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Pastures New

‘Poacher turned gamekeeper!’ quipped one acquaintance on hearing my news. Said in jest, but where on earth would anyone get that idea?

Having been on the receiving end of many an audit in my time, I know the nerves can kick in at the prospect of the auditor’s visit: it’s only human to feel apprehensive when your way of working is under scrutiny. But, as I was reminded at interview, a good auditor will take cognizance of that as they carry out their task, being careful to show courtesy and listen well to colleagues who do the job every day, and exercising sound judgment when making recommendations for improvement.

I have had the privilege of working with auditors who demonstrated these qualities, while of course reserving the right to raise issues where they find them. Always scope, then, for some animated discussion, but ultimately out of shared concern for excellence in service delivery.

In fact, it seems to me that Information Governance and Internal Audit have a lot in common – identifying risk, supporting colleagues to adopt good working practices, occasionally challenging where standards fall short, always looking to acknowledge good practice and make recommendations where there’s scope for even better working.

For that reason, I’ve found it a logical move from an operational role to the delivery of IG compliance support and assurance under the banner of Audit Yorkshire. Happily, this seems also to fit well with a new AY initiative, to develop a ‘bank’ of associate auditors with a range of specialist skills, to complement the established team and give greater flexibility when members or clients request additional pieces of work.

All of which has eased me in, as a non-finance person, to the world of HFMA modules, pivot tables and income and expenditure accounts: I confess this can be a bit daunting, and I’m full of admiration for those who have mastered it all, or are on the road to doing so. At the same time, when I hear talk of DNACPR audits, falls reduction and duty of candour, I’m reminded we’re in the same business of supporting our precious health and care sector.

Last, but not least, I have never worked in a team that appreciates treats as much as Audit Yorkshire: birthdays, return from holiday, exam success, any event seems good reason to bring something to share from the sweet shop or bakery. That, along with all the other good things I’m finding here, is just the icing on the cake.