Case study: Reckitt Benckiser

Charles Clayton, Group Head of Internal Audit

Charles has ten years of senior risk management and internal audit leadership with FTSE100 businesses. He currently heads the audit and risk function at Reckitt Benckiser Group plc and previously held the same role at Kingfisher and Compass Group. 

Before that Charles spent 19 years at Unilever, mostly in finance roles. As well as being a director and member of the Institute of Risk Management, he is a Chartered Management Accountant (FCMA) and a Chartered Director (C Dir). 

Charles participated in our pilot study for the chartered by experience route and gained the CMIIA designation in May 2013.


Why did you decide to become a Chartered Internal Auditor? 

After 20 years in commercial finance I've spent the last ten years in internal audit, leading the function in three separate FTSE100 companies. The IIA has been the professional foundation for each of my teams and I thought it was time to give back something to my second career profession.

As a senior practitioner I also wanted to have voting rights at the IIA, to have my voice heard. 

What parts of the application process were the most challenging? 

The peer review is always a daunting prospect, however experienced the candidate! Rewriting my CV to highlight the IIAs requirements was the least enjoyable part, but I accept the importance of doing it.

What do you feel you've gained? 

The CMIIA designation is a badge I will wear with pride and I would expect that any recruitment consultant would see it as a strong professional endorsement for a chief auditor role. 

How has your business benefitted? 

As a result of building a relationship with the IIA, Reckitt Benckiser now holds a group membership, so my whole team benefits. 

Would you recommend this route? 

Yes, I'd recommend the chartered by experience route to every non-qualified HIA in a significant business.