Mikhail Ben Rabah: It is Always Worth Going Through a Certification Process
Mikhail Ben Rabah, CIA, CRMA
Senior Government Auditing Manager
Presidency of the Government
1. What prompted you to become certified?
Since I am at the executive level in my organization and at the highest grade of the status of its members (thus not expecting any promotion or raise in salary), most people would say professional certifications are not worth pursuing — especially when the organization does not fund exam fees or preparation materials. I totally disagree because what prompted me to go through this process is far beyond getting promoted or obtaining a raise in salary. Being certified demonstrates your competency, dedication, and loyalty to your profession. It also introduces you to a large professional community with which you may share common values and language. I feel much more comfortable in my current position now.
2. What IIA certification(s) do you hold, and why did you choose to pursue it (them)? Do you plan to pursue other IIA certifications, and if so, which ones and why?
I was awarded two IIA professional designations this year: CIA and CRMA. I strongly believe that these two certifications give me another professional dimension and demonstrate a higher level of competency.
3. How does having an IIA certification(s) set you apart from your non-certified peers?
Being certified helped me enhance my credibility with peers and clients.
4. How has your IIA certification(s) helped your career?
Although my IIA certifications will not impact my career in my current organization as I explained above, they made me more comfortable in my position and turned me into a change agent in my workplace. They are also a passport to an international career in the audit field.
5. Has earning the IIA certification(s) enhanced your skill level?
Absolutely, especially in risk management. Moreover, CIA and CRMA certifications increased my willingness to go further and specialize in risk management.
6. What advice do you have for others who are considering obtaining an IIA certification?
Never give up, and whatever your current position or age, it is always worth going through a certification process.
7. How does career planning and development play a part in your growth?
I think that every auditor, whether practicing in the public or the private sector, should consider establishing a career plan and identifying the potential requirements for plan execution. A structured approach to continuing professional education should be followed by each auditor who wants to add value to his organization and accelerate his career path.
8. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
While starting my career, I remember my seniors telling me not to focus solely on potential earnings, as a job can offer much more than a comfortable salary.
In the course of my 20-year career in government auditing, I was in charge of hundreds of value-added audit engagements in the public sector. Furthermore, I was called to lead several assessments of strategic public policies and programs.
A leader by nature, I took on several professional challenges, such as the implementation of the department of evaluation and quality and the governance unit in the Ministry of Education. As a further assignment, I was appointed as CAE in the same ministry.
Currently, I am head of the evaluation division in the Body of General Control of Public Departments and the chairman of the audit committee of the Tunisian Post Office. Throughout my career, I always believed in continuously improving myself and my capabilities, and encourage my junior colleagues to do the same.
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