A type of research that aims to reveal the efficiency, effectiveness or quality of an institution, community, or other entity by examining its use of resources and assets relative to costs and outputs. Although this stance has been contested (Gawande 2007), audit is generally not thought to require ethics regulation because it is being conducted for internal organizational processes of accountability or quality assurance. However, it presents similar ethical issues to other types of research and these should be taken into account. Additional ethical problems can arise when audit moves from being a tool of measurement to a tool of manipulation, as in the ‘audit culture’ where audit becomes ‘a central organizing principle in the governance and management of human conduct’ (Shore 2008).