ISACA Journal
Volume 2, 2,016 


Standards, Guidelines, Tools and Techniques 

ISACA Member and Certification Holder Compliance 

The specialised nature of information systems (IS) audit and assurance and the skills necessary to perform such engagements require standards that apply specifically to IS audit and assurance. The development and dissemination of the IS audit and assurance standards are a cornerstone of the ISACA professional contribution to the audit community.

IS audit and assurance standards define mandatory requirements for IS auditing and reporting and inform:
  • IS audit and assurance professionals of the minimum level of acceptable performance required to meet the professional responsibilities set out in the ISACA Code of Professional Ethics
  • Management and other interested parties of the profession’s expectations concerning the work of practitioners
  • Holders of the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) designation of requirements. Failure to comply with these standards may result in an investigation into the CISA holder’s conduct by the ISACA Board of Directors or appropriate committee and, ultimately, in disciplinary action.
ITAF™, 3rd Edition ( provides a framework for multiple levels of guidance:
  • IS Audit and Assurance Standards, divided into three categories:
    • General standards (1000 series)—Are the guiding principles under which the IS assurance profession operates. They apply to the conduct of all assignments, and deal with the IS audit and assurance professional’s ethics, independence, objectivity and due care as well as knowledge, competency and skill.
    • Performance standards (1200 series)—Deal with the conduct of the assignment, such as planning and supervision, scoping, risk and materiality, resource mobilisation, supervision and assignment management, audit and assurance evidence, and the exercising of professional judgement and due care
    • Reporting standards (1400 series)—Address the types of reports, means of communication and the information communicated
  • IS Audit and Assurance, designed to directly support the standards and help practitioners achieve alignment with the standards. They follow the same categorisation as the standards (also divided into three categories):
    • General guidelines (2000 series)
    • Performance guidelines (2200 series)
    • Reporting guidelines (2400 series)
  • IS Audit and Assurance Tools and Techniques, provide additional guidance for IS audit and assurance professionals and consist, among other things, of white papers, IS audit/ assurance programmes, reference books, and the COBIT 5 family of products. Tools and techniques are listed under

An online glossary of terms used in ITAF is provided at

Disclaimer: ISACA has designed this guidance as the minimum level of acceptable performance required to meet the professional responsibilities set out in the ISACA Code of Professional Ethics. ISACA makes no claim that use of this product will assure a successful outcome. The publication should not be considered inclusive of any proper procedures and tests or exclusive of other procedures and tests that are reasonably directed to obtaining the same results. In determining the propriety of any specific procedure or test, the control professionals should apply their own professional judgement to the specific control circumstances presented by the particular systems or IS environment.


IS Audit and Assurance Standards

1001 Audit Charter
1002 Organisational Independence
1003 Professional Independence
1004 Reasonable Expectation
1005 Due Professional Care
1006 Proficiency
1007 Assertions
1008 Criteria

1201 Engagement Planning
1202 Risk Assessment in Planning
1203 Performance and Supervision
1204 Materiality
1205 Evidence
1206 Using the Work of Other Experts
1207 Irregularity and Illegal Acts

1401 Reporting
1402 Follow-up Activities

IS Audit and Assurance Guidelines

Please note that the new guidelines are effective 1 September 2014.

2001 Audit Charter
2002 Organisational Independence
2003 Professional Independence
2004 Reasonable Expectation
2005 Due Professional Care
2006 Proficiency
2007 Assertions
2008 Criteria

2201 Engagement Planning
2202 Risk Assessment in Planning
2203 Performance and Supervision
2204 Materiality
2205 Evidence
2206 Using the Work of other Experts
2207 Irregularity and Illegal Acts
2208 Sampling

2401 Reporting
2402 Follow-up Activities

The ISACA Professional Standards and Career Management Committee (PSCMC) is dedicated to ensuring wide consultation in the preparation of ITAF standards and guidelines. Prior to issuing any document, an exposure draft is issued internationally for general public comment.

Comments may also be submitted to the attention of the Director of Professional Standards Development via email (; fax (+1.847. 253.1443) or postal mail (ISACA International Headquarters, 3701 Algonquin Road, Suite 1010, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008-3105, USA).

Links to current and exposed ISACA Standards, Guidelines, and Tools and Techniques are posted at


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