Dear Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa and Leadership Academy for the Guardians of Governance Stakeholders

Extraordinary times indeed. I have never thought that I would ever ask anyone to stay away from training and educating themselves. But COVID-19, which has been classed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, has forced me to admit that personal prudent, conservative, anti-social, risk averse behaviour is a better cure than potentially getting the bug.

The global outbreak of the COVID-19 strain of virus, and our President’s emergency speech on Sunday 15 March 2020, warrants the attention of each and every one of us, as we work together, to keep stakeholders, members, delegates, staff, and premises safe and healthy. The IIA SA and the Leadership Academy for the Guardians of Governance continue to make and revise decisions related to our service offerings to all clients with a focus on health and safety, based on latest available facts – especially for those in high risk categories. Ensuring health and safety now means taking actions that aim to limit exposure of all our stakeholders to the virus, imposing social distancing where appropriate, and generally elevating preventive hygiene practices across our business activities.

The IIA SA and Leadership Academy Boards and the Management Teams have implemented a number of actions intended to protect the health of our stakeholders from the virus as far as we possibly can. We recognize that these actions will be disruptive and create challenges for many of you, as well as have financial implications for the IIA SA and the Leadership Academy, but the health and safety of our stakeholders, is our top priority during this extraordinary time.

IMMEDIATE ACTIONS: Face-to-face training and learnerships will be suspended from Monday 23 March 2020 until 30 April 2020. We will continually reassess the situation during this time period and inform stakeholders of any changes accordingly. All cancelled engagements will be rescheduled once the situation is safe for social engagement. Where in-house training and learnerships modules have been scheduled, the situation is addressed on an individual client basis.

EVENTS AND MEETINGS: We have suspended all national and regional events effective 18 March until 30 April, 2020. Even though the President has advised that events of maximum 100 can be run we are of the opinion that, for the health and safety of everyone, events should be postponed until 30 April 2020. We will continually reassess the situation during this time period and inform members of any changes accordingly.

IIA SA AND LEADERSHIP ACADEMY OPERATIONS: All other normal operations will continue at this time and offices will remain open. We do urge members though, that if you are able to communicate via email or telephone please do so, instead of coming to our premises. Please direct all queries to the relevant department you would normally deal with.

PREPARING FOR ONLINE INSTRUCTION: We will be meeting with our presenters to look at the possibility of providing online training courses as an alternative means of instruction for our stakeholders. We will keep you informed. This will become an ongoing activity in the development of IIA SA and Academy training environments.

BEST PRACTICES: We continue to ask everyone in our community to follow the Centre for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html recommendations for preventive actions (some recommendations listed below):
Healthy behaviours:
- Cover your cough. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue away. If you don't have a tissue, cough into your elbow.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if you don't have access to soap and water.
- Avoid touching your face, especially eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home if you are sick. Avoid contact with people who are sick.
Social distancing:
- Don't shake hands. Avoid unnecessary contact by not shaking hands, hugging or kissing as greetings. Find other, non-contact ways to say hello or good bye.
- Leave space. Maintain a 6-foot radius between yourself and others in public spaces. (Droplets that may carry influenza and COVID-19 can commonly travel up to 6 feet.)
- People over 60 and those with pre-existing respiratory, cardiac conditions, or who are immunocompromised should avoid all large gatherings during this time.

Let each of us consider the well being of our neighbour when we go about daily activities today, as it does affect our own well-being.

 
Yours faithfully,

IIASA

Charles Nel
Acting CEO
The Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa
Tel: +27 11 450 1040
Website: www.iiasa.org.za

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