GradCertIA Testimonials - Leanne Toby

Leanne Toby PMIIA GradCertIA 

What is your current role? Position and Organisation?

I’m the National Manager of Client Risk Services for Guild Insurance.  We’re a niche insurer mainly specialising in professional indemnity and business insurance.

My team provides tailored risk solutions to boards of directors and member groups of professional associations.  We also spend considerable time analysing complex insurance claims to identify key risk insights. 

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love talking risk management, anywhere and any time!  And I’m fortunate to present at lots of different conferences and events throughout year. 

But what I really enjoy most is finding ways to convince people how much easier it is to be a leader in an organisation that has a decent internal control framework.  And of course I love talking about 3 lines of defence too … to anyone who’ll listen.
What attracted you to the GradCertIA?

 The fundamental question for me has always been … but how do you know that what you’re doing to manage risk is actually working? So I was naturally drawn to Internal Audit. And I’d been looking to complement what practical experience I had, with a really robust course of study. So when I came across the IIA course, it ticked all the boxes for me.

What do you think are the three most beneficial elements of the course?

I genuinely loved every part of the course.  But in particular, I found the course notes and prescribed texts were spot on – very helpful in applying what we were learning to the workplace.

The webinars in all 4 modules were certainly a highlight. All presenters were incredibly knowledgeable and offered useful insights from their own experiences. ‘Accounting basics’ in Module 3 was nothing short of outstanding! I’m a ‘non-accountant’, so I was anxious about how I’d go in Module 3. But the webinars were fantastic at getting me on the right track.

The online forum where tutorial questions were discussed was an unexpected bonus.  I gained a great deal from the knowledge, experience and insights shared by other participants.  Admittedly, I often felt compelled to study harder to keep up with the group.

Is there any advice you would give prospective GradCertIA candidates?

Do it!  While it’s hard work, it really is great learning. Once you get back into the routine or rhythm of study it gets easier. I guess the main thing for me is that the content is structured to support practical application in the workplace. It isn’t a course where you just ‘go through the motions’ to get a qualification.  It’s much better than that!  

Do you think what you learnt from the GradCertIA has benefited your organisation?
I think so. Not only have I developed more confidence with technical skills; I feel I’m much better at articulating the role and benefits of Internal Audit. And I’d like to think that my writing skills have improved too. The course definitely gets participants to be more succinct in communicating key messages to stakeholders.  

What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve been given?
Never underestimate the value of the ‘sniff test’.  In other words, be attuned to what’s less obvious. Don’t dismiss the nagging thought in the back of your mind that something’s not quite right.  And have the courage to look a bit deeper.
When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing?
I had a wonderful trip to Japan last year to indulge my love of walking, reading and exploring the nuances of Japanese culture. And of course the food was superb. And watching NBA basketball, particularly as my team Golden State Warriors won the championship this year!   

What is the best website you have visited recently (work or non-work related)?
STAY SMART ONLINE is a great site offering simple, practical advice about avoiding the pitfalls of living in the computer age.  They have a great email alert function too.