Certification Corner

Published By The Institute of internal Auditors   
April 2014
Joanna Mrowicka
Joanna Mrowicka, CIA
Recipient of the 10,000th CRMA

Certification Spotlight: A Symbol of the Evolution of the Profession

As we cross the threshold into the 40th anniversary year of the Certified Internal Auditor® (CIA®) designation, we cannot help but marvel at how far the profession has come over the last four decades. When the first candidates sat for the CIA exam in 1974, they knew they were pushing the profession into a new sphere of existence; one that would solidify internal auditing as a distinguished profession. The excitement they must have felt will now be shared by those who pursue their Certification in Risk Management Assurance™ (CRMA™). 

The CRMA, The IIA’s most recently developed designation, is a symbol of the evolution of the profession and its commitment to rise to the increasing demands placed on it by stakeholders. It demonstrates a professional’s ability to evaluate the dynamic components that comprise an organization’s governance and enterprise risk management program and provide advice and assurance around these issues. As risk management has taken a front row seat in the auditorium of issues facing the profession today, it serves as an invaluable credential for those seeking to build confidence and credibility with stakeholders.

Although the first official CRMA exam will not be administered until July, The IIA offered a limited qualifying period in which those individuals with extensive risk assurance, governance process, quality assurance, and control self-assessment experience could earn the designation by way of on-the-job experience and current designations, as well as thorough reference and background checks. The IIA held a similar qualifying period in 1973 for the CIA program, where more than 8,000 CIAs were awarded. We have seen a similarly overwhelming response for the CRMA and as a result, the 10,000th candidate, Joanna Mrowicka, was awarded her CRMA designation in May of this year.

Mrowicka is a shining example of the type of professional who pursues the CRMA. As an accomplished general internal auditor and member of the Group for Risk Management in one of the largest hospitals in Poland, she brings more than 14 years of experience in financial, organizational, and management mechanism auditing to the table. The CRMA is her third IIA designation, having already earned her CIA and her Certified Government Auditing Professional® (CGAP®).

After learning about The IIA’s newest designation at The IIA European Conference in Madrid in 2011, she reviewed it with her employer and was encouraged to pursue it. She credits her continual pursuit of professional designations with helping her succeed in her career. “I have my MBA, which greatly helps me with regard to my risk management responsibilities on a daily basis,” says Mrowicka. “I pursued my CRMA because it is, within the world of audit, the equivalent of what an MBA is to the business community. I am proud to have both!”

Mrowicka’s employer, the Central Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Warsaw, Poland, has 18 auditors on staff who focus on quality management and a risk management team of nine. She is the first of the group to earn the CRMA, but her organization has set the expectation that all those involved in risk management will earn their CRMA within the next three years.

Mrowicka advises those who are considering sitting for the exam to read extensively about management and take an active role in The IIA’s annual Governance, Risk, and Control Conference, as well as other applicable training opportunities. In addition, she encourages exam candidates to seek opportunities to gain experience in the practical functioning of their organizations. She believes it is well worth the investment of time and effort. “Getting my CRMA is a confirmation of my competence in the field of management, which I think will help me further develop my career.”


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