Uniac was established in 1992 by three Higher Education institutions as a shared provider of internal audit services.
At the time of its foundation, the anticipated advantages were:
- a specialist team with the breadth of experience and skills to undertake wide-ranging risk-based assignments
- a deep knowledge of the sector and, where appropriate, the sharing of best practice; and
- competitive prices.
The proposed model was entirely new. Input and approval for the inception of the service was sought and agreed with the then sector regulator - Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
Uniac has expanded its membership over time - with members and client contracts (including partnering arrangements where Uniac provides specialist support to in-house internal audit functions). For clients, the relationship follows the model of internal audit delivery from a professional accountancy firm, and as such, they have no share of Uniac’s assets and liabilities.
Uniac is wholly owned by the members as an unincorporated association and has no separate legal status. Its financial strategy seeks to return a small operating surplus in each year, such that it is able to continue to offer competitive prices to members and clients and continue to invest in its specialist staff.
Uniac is led by Richard Young as Executive Director (who is accountable to the Uniac Board), and Richard is assisted by a senior team which manages the relationships with all members and clients. The wider team is composed of specialist auditors who are supported by a small administrative / operations function. All Uniac’s auditors, including the directors, maintain and develop subject specialisms.