Claudelle von Eck steps down after ten years of taking the IIA SA to new heights

Claudelle says that she has worked to ensure the mechanisms were in place to build competent internal auditors.

The Institute of Internal Auditors of South Africa (IIA SA) has announced that after ten “highly successful” years, its CEO, Dr Claudelle von Eck will be stepping down to pursue other interests. 

According to a statement, Claudelle had informed the IIA SA of her decision to leave some time ago but agreed to stay on to “ensure that the board is well appraised of the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of the institute”. 

The statement said that Claudelle’s tenure as CEO has taken the Institute to new heights. 

“As South Africa lurched from one crisis to another in recent times over issues of corruption, corporate shenanigans and state capture, she has played a pivotal role in ensuring that the internal audit profession, as well as its members, firmly held the line against such malfeasance.”

Claudelle told CFO.co.za that she is working on the next chapter of her life.
 
Reflecting on her legacy, she said that she is proud of the work that she has done at the IIA SA over the past ten years.
 
“Firstly, we have been able to elevate the profession to take its place in the governance sphere as a very important pillar of governance. What we’ve worked very hard on is to ensure that we have the mechanisms in place to build competent internal auditors.”

She said that as the reality is shifting not only in South Africa but globally, the expectations on internal audit have escalated tremendously, “so we have been working very hard on making sure we move the requirements of internal audit in that space so that they can meet the expectations of the market.”

In the same timeframe, the institute has registered the occupational qualification through the Quality Council for Trade and Occupations, through the South African Qualifications Authority.

“Also important is our stronger voice in the governance sphere through the Corporate Governance Index, which got us to the point where we were able to give a view of where South African organisations are sitting in relation to governance in both the public and private sectors. I think this has become a very useful tool for organisations to benchmark against, and have an understanding of where additional work needs to be done.”  

Claudelle was also the driver behind the establishment of the Anti-Intimidation and Technical Practice Forum, which is an umbrella body made up of a number of professional bodies to provide a safe space for whistleblowers in the profession, and to provide guidance on how to keep safe in the process.

The IIA SA is also in the process of driving an MOU between six professional bodies to close the accountability gap. “How it will work under the MOU is that if a professional has breached a code of ethics and is a member of more than one professional body, the discipline that they were practising would take the lead. This counteracts a situation in which multiple professional bodies are tied up in investigating the same individual, causing a drain on resources,” explained Claudelle.

She was also instrumental in the establishment of the IIA SA Leadership Academy for Guardians of Governance, which was created two years ago to handle the training components of the institute. Until her resignation, Claudelle was also acting as CEO of the academy.

She has been member of the CFO Awards judging panel since the inaugural event in 2014, and will continue to serve on the panel in her personal capacity.
 
IIA SA technical department head Charles Nel will serve as acting CEO until a replacement for Claudelle has been appointed. 

The statement concluded that: 

“It is regrettable that both the board and the IIA SA will be losing someone with the experience and calibre of Claudelle.  However, we hope to work with her on her future endeavours. We wish her well in the next chapter of her journey.”