Improving Audit Committee Effectiveness

"Very engaging trainer. High quality material."

Head of Policy

The Audit & Risk Assurance Committee plays a significant role in scrutinising the practices of organisations. It is therefore vital that those who are part of Audit Committees understand what membership entails and how they can personally help maximise its impact.

Part of our Accountability and Governance series, this one-day course looks at improving Audit Committee effectiveness and is designed to enhance the skills needed by members to effectively play their part in making the governance of their organisation as robust as possible. Attendees will also benefit from being able to discuss and share any concerns they have as well as voice their own perspectives and ideas.

Improving Audit Committee Effectiveness allows those with experience of ARACs to discuss their present mode of operation, to raise questions, to discuss best practice elsewhere, and to learn about recent developments. Our experienced trainer Tony Foster (a full-time member of the Criminal Cases Review Commission) will work with the Chair of the ARAC to decide discussion topics in advance and the training will be focused around issues the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) are currently facing.

At Civil Service College, we pride ourselves on our ability to tailor our programmes to each delegate, ensuring that courses are applicable to attendee’s role and organisations so that each delegate can get the most from the training. Our courses and trainers are constantly updated and evaluated to ensure that we are always delivering the best service possible.

Key features of the course include:

  • Effective relationship building between the Accounting Officer, audit committee and other key parties
  • Organisation and structure of meetings
  • Membership of the committee
  • Making audit committees as effective as possible and how accounting officers, auditors and the NAO can work together

This training course will be delivered by an experienced Chair of ARAC in a roundtable discussion format so that delegates can openly discuss any concerns that they may have regarding their own committee. This will be conducted under Chatham House rules.

Designed for:

New and practising members of the Audit and Risk Committees.

Learning Outcomes:

Members will be able to maximise the effectiveness of their audit committee as a team and optimise outcomes.




09:30 - 13:00


Group booking only. Contact us for a quotation.


Available to be delivered In-House


Lead Trainer

Tony Foster

Tony Foster

Tony has extensive experience in numerous top roles, including Director of ICI Chemicals and Polymers Ltd, Chief Executive of ICI Chlorchemicals Business and was the first Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency.

Read Bio
Tony Foster

Tony Foster

Tony Foster was formerly a Director of ICI Chemicals and Polymers Ltd, Chief Executive of ICI Chlorchemicals Business and a full-time member of the Criminal Cases Review Commission for nearly a decade.

He was a member of the Council of the Competition Commission for over five years and was the first Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency. Tony was a member of the Financial Protection Committee of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, a member of the Disciplinary Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a member of the Board of Trustees of Victim Support.

For six years Tony was a lay member of the Discipline Committee of the ICAEW, where he sat with two members of the Institute to decide on allegations of misconduct. He was also the sole lay member of the Financial Protection Committee of the SRA, responsible for ensuring comprehensive professional indemnity insurance was in place for all practicing solicitors and for the rules, operation and funding of a £50m Compensation Fund.

He is a Non-Executive Director of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and a member of the Determinations Panel of the Pensions Regulator. As a non-executive director of Ellis & Everard plc, Tony guided them from a £100m sales, ICI part owned UK distributor, to an independent £800m worldwide leader in chemicals distribution.

Tony is a founding member of Criminal Cases Review Commission, playing a major role in devising and implementing case review processes from its creation in 1997. He has chaired the Audit Committees of the Competition Commission, AHVLA, and Victim Support.


  • BA in Chemistry, St John’s College, Oxford
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Civil Service College can deliver In-House training within your organisation that is exactly tailored to meet your individual training requirements.

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