IT Assurance Framework (ITAF)

The Information Technology Assurance Framework (ITAF), published by ISACA, is a comprehensive and good-practice-setting model that:

  • Provides guidance on the design, conduct, and reporting of IT audit and assurance assignments;
  • Defines terms and concepts specific to IT assurance;
  • Establishes standards that address IT audit and assurance professional roles and responsibilities; knowledge and skills; and diligence, conduct and reporting requirements.[1]

ITAF provides a single source through which IT audit and assurance professionals can seek guidance, research policies and procedures, obtain audit and assurance programmes, and develop effective reports. While ITAF incorporates existing ISACA standards and guidance, it has been designed to be a living document. As new guidance is developed and issued, it will be indexed within the framework. The scope of the guidance provided in ITAF has been incorporated into the latest thinking offered in COBIT 5 [2]

Understanding The Information Technology Assurance Framework (ITAF)[3]

  • To whom does ITAF apply

ITAF applies to individuals who act in the capacity of IS audit and assurance professionals and are engaged in providing assurance over some components of IS applications and infrastructure. However, care has been taken to design these standards, guidelines, and tools and techniques in a manner that may also be useful and provide benefits to a wider audience, including users of IS audit and assurance reports.

  • When should ITAF be used?

The application of the framework is a prerequisite to conducting IS audit and assurance work. The standards are mandatory. The guidelines, tools and techniques are designed to provide non-mandatory assistance in performing assurance work.

  • Where should ITAF IS audit and assurance standards and related guidance be used?

ITAF’s design recognizes that IS audit and assurance professionals are faced with different requirements and types of assignments—ranging from leading an IS-focused audit to contributing to a financial or operational audit. ITAF is applicable to any formal IS audit or assessment engagement.

  • Does ITAF address requirements for consultative and advisory work?

In addition to assessment work, IS audit and assurance professionals frequently undertake consultative and advisory engagements for their employers or on behalf of clients. These assignments usually result in an assessment of a particular area; identification of issues, concerns or weaknesses; and the development of recommendations. For a number of reasons, including nature of the work, scope of the engagement, independence and degree of testing, the work is not considered an audit and, therefore, the IS audit and assurance professional does not issue a formal audit report. ITAF has not been designed to address specific requirements with respect to this consultative and advisory work.

ITAF Taxonomy - How ITAF is Organized Hierarchically
Information Technology Assurance Framework (ITAF) Hierarchy
source: ISACA

See Also


  1. What is IT Assurance Framework (ITAF) QAP
  2. IT Assurance Framework (ITAF) ISACA
  3. Understanding ITAF

Further Reading