Head of Internal Audit (HS2)

London or Birmingham / Hybrid
£73,000 - £117,800
26 Jan 2023
13 Feb 2023
Contract Type

About Government Internal Audit Agency

We are an executive agency of His Majesty’s Treasury (HM Treasury), established in April 2015 to improve the quality of internal audit provided to central government.

Most of the Agency’s people are professionally qualified internal auditors, accountants or investigators.

Many are also specialists in areas including counter fraud, project management, digital and commercial audit.

We lead both the Government Internal Audit Profession and the Government Internal Audit Function.

Our workforce brings with it a unique depth of experience gained in a wide range of government departments, related bodies and other sectors.

This enables us to offer a high-quality service based on cross-government insight and a strong understanding of our customers’ business.

In GIAA, we aim to be a great place to work and to ensure that we have the capability and capacity to make even more of a significant contribution to achieving A Brilliant Civil Service over the coming years.

Our initial focus was on becoming “a single audit practice”. We are now focused on taking GIAA to the next level so we can provide better insights and better outcomes for government.

Job description

We are looking for an experienced candidate to lead the Government Internal Audit Agency’s service to HS2 Ltd. HS2 are responsible for delivering the biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken by the Government in this country. HS2 is being delivered to the highest possible standards and our internal audit service must follow suit, delivering credible high quality independent internal audit advice and assurance.  

This will play an important part in supporting the HS2 Board as the project develops, and we are looking for a talented individual who has the energy and drive to deliver on GIAA’s ambition to be a world class internal audit service for HS2. The post holder will own the responsibility for GIAA’s Internal Audit service to the HS2 Accounting Officer. 

We are looking for a high performing internal auditor with relevant experience of delivering a high-quality internal audit and assurance services in a high profile complex environment, who can influence at senior levels, whilst demonstrating the ability to offer sound advice and respond quickly to fast moving priorities.


  • Developing and implementing an Internal Audit Strategy that meets the needs of the HS2 Ltd Accounting Officer, Board and Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.
  • Ensuring Internal Audit has a seat at the ‘top table’, its work is visible and respected throughout the organization, and Internal Audit is viewed by the HS2 Ltd Board as a key source of credible, objective advice.
  • Working in partnership with HS2 senior management and other assurance providers (both within HS2 Ltd and external) to understand the totality of assurances across the HS2 project, define Internal Audit’s role with respect to other assurance providers, and to ensure Internal Audit work is integrated into the Integrated Audit and Assurance Plan.
  • Providing HS2 Ltd with reliable, evidence based, independent opinions on risk management, control and governance.
  • Securing agreement to Internal Audit’s plans, with the Accounting Officer and Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.
  • Delivering plans to time, budget and quality standards in order to support year-end assurances and other agreed stakeholder requirements.
  • Supporting senior stakeholders in the identification and management of key risks.
  • Providing timely and effective advice and support in respect of allegations against staff and 3rd party contractors.
  • Managing resources to enable effective delivery.
  • Working as an effective member of the HS2 Senior Leadership Team.

Person specification

Your CV should demonstrate experience of meeting the following criteria:

  1. Experience of developing and delivering a risk-based Internal Audit programme within a large high profile, complex infrastructure environment.
  2. Experience of working effectively at Board level and managing relationships between departments and their sponsored bodies (or equivalent experience).
  3. Experience of working collaboratively with other assurance providers in a large and complex infrastructure/project environment.
  4. Strong analytical capability combined with the ability to be able to communicate complex positions clearly.
  5. A successful track record of influencing and collaborating with a range of senior stakeholders to adopt good practice internal controls and risk management processes in large, complex organisations.
  6. Outstanding ability to communicate (both oral and written), and work effectively, with a wide range of peers, partners and senior colleagues, combined with the ability to respond quickly to fast moving priorities.
  7. Highly developed leadership skills, with proven ability to build and inspire a team, develop capability, and create an engaged and motivated workforce


Candidates will need to demonstrate full current membership of a recognised professional accountancy / audit body below:

Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors UK & Ireland must hold the chartered auditor/CMIIA designation or the MIIA designation where you are qualified under the previous exam route and did not apply to make this chartered. If you have passed all the CMIIA/MIIA exams but do not hold the designation, you are not eligible to apply.

Other Institutes of Internal Auditors that are part of IIA Global. If you studied with the Institute of Internal Auditors in another country, you must hold the equivalent of the MIIA designation. You should verify this with the IIA UK & Ireland prior to submitting your application. No other level of internal audit qualifications will meet the requirements of this post.


Accountancy, fully qualified, current member of one of five CCAB bodies (ICAEW, ACCA, CIPFA, ICAS, Chartered Accountants Ireland) or CIMA.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Leadership

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Internal Audit


  • Competitive salaries and in-year rewards
  • Flexible working
  • A Civil Service Pension with an average employer contribution of 27%
  • Discount on big brands
  • Volunteering days
  • Season Ticket Loan and Cycle to Work Schemes
  • Free eyesight tests
  • Family-friendly HR policies
  • 25 days’ annual leave increasing by one day per year of service to 30 days after 5 years’ service
  • Geographically based Agency

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