When the Internal Audit department of a leading bank absorbed a high volume of auditing staff through an acquisition, it set a ‘one internal audit’ target to achieve consistency across its global business.

The Internal Audit team had grown to 600 people around the world, all of whom required training to deliver on the ‘One Internal Audit’ target. This included setting standards for auditing methodologies, and for the way that auditors behave with business stakeholders.

As well as this, the bank needed a solution that was sustainable in the long term and would demonstrate the leadership’s commitment to its staff’s personal development.


Potential Squared worked closely with the Internal Audit team to develop and deliver an academy programme to all staff. The academy was practitioner-led from the outset, actively involving the leadership and drawing on the technical expertise that already existed within the business.

In order to make the solution sustainable, the academy had the parallel aim of uplifting the skills of the Internal Audit leadership to the point that they could take the programme in-house and run it independently.

Over a series of residential courses, the bank delivered the technical auditing piece while Potential Squared delivered coaching to promote behaviours, influence, personal brand and communication skills. After six years, everyone in the internal audit team had been through the academy, and it was adapted to run exclusively for new recruits.

The academy was refreshed to reflect the business’ changing regulatory and business requirements, and manage challenges the team were facing with stakeholders. Once the audit machine was working, the focus also shifted more strongly to developing the leadership to take over the behavioural piece in the academies.

Potential Squared ran Faculty Development Workshops which accredited Internal Audit team members to take on the coach roles themselves. In the ninth and tenth years of the programme, Potential Squared were present at the academies to actively coach the trainers, but no longer directly interacted with the trainees at all in order to facilitate the handover.


In Spring 2016, after ten years, the bank’s Internal Audit team had the skills and resource to successfully take the academy in-house as a self-sustaining resource.

This industry-leading programme now drives blended technical and behavioural excellence as a self-sustaining resource, so much so that it has been recognised by external auditors KPMG as a ‘one of its kind’ differentiator for the bank’s Internal Audit team.

“I can say without being over optimistic that it has been the best company training course I have attended in my professional life. There was clearly a lot of effort put into preparation. In my view, what really made the difference was how you guys managed to strike the balance between technical and behavioural skill in real life situations. Generally, these courses focus on these aspects more independently and it is left to the attendee to make the merge of skills.” - Head of Audit