina Bojović, who has shown extraordinary determination, wish and enthusiasm to work with younger participants.

These workshops allowed us to recognize outstanding individuals; people who have the potential to contribute to the profession in Montenegro. One of them, whom I had the opportunity to work with at two workshops, was the team leader Brankica Mosurović, Head of Internal Audit in the municipality of Pljevlja. She was really exceptional judging by her experience, knowledge and personal virtues. I believe that she, and maybe some other participants as well as the local mentors, can form the group of people that could greatly contribute to the development of the internal auditing profession in Montenegro.

My experience was entirely positive, and while they learned from me, I learned from them because there were quite some experienced participants and I acquired some new insight, too. I learned about the legislation because I had to find about the local legislation on public finance, accounting, and the particular area that was subject to audit. It was my pleasure to take part in these workshops and work with the participants and three local mentors; they, too, demonstrated work enthusiasm, collaboration and desire to develop the profession.

I believe that such workshops with hands-on activities and on-the-job training are really an excellent wrap-up of the training program and should be made a mandatory part of the training for internal auditors. Not to prepare and defend a final paper, as is customary in other countries, but to participate in a workshop. By applying hands-on examples, students learn better, particularly those who have not worked as internal auditors before.»

Mojca Ferjančič, CEF Expert and Mentor at On the Job Training  

«Upon the completion of the certification training for internal auditors, an On the Job Training (OJT) was organised to wrap up the training. The OJT is, without doubt, an example of a contemporary and systematic approach to instruction, which allows for the acquisition of basic theoretical and practical concepts of internal auditing.

Despite the fact that the OJT added to the already heavy workload of participants, I believe it was well received.

The main reason for this is that internal audit theory, which they had learned during their previous training, could be applied to practical examples.

I believe that this type of setting is particularly important for participants who have not worked as internal auditors before. The OJT was thus their first contact with the internal audit practice.

For those already engaged in internal audit it presented a good opportunity to revise their knowledge and to share experience with colleagues and mentors.

Such training not only builds upon their knowledge of internal audit procedures but also improves their communication and speaking skills, thus adding to their self-confidence.

Finally, the participants were able to make new professional and personal connections.

I would like to thank the CEF for the opportunity to conduct the OJT this year. It was an interesting experience, which, in a way, has broadened my knowledge, too.»