Midlothian and Purcellville, Virginia

Professional Standards

Government Accountability Office (GAO) Auditing Standards


Note: The Center uses those portions of these standards that apply to performance audits (evaluations) and agreed upon engagements. The Center does not conduct financial audits. Should our clients need financial audits to be done in connection with our work we will assist them in obtaining the services of a qualified audit entity.

Chapter 3.General Standards

  • Independence
  • Professional Judgment
  • Competence
  • Quality Control and Assurance

Chapter 7. Field Work Standards for Performance Audits

  • Reasonable Assurance
  • Performance Audit
  • Audit Risk
  • Planning
  • Supervision
  • Obtain sufficient and appropriate evidence

Chapter 8. Reporting Standards for Performance Audits

  • Reporting
  • Report contents
  • Distributing Reports
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United Nations Standards, Core

Competencies, and Norms

1. Standards


Institutional Framework and Management of the Evaluation Function

  • Competencies and Ethics​
  • Conducting Evaluations​
  • Evaluation

Included in the Standards for Evaluation in the UN System

3. Norms                           


  • Definition
  • Responsibility for Evaluation
  • Policy
  • Intentionality
  • Impartiality
  • Independence
  • Evaluate-ability 
  • Quality of Evaluation
  • Competencies for Evaluation
  • Transparency and Consultation
  • Evaluation Ethics
  • Follow-up to Evaluation
  • Contribution to Knowledge Building

American Evaluation Association

Guiding Principles

for Evaluators


  • Systematic Inquiry
  • Competence
  • Integrity/Honesty
  • Respect for People
  • Responsibilities for General and Public Welfare​

PCIE Standards (Inspectors General Quality Standards for Inspections and Evaluations) 


  • Competency
  • Independence
  • Professional Judgment
  • Quality Control
  • Planning
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Evidence
  • Records Maintenance
  • Timeliness
  • Fraud, Other Illegal Acts, and Abuse
  • Reporting
  • Follow-up
  • Performance Measurement
  • Working Relationships and Communication

Keep Informed

We follow professional evaluation standards in the conduct of our work. Several such standards have been published and have been in use for many years. They are updated from time to time to reflect development of the evaluation and accountability professions.

Typical Topics Covered

  • Competency
  • Independence
  • Professional Judgment
  • Quality Control
  • Planning
  • Data Collections and Analysis
  • Evidence
  • Records Maintenance
  • Reporting
  • Follow-up
  • Working Relationships
  • Respect for People
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Reporting and Communications
  • Transparency

We encourage all who are interested in evaluation, accountability, and international studies to thoroughly familiarize themselves with all of these documents. 

The Center always uses the standards of the American Evaluation Association.

However, for evaluations and accountability studies related to government programs, we also use those of the Government Accountability Office and the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency (used by U.S. Government Inspector General). They contain more specific provisions that are appropriate for such studies.

For international work, we consult a number of other standards, such as those issued by the United Nations, Canada, Great Brittan, and the European Union.  

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