About the 3i Programme

Introduction and 3i Programme Phase-I Objectives

The 20th INTOSAI Congress (South Africa, 2010) adopted a comprehensive set of International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) that cover the core audit disciplines of financial, performance and compliance audits. The adoption of the ISSAI represents a milestone in the strengthening of the global public sector audit profession. INTOSAI called upon its members to use the ISSAI framework as a common framework of reference for public sector auditing and implement the ISSAIs in accordance with the mandate and national regulations of the respective SAIs.

The INTOSAI Strategic Plan and  the ISSAI Rollout Model approved by INTOSAI Governing Board in October 2011 mandated the IDI to ‘support ISSAI Implementation’. In keeping with this mandate the IDI has launched a comprehensive capacity development programme called the ISSAI Implementation Initiative (3i programme).

The first phase of this programme is being conducted between 2012 and 2014. While programme activities starts in the five English speaking INTOSAI regions in 2012, 3i programme in OLACEFS and ARABOSAI has started in 2014. 

Programme Objectives:

The first phase of the 3i Programme covers level 2 ISSAIs and level 4 ISSAIs in financial, performance and compliance audit and aims to:

  1. To assess needs at regional and SAI level regarding ISSAI implementation at level 2 and level 4 (financial, performance and compliance audit) of the ISSAI framework.

  2. Create capacity for implementation of level 2 and level 4 ISSAIs in financial, performance and compliance audit through global public goods and ISSAI facilitators at global, regional and SAI level.

  3. Facilitate startup of SAI level implementation by providing support for assessing implementation needs at SAI level to develop ISSAI Implementation strategies, ISSAI based cooperative audits and other startup activities that SAIs may undertake based on their strategy.

  4. Create an active knowledge community through a web based knowledge portal for ISSAI implementation networks and wider outreach.

3i Results Framework and Outcomes

The objectives of first phase of the 3i Programme will be achieved through a results framework that consists of five elements at the global, regional and SAI level. While the same results framework will be used for all INTOSAI regions, the scope and programme activities may vary depending on the needs of the region. 

  1. Development of Global Public Goods – The 3i programme will develop a set of global public goods i.e. ISSAI Compliance Assessment Tools (iCATs) for Financial, Performance and Compliance Audit and ISSAI Implementation Handbooks (which will include guidance on developing ISSAI Implementation Strategies, guidance on setting up ISSAI based audit practices and case studies) for the three audit streams.

  2. ISSAI Certification Programmes – Three ISSAI Certification Programmes will be available in Financial, Performance and Compliance audit. Each programme will consist of three components i) E-learning Course on iCATs ii) E-learning Course on ISSAI Implementation Handbook and iii) Facilitation Skills Workshop. SAIs will be requested to nominate participants to the programme on the basis of eligibility criteria. The nominated participants will be required to go through a selection process. All selected participants that successfully complete all three programme components will be certified as ISSAI facilitators by the IDI and PSC. They will be the pool of resource persons and champions for ISSAI Implementation in their SAIs, regions and at international level. The global public goods and the ISSAI certification programme will be designed and developed by an international team of ISSAI experts from the subcommittees of PSC and ISSAI mentors from the eligible SAIs in the regions.

  3. ISSAI Knowledge Network/Community of Practice – The network of ISSAI experts and mentors and the pool of ISSAI facilitators created through the certification programme will form the ISSAI knowledge network and community of practice. A web based knowledge portal will be created to consolidate this network and widen the network to include other SAI professionals, experts and stakeholders. The web based knowledge portal will also provide easy access to 3i related information, 3i global public goods and other products developed through the programme.

  4. ISSAI Based Cooperative Audits – SAIs that are ready to take up ISSAI based cooperative audits will be grouped together as per audit topics and methodology of common interest. It is envisaged that these ISSAI based cooperative audits will provide SAIs an opportunity to build capacity for ISSAI implementation at the audit level.

  5. SAI Level ISSAI implementation startup – Every participating SAI will be encouraged to use the iCATs and develop ISSAI implementation strategies based on their needs. 3i Management workshops held in each region will create awareness about ISSAIs, iCATs and obtain SAI commitment for use of iCATs. The follow up on use of the tool will be intergrated with regular regional processes. During the first phase of the programme, support can be provided for some of the startup activities identified in the ISSAI implementation strategies of some of the SAIs. 


  • Development of iCATs for level 2 ISSAIs and financial audit, performance audit and compliance audit ISSAIs at level 4.
  • ISSAI Implementation Handbooks for Financial, Performance and Compliance Audit.
  • ISSAI Certification Programmes for financial audit, performance audit and compliance audit
  • A pool of at least 180 ISSAI facilitators for financial audit, performance audit and compliance audit in the five English speaking regions of INTOSAI.
  • ISSAI compliance assessments carried out in at least 30 SAIs in English speaking regions.
  • ISSAI implementation strategy for at least 30 SAIs in English speaking regions.
  • ISSAI implementation rollout as per strategy in at least 30 SAIs in English speaking regions.
  • ISSAI based cooperative audits carried out
  • Knowledge creation, sharing and management on ISSAI implementation through the 3i Community Portal

3i Partners

The ISSAI Implementation Programme is as a partnership programme between the INTOSAI Professional Standards Committee, its sub committees on Financial, Performance and Compliance Audit, INTOSAI Capacity Building Committee and relevant English speaking INTOSAI regions. The programme aimed at creating capacity for implementation of level 4 ISSAIs in financial audit (including compliance audit) and performance audit in the five English speaking regions of AFROSAI-E, ASOSAI, CAROSAI, EUROSAI and PASAI and in ARABOSAI and OLACEFS region.

Programme activities in the five English speaking INTOSAI regions has started in 2012, and in Arabic and Spanish speaking regions has started in 2014.

The IDI is partnering with following partners for implementation the 3i programme:



INTOSAI Capacity Building Committee


INTOSAI Regions 




Financing Partner               3i ARABOSAI



E-Learning Partner


3i Projects 2012-2016


3i Projects - 2016

5 English speaking regions:

  • 3i Performance Audit product maintenance meeting in Oslo, Norway from 20 to 24 June 2016
  • 3i Compliance Audit product maintenance meeting in Oslo, Norway from 4 to 8 July 2016
  • 3i Phase II - SAI Bhutan Pilot: Workshop on conducting ISSAI based audit, Noida, India, 25 July to 5 August 2016
  • 3i Phase II - SAI Bhutan Pilot: Mapping exercise on “Moving towards ISSAI compliance”, 8 August - 30 September 2016 


  1. ARABOSAI product adaptation meeting on ISSAI based pilot Compliance audits of procurement, Khartoum, Sudan, 8 to 18 May 2016 


  1. Workshop on Performance Audit on fighting against poverty, Quito, Ecuador, from 25 to 29 April 2016


  1. 3i CREFIAF CA and FA ISSAI Implementation Workshops, & ISSAI implementation workshop PA SAI Guinea: Douala, Cameroon, 15 February to 4 March 2016
  2. IDI- CREFIAF PA Review Meeting, Workshop on facilitating ISSAI Implementation, & ISSAI Implementation workshop CA, Libreville, Gabon, 25 April to 6 May 2016


3i Projects - 2015

5 English speaking regions:

  • EUROSAI iCAT Review Workshop, 12 to 16 October 2015, Bosnia and Herzegovina 
  • Compliance audit product maintenance meeting, 6 to 10 April, 2015, Norway 
  • Lessons Learned & Way Forward Workshop-IDI Meeting with 3i Stakeholders, Ottawa, 
  • Programme Phase II meeting, 23 to 27 November 2015, Bhutan  


  1. Product Adaptation Meeting, 4 to 20 March 2015, UAE
  2. Selection of participants for certification programme, Online
  3. ISSAI Implementation Workshop, 26 May to 12 June, 2015, Morocco 
  4. Workshop on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation & iCAT Review Workshop, 16 to 21 November 2015, Kuwait 


  1. Workshop on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation Group 1, 16 to 20 March 2015, Mexico
  2. Workshop on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation Group 2, 23 to 27 March 2015, Mexico
  3. Cooperative Audit of fighting poverty - eLearning Course Design Meeting, 15 to 25 September, 2015, Brazil
  4. Cooperative Audit of poverty alleviation programme - eLearning Course, Online, October to December 2015
  5. iCAT Review Workshop, 7 to 11 December 2015, Dominican Republic 


  1. Product Adaptation Meeting, 20 July to 7 August 2015, Senegal
  2. Selection of participants for Certification Programme, August- September 2015, Online
  3. ISSAI Implementation Workshop, Performance Audit, 2 to 20 November 2015, Cameroon 


3i Projects - 2014

5 English speaking regions:

  • 3i Product Development Meeting for ISSAI Implementation Handbook-Compliance Audit, 10-28 February, 2014, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • 3i Product Review Meeting for Financial and Compliance Audit, 17-21 February 2014, 
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • 3i Cooperative Audit PASAI - Public Debt Reporting Meeting, 17-22 March 2014, 
    Rarotonga, Cook Islands
  • 3i Cooperative Audit PASAI - Financial Audit Planning Meeting, 27 March to 2 April 2014 Nuku’alofa, Tonga
  • 3i product Review Meeting – Performance audit, 10-16 April 2014, Oslo, Norway
  • 3i E-course on Implementing Compliance Audit ISSAIs, 28 April to 13 June 2014
  • 3i Workshop on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation, CAROSAI, 14-19 July  2014
  • 3i Workshop on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation-Compliance Audit (ASOSAI, PASAI), 28 July to 2 August 2014
  • 3i Workshop on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation-Compliance Audit (AFROSAI-E, EUROSAI), 1-6 September 2014
  • 3i Cooperative Audit - PASAI - Financial Audit Review Meeting, October, 2014
  • 3i Cooperative performance/compliance audit ASOSAI - Planning meeting, November 2014


  • 3i OLACEFS Management Workshop - Brasilia, Brazil, 27-28 March 2014
  • 3i OLACEFS Product adaptation meeting - Peru, 5-22 August, 2014.
  • 3i OLACEFS Online selection of participants, August 2014
  • 3i OLACEFS Certification e-course, October-November, 2014


  • 3i ARABOSAI Management Workshop, Casablanca, Morocco,  24-26 June 2014
  • 3i ARABOSAI Online selection of participants, September 2014


  • 3i CREFIAF Management Workshop - Douala, Cameroon, 09-11 December 2014


3i Projects - 2013


1. Development meeting for 3i Community Portal, 21 January to 1 February 2013, Oslo, Norway

 2. 3i Management Worskshop, ASOSAI, 27 February to 1 March, 2013, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

 3. 3i Management Workshop, EUROSAI, 11-13 March, 2013, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

 4. Product Development Meeting for ISSAI Implementation Handbook - Performance Audit, 8-26 April 2013, Paro, Bhutan

 5. Design meeting for Workshop on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation, 15-23 April 2013, Paro, Bhutan

 6. 3i Community Portal launch, May 2013, Online

 7. Product Development Meeting for ISSAI Implementation Handbook - Financial Audit, 20 May to 7 June 2013, Oslo, Norway

 8. Planning meeting of PASAI 5th Cooperative Performance Audit on Public Debt, 22 to 27 July 2013, Nadi, Fiji

 9. ISSAI Certification Programmes – Two e-courses: Online, 29 July to 13 September 2013

     a. E-course on Implementing Financial Audit ISSAIs

     b. E-course on Implementing Performance Audit ISSAIs

 10. Workshop on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation, for ASOSAI and PASAI, 30 September to 12 October 2013

 11. Workshop on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation, for AFROSAI-E and EUROSAI, 4 to 16 November, 2013



3i Projects - 2012

1. 3i Programme planning meeting, 28-29 May 2012

2. Cooperation meeting UNITAR, June 2012

3. Product development meeting for iCATs and e-courses on financial, performance and compliance audit, July-August 2012

4. ISSAI Certification Programmes, Online Pre-test for Selection of Participants, 10-14 September 2012

5. ISSAI Certification Programmes – eLearning courses on iCATS (financial, performance and compliance audit), 22 October to 14 December 2012

6. Planning Meeting for ARABOSAI/CREFIAF 3i Programme, 24-25 September 2012

7. 3i Management Workshop – CAROSAI, 12-14 November 2012

8. 3i Management Workshop - AFROSAI-E, 19 -21 November 2012

9. 3i Management Workshop – PASAI, 3-5 December 2012







Participating SAIs

143 SAIs and 2 sub national audit offices from the five English speaking INTOSAI regions (AFROSAI-E-22, ASOSAI-20, EUROSAI-11, PASAI-15+2 sub national audit offices, CAROSAI-(15) and from OLACEFS (19), ARABOSAI (19), CREFIAF (22) region are participating in the 3i programme:

Botswana Afghanistan  Albania  Cook Islands  Anguilla  Argentina Algeria Benin
Eritrea  Bangladesh  Armenia  FS of Micronesia   Antigua & Barbuda  Brazil Bahrain Burkina Faso 
Ethiopia   Bhutan  Bosnia & Herzegovina Fiji  Barbados* Bolivia Egypt Burundi
Ghana Cambodia   FYR Macedonia Kiribati  Belize Chile  Iraq Cameroon
Kenya China  Georgia Marshall Islands  Cayman Islands* Colombia Jordan Cape Verde
Lesotho India  Kazakhstan Nauru  Dominica Costa Rica Lebanon Chad 
Liberia Indonesia  Moldova  Palau   Grenada Cuba Libya Central African Rep.
Malawi Iran  Montenegro Papua New Guinea  Guyana  Dominican Republic  Mauritania Comoros
Mauritius Kyrgyzstan    Serbia Samoa  Jamaica Ecuador Morocco Congo
Mozambique Laos PDR  Turkey Solomon Islands  Montserrat El Salvador Oman Cote d’Ivoire
Namibia  Malaysia  Ukraine Tonga  St. Kitts & Nevis Guatemala Palestine Djibouti
Nigeria Maldives      Tuvalu  St. Lucia Honduras Qatar Gabon
Rwanda  Mongolia     Vanuatu  St. Vincent & Grenadines   Mexico Saudi Arabia Guinea
Seychelles Myanmar    American Samoa* Suriname Nicaragua  Somalia Guinea Bissau
Sierra Leone Nepal    Guam* Trinidad and Tobago  Paraguay  Sudan Madagascar 
South Africa  Pakistan    FSM Pohnpei   Peru  Tunisia Mali
South Sudan Philippines     FSM Kosrae    Puerto Rico Yemen Niger
Swaziland  Sri Lanka        Uruguay  Syria Sao Tome e Principe
Tanzania  Thailand        Venezuela  Kuwait Senegal
Uganda Vietnam             Togo
Zambia             UEMOA
Zimbabwe              Congo Dem. Rep. 

* Not eligible for financial support from IDI and required to pay for their participation.
Note: Office of the Auditor General of Kosovo participated in the EUROSAI 3i Management Workshop. 

In Kind Contributions from the SAIs

Following SAIs/regions provided ISSAI Experts, ISSAI Mentors, Training Specialists and hosted 3i project events as in kind contribution to the 3i Programme.

ISSAI Experts:

Financial Audit Sub committee Performance  Audit Sub committee Compliance  Audit Sub committee
4 Experts from SAI Estonia, SAI Sweden, SAI UAE  2 Experts from SAI Brazil  3 Experts from SAI Tunisia (2) and SAI Norway  

ISSAI Mentors:


Financial Audit        

 Performance Audit Compliance Audit
1 Bhutan Bhutan Grenada
2 Canada Fiji Lesotho
3 Cook Islands India Samoa
4 Jamaica Lesotho Turkey
5 Philippines St. Lucia Pakistan 
6 Tanzania South Africa   Lithuania  
7 United Arab Emirates Bangladesh   Cameroon
8 AFROSAI-E Secretariat FYR Macedonia  Senegal
9 Georgia  Burundi Gabon
10 Burundi Cameroon Congo Dem. Republic
11 Cameroon Senegal Colombia
12 Senegal Djibouti México 
13 Argentina 


14  Costa Rica Brazil   
15   Paraguay  

Host SAIs:

No. Activity Host SAI
1 Planning Meeting for ARABOSAI/CREFIAF 3i Programme  SAI Morocco 
2 3i Management Workshop, CAROSAI SAI Suriname
3 3i Management Workshop, ASOSAI SAI Cambodia
4 3i Management Workshop, EUROSAI SAI Bosnia and Herzegovina
5 Product development meeting for ISSAI Implementation Handbook SAI Bhutan
6 Design meeting for Workshop on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation  SAI Bhutan 
7 Workshops on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation (for Performance audit and Financial audit group, ASOSAI, PASAI ) SAI Thailand
8 Workshops on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation (for Performance audit and Financial audit group,AFROSAI-E and EUROSAI) SAI Tanzania
9 Product development meeting for Compliance Audit ISSAI Implementation Handbook SAI United Arab Emirates
10 3i Cooperative Financial Audit Planning meeting, PASAI  SAI Tonga
11 IDI-ASOSAI iCAT review workshop SAI Bangladesh 
12  Workshop on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation CA for ASOSAI and PASAI  SAI Philippines 
13  Workshop on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation for CAROSAI  SAI Antigua 
14  Workshop on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation CA for AFROSAI-E and EUROSAI   SAI Tanzania 
15 ARABOSAI 3i Management Workshop SAI Morocco
16 3i OLACEFS Management Workshop   SAI Brazil
17 IDI-CAROSAI iCAT review workshop SAI Trinidad and Tobago
18 IDI- CREFIAF 3i Management Workshop  SAI Cameroon 
19 The 3i ARABOSAI product adaptation meeting  SAI Abu Dhabi
20 OLACEFS workshops on Facilitating ISSAI Implementation SAI Mexico
21 eLearning course design meeting, Audit of Disaster Management SAI Bhutan
22 ARABOSAI 3i workshop on ISSAI Implementation SAI Morocco
23 eLearning course design meeting, Audit of Poverty reduction  SAI Brazil 
24 IDI-EUROSAI iCAT review workshop SAI Bosnia and Herzegovina
25 CREFIAF 3i workshop on ISSAI Implementation - Performance Audit SAI Cameroon
26 ARABOSAI iCAT review workshops and facilitating ISSAI implementation SAI Kuwait
27 OLACEFS iCAT Review Workshop  SAI Dominican Republic
28 3i Phase II meeting SAI Bhutan



IDI understanding of ISSAI Implementation

The IDI believes in an integrated approach to ISSAI implementation. The IDI recommends that the SAI and those supporting the SAI consider implementation of the ISSAI framework as a whole. While the implementation definitely needs to be taken up in a phased manner over a period of time – it is important that the SAI considers the entire framework before determining its strategy. Unless the SAI looks at the whole framework and the relationship between the different levels, it will not be able to get a proper picture. For example if a SAI wishes to implement the requirements of ISSAI 30, it needs to ensure that the requirements are not only followed at the SAI level, but also at the individual audit. Similarly, it may also be essential for an SAI to establish its value by doing good quality audits, before it can lobby for greater independence as envisaged in ISSAI 10. As such a SAI may decide to use its resources for implementing ISSAIs at level 3 or 4, even as it tries to get a better legal framework for itself.

The ISSAI framework comprises four levels. Each level has its own nature although interrelated. Level 1 contains founding principles. Level 2 contains prerequisites for the functioning of SAI, many of which are contextual and out of the control of the SAI. Level 3 contains fundamental auditing principles. Level 4 contains requirements to guide the audit practice. It provides a basis for the standards and manuals which may be applied by individual SAIs. Implementation of level 4 is not an advanced level of ISSAI implementation. For its nature, level 4 is the main level when referring to an ISSAI based audit practice. While a SAI has the option of deciding on whether it wants to refer to ISSAIs at level 3 or level 4, a SAI must be aware that if it decides to refer to ISSAIs at level 3, it must have detailed national standards that are aligned to level 3 and can substitute level 4 ISSAIs. Many SAIs in developing countries may not have such detailed national standards and may need to refer to ISSAIs at level 4. As such, level 4 is important for individual audit. Moreover, it would not be possible for a SAI to implement Level 2 without working on Level 4. Therefore, in supporting SAIs in implementing ISSAIs it is important to take an integrated approach rather than a sequential approach. However, taking an integrated approach does not imply that the SAI will implement all ISSAIs at the same time. It means that the SAI will consider the ISSAI framework holistically before deciding on its implementation strategy. The implementation strategy, which involves working with ISSAIs at different levels simultaneously, can then be implemented gradually based on SAI requirements and resources.

It is also important to answer the question – when can a SAI say that it has implemented ISSAIs? It has been our experience ( based on the 3i Management Workshops and iCATs) that SAIs report that they have met ISSAI requirements when they have a policy or a manual in place, even if the policy of the manual is not completely followed in practice. However, for an SAI to say that it meets ISSAI requirements, the SAI must have a not just the policy and the manuals but must also have a system to ensure that the requirements of the ISSAIs are actually followed in the practices of the SAI. For example a SAI cannot say that it meets ISSAI 30 requirements if it only has a Code of Ethics. It is necessary for the SAI to have a documented system that defines how the provisions of the code are to be implemented both at the SAI level and at the individual audit level. The SAI also needs to have a system for ascertaining that the prescribed system is, indeed, being followed in the SAI.

ISSAI implementation is not about training alone. It involves a change management process that requires an SAI to work on: 
• its institutional capacity i.e. its mandate and legal framework and environment in which it operates,
• organizational capacity i.e. the systems, processes, procedures and resources required for implementing ISSAIs
• professional staff capacity i.e. the professional capacity of its people to implement ISSAIs, both managers and staff

As such we believe that the SAI and those supporting the SAI would need to look holistically at capacity development needs in the following domains
• Independence and Legal framework
• SAI culture and environment
• Leadership and internal governance
• SAI core processes – audit and other processes
• SAI resources – human resources, support structures, infrastructure
• External stakeholder relations

ISSAI Implementation needs to address all levels in an SAI – top management, senior management, operational management and staff. While the IDI, regions and other partners can support ISSAI implementation, it is only the SAI that can actually implement ISSAIs. As such the role played by the SAI leadership assumes great significance in successful ISSAI implementation.

The IDI recommends the following process for implementing the ISSAI framework:


Quick links

About 3i Programme

3i Services