Purpose: This paper attempts to examine the meaning of professionalization, the conditions required for professionalization and whether internal auditing can be recognized as a profession. The paper makes use of study results in the fi eld of internal auditing conducted in Europe and the USA, as well as Andrew Abbott’s theory on the system of professions. Professions have common characteristics which differentiate them from other occupations. These characteristics were used to determine the criteria for evaluating the professionalism of internal auditing. The conducted analysis indicates that presently internal auditing cannot be regarded as an independent profession.
Methodology: Study results (quantitative and qualitative) in the fi eld of internal auditing were used in the analysis.
Findings: The conducted analysis indicates that presently internal auditing cannot be regarded as an independent profession.
Research limitations: Only a selection of research studies conducted in the USA and a few European countries were used, which limits the cognitive value of the analysis.
Originality: The paper presents an overview of conducted research studies and gives an evaluation of the current state of professionalization of internal auditing.