September 29, 2016

ICRM Introduces Certified Records Analyst (CRA) Certification

From the RECMGMT-L list:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AT: ICRM Annual Business Meeting: September 24, 2016

The ICRM launches its third professional certification:

Certified Records Analyst (CRA)

The CRA provides another opportunity to be a member of the ICRM.  By achieving the CRA designation, records management professionals demonstrate a solid foundation in Records and Information Management (RIM); potentially on their way to attaining the CRM.  CRA’s are knowledgeable and experienced in active and inactive records systems. A CRA’s knowledge includes such areas as electronic records and information; regulatory compliance-related requirements; the lifecycle management of records and information; and more.

This certification provides an opportunity for immediate certification to those existing CRM candidates that have already successfully passed Parts 2-4 of the examinations; while still retaining the ability to continue on to the CRM.  The CRA allows newly educated and experienced records management professionals the ability to become a member of the Institute; thereby improving their opportunities for career advancement and increasing the number of educated and credentialed millennials to meet the demand for RIM and Information Governance (IG) positions in the global marketplace.

“We are excited to deliver the CRA certification to the RIM profession!  This new certification follows our time-tested approach and allows for more professionals to obtain a value-added RIM credential while promoting the continuance of their individual development.  We fully expect many to use the CRA as a spring-board to achieving their CRM over a timeline that meets their individual needs.” – Brice Sample, CRM – President

A CRA may vote in elections of the ICRM, may not hold office but can serve as a member or chairman of an ICRM Commission, Committee or Taskforce, may attend the ICRM Business Meeting and may attend the ICRM Annual Reception held annually at the ARMA Conference. Further, CRAs are granted access the ICRM website, the membership directory and all publications and information provided as a benefit of ICRM membership.

Candidates for the CRA, upon submitting an online application to the ICRM, will be approved to sit for Parts 2-4 if they properly document achievement of a 4-year (bachelor’s degree) from an accredited institution of higher education and also demonstrate one-year of professional Records and Information Management (RIM) experience.  Alternately, one year of professional Records and Information Management (RIM) experience can be substituted for each year of college education.

Founded in 1975, the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM) is an international certifying organization of and for professional records managers.  The Institute confers three designations: the Certified Records Manager (CRM); the Certified Record Manager/Nuclear Specialist (CRM/NS); and now the Certified Records Analyst (CRA).
Full disclosure: I manage AIIM's CIP, a certification, that, while complementary to the CRM and probably the CRA, is competitive at least from a payment/financial/"how do I or my company pay for this" perspective. I am also a CRM and member in good standing of the ICRM.

My thoughts, both my own and after some discussion of it with some folks at ARMA16. I think it's an interesting approach but will be challenging. The entry criteria appears to be the same as for the CRM, which is daunting, given that at most organizations a "records analyst" tends to be a lower-level position than a records manager. It eschews Part 1, on management, which makes sense, but also Part 5, on technology, which doesn't make as much sense to me today in 2016. It also requires analysts to join the ICRM at $200/year, which again may be prohibitive for someone at the typical records analyst level.

I certainly wish the ICRM well, but I wonder whether this is going to be more hassle than benefit and how many people will actually go after it.
Marko Sillanpaa at Big Men on Content: Who Will Lead ECM?

ARMA Solicits Volunteers for Industry Expert Task Force

From the email:
Volunteer Opportunity: Industry Expert Task Force
As part of our ongoing effort to increase membership value, ARMA International is pleased to announce the formation of a task force to create a comprehensive body of knowledge. 

We need outstanding industry experts, like yourselves, to create an all-encompassing guide to the generally recognized best practices for managing and governing the full life cycle of information. This guide will be process-based and will focus on defining information management and governance concepts throughout the information life cycle. Your work on this taskforce will provide the knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to better support our practitioners in their day-to-day operations.

As the authority on records and information management and information governance, ARMA International will lead this important initiative along with you, our outstanding industry experts. If you consider yourself an expert in your field and would like to make a difference in our industry, this opportunity is for you!

I'd have thought that the IGP and/or CRM provide wide swathes of this - and of course the CIP as well - but this sounds to me like something that will be developed from a blank slate. That also raises a question for me as to what happens once the BOK is developed - typically the next step is a certification, but again ARMA's IGP and the ICRM's (and ARMA's) CRM already exist.

I very much doubt I can participate, but anyone else interested can contact ARMA at

Some Perspectives on the Documentum Acquisition by Open Text

John Mancini: Some Perspectives on the Documentum Acquisition by Open Text This post includes links to just about every major ECM-related blog post offering perspective on this.

MER17 call for speakers open

Cohasset Associates is soliciting presentations for the MER17 program, scheduled for May 8-10, 2017 in Chicago, IL. Presentations must be submitted by November 1, 2016. Details and the submission form can be found at

AIIM17 Call for Speakers still open

I was remiss in not posting this earlier. AIIM is (still) looking for speakers for the AIIM17 conference, scheduled for March 14-16, 2017 in Orlando, FL. Emphasis is on end users; consultants and vendors are not accepted for the main program. Details and the application form can be found at

September 15, 2016

Mike Alsup: So OpenText Buys Documentum: Making Sense of the Aftershocks Another great post from the always-thoughtful founder of Gimmal. I don't always agree with Mike, but when I do I carefully check my premises because he's been a really smart and successful guy in this industry for a really long time.

And I do agree with his point here that when it comes time to migrate from Documentum to OpenText, those customers just might also look to something lighter-weight. I suspect many of those might go the Box-IBM route, but certainly a big chunk will look to leverage their existing SP/O365 as well.

September 13, 2016

Activity 9/13: Treadmill, 8.5% incline, 2.4mph, 1:30, 3.6 miles
Wow. According to this blog post by RecordLion, the list of active CRMs is at...923. I can't find any previous numbers but I seem to recall hearing 1100-1200+ a few years ago - maybe around the time I got mine (Oct 2009). The blog post is from April, and these things are always in flux, but still, that seems like a small and dwindling number.

Update: I checked the ICRM membership directory myself and there are 1,179 records in the database. When I filtered for CRM-Retired, I got 206, which leaves 973. Again could be the post was right before a test cycle, but wanted to clarify.

Long post at CMSWire, good links to others' reactions too. Documentum's Fate at Open Text: New Life or Certain Death?

Cheryl McKinnon: The Documentum Shoe Finally ECM Undergoes a Changing of the Guard

September 9, 2016

Activity 9/9: Treadmill, 8.0-8.5% incline, 2.4mph, 2:15, 5.21 miles

September 8, 2016

Activity 9/8: Treadmill, 8% incline, 2.4 mph, 1:24, 3:39 miles

September 7, 2016

Activity 9/7: Treadmill, 8% incline, 2.3mph, 1:05, 2.51 miles

August 29, 2016

Activity 8/29: Treadmill, 2.2mph, 7.0% incline, 1:01, 2.25 miles

August 17, 2016

CloudNine Software: Court Declines to Sanction Defendant for Deletion of Former Employee’s Email Account: eDiscovery Case Law. My take: This sounds about right, and the judge's test is pretty typical and I think the right way to evaluate these sorts of claims. The case raises some questions in my mind about whether the policy to delete employees' files is the right one, and if so, what the right timeline for that should be, but overall I agree with this one.

Also, I find this another good example of how solution providers can provide real value to the market and demonstrate their expertise in a way that is more valuable than simply selling at their prospects.

July 29, 2016

Activity for 7/29: Treadmill, 2.2mph, 8.0% incline, 1:18, 2.87 miles

July 28, 2016

Liberty Munson, Microsoft: The Path from Beta Exam to Live Exam. Great, succinct look into what happens between the time a beta candidate sits down to take the test and when that candidate actually receives the final score.

Becoming a CIP Training Partner

With the CIP now live, we've gotten quite a few questions about how to become a CIP training partner. The short version is: Become a CIP, develop your materials, and start teaching. There are some additional steps you can take that might increase your success - read on for details. 

In the personnel accreditation industry, there is generally a certain amount of "separation of church and state" between the certifying  organization and those that would prepare people to take the certification. One of the reasons for this is to underscore that the certification is not a house organ, but is rather based on industry best practices, subject matter experts (SMEs) from around the world, etc. 

This separation of exam from training is in fact one of the key differentiators between certificates and certifications. It enhances the value and prestige of a formal certification to have that separation. And it's such a strong tradition that ISO 17024, the standard for personnel accreditation, notes that certifying organizations cannot require *their* training as a precondition to take a certification exam. They can offer training, as AIIM does for the CIP, but others need to be able to offer it as well. 

Now let's look at training providers and partners. They are neatly positioned to manage that separation by offering training while being closely affiliated with the credentialing body. 

But because we want that separation of church & state, it makes the relationship between the certifying body and the training partner necessarily a bit looser than it otherwise would be. So in practice, anyone in the world who wants to teach a PMI, or A+, or [insert credential here]...or CIP preparatory workshop can do so, with no formal arrangement with the certifying body in most cases. That means no licensing fee, no train-the-trainer fee, no per-student fee, nada.

Let me say that again: If you want to teach a CIP preparatory workshop, you don't have to pay licensing fees to AIIM. You don't have to pay student fees to AIIM. You don't have to get trained by AIIM or pay a train-the-trainer fee. And you don't have to use an AIIM trainer. 

We do recommend that you be a CIP, of course. This is more for your marketing than anything else - who would take a PMP prep class from someone who isn't a PMP? 

We are also willing to review your training content against the exam outline to ensure that your content covers everything on the exam. There is no charge for this at present either. 

And we have the AIIM-produced training content including slides and a study guide. We can make the slides available to anyone interested in teaching CIP at no charge. There is a charge for the study guide, but we can give a bit of a discount for those buying it in bulk. 

We do also recommend that training providers price the CIP exam voucher into the workshop. This is how we are teaching our own CIP prep workshops and is pretty typical. We can then supply those vouchers for specific workshops. 

Training providers can also have the actual exam proctored live onsite as part of their event. This requires an AIIM staff member to do the actual proctoring - which means the provider would need to pay for that staff member to be there including travel. 

To summarize then, anyone interested in teaching a CIP preparatory workshop can do so with no links or financial commitments to AIIM. Get your trainer(s) CIP-certified, develop your materials or use ours, schedule and market your workshops, and ensure a quality experience for attendees. For more information on how to go about developing and delivering a CIP workshop, contact me at

The Value of the CIP - to the Company

The value of certification is often described from the perspective of the individual and how the certification will benefit the individual. But what about the organization – what is the value to a particular organization of hiring Certified Information Professionals (CIPs) or developing them internally?

CIPs reflect a more integrated, more holistic view of information management. Changes in one process, technology, or practice invariably affect others in the organization. CIPs are able to see the forest and the trees and understand and plan for these outcomes. Because of this, CIPs will identify and understand changes that could cause compliance issues, thereby reducing liability.

Organizations that manage their information more effectively enjoy reduced costs, faster time to market, increased revenues and cash flow, and increased business agility. CIPs are uniquely positioned to help organizations achieve these benefits because they understand the interactions between different information-intensive processes and activities.

At the same time, the CIP was built on industry standards, guidelines, and accepted best practices. CIPs are not just winging it or reinventing the wheel – they bring and use techniques that have been developed, revised, and improved upon by many others in the industry.

These techniques are not specific to a particular industry, work process, or technology solution; rather, they are broadly applicable across industries and technologies. CIPs understand how to leverage these standards and practices – and how to tailor them to meet the particular needs of their organization.

In the case of new hires, research has shown that certified individuals hit the ground running. A 2015 study by CompTIA found that 90% of employers believe IT certifications enable employees to learn faster once starting a job. Reducing onboarding time can reduce specific project costs as well as the overall cost to hire and train staff.

CIPs bring to their organizations a foundational base of knowledge that covers all aspects of information management. This means they will already be familiar with information-related processes and issues that are common to different types of organizations. Similarly, internal staff who complete the CIP process will demonstrate that they understand information management issues beyond just their narrow work process.

The CIP program provides a shared understanding and vocabulary, based on industry guidelines and good practices. CIPs will be able to communicate more consistently and effectively across process areas and bridge the gaps between information management, legal, IT, and specific business units. This also means that CIPs will be able to identify and resolve issues faster because of that shared language and shared understanding.

CIPs demonstrate a commitment to their own professional development. This means that as new developments occur in their industries, in technologies, and in processes, CIPs will be well-positioned to address and leverage them on behalf of their organizations. 

The CIP program itself was developed by AIIM, a global industry association dedicated to information management best practices. Since 1943 AIIM has been at the forefront of effective information management – developing standards, delivering educational events and content, and conducting research.

Organizations who hire or train CIPs can be confident that CIPs demonstrate the breadth and depth of knowledge required to effectively develop, manage, and support information-intensive processes throughout their organizations.

Note: also posted on the AIIM CIP website at

July 25, 2016

ARMA 2016 conference approved for 18.5 CRM credits by the ICRM and 15.5 IGP credits by ARMA itself. As an aside, I counted 13.5 educational hours myself Sun-Tues which looks like "core conference". But it does make me wonder - which 3 hours of the conference does the ICRM consider educational that ARMA believes is non-educational?

Maintaining Your CIP Certification

One of the differences between formal certifications and other sorts of training/designations is the requirement to maintain them. Every certification has some sort of reexamination or continuing education requirement. This is to ensure that, as best practices, processes, and technologies change, certified professionals keep up with those changes.

The Certified Information Professional (CIP) is no exception. CIPs are required to recertify every three years. There are two ways to do this. First, CIPs can retake the CIP exam. CIPs should remember though that they will have to take the then-current exam at the then-current price.

Second, and more common, is to complete the continuing education unit (CEU) requirements. The CIP program requires that individual CIPs complete 45 CEU credits over the course of three years, or 15 credits per year. CIPs must also pay a nominal fee: $75 for AIIM Professional members, $150 for non-members, which in both cases is less than half the price of retaking the exam.

Please note that if you do not complete your CIP CEUs within the three-year certification period, you will be decertified and will have to retake the CIP exam in order to reinstate your CIP. 

What types of events count for CIP CEUs?
We've tried to make it as easy as possible to complete CEUs. It's this simple: If it's an event that meets one of the topic areas on the CIP, it counts. It doesn't matter who provides or sponsors the event - it just has to be educational and align to one of the topic areas on the CIP (2011 outline or 2016 outline). So all of these events would count for CIP CEUs:

  • Attending an AIIM Chapter meeting
  • Attending an ARMA Chapter meeting (or any other association meeting)
  • Speaking at InfoGovCon, or MER, or ARMA, or AIIM, or any other industry event
  • Attending a webinar
  • Attending a formal training course
  • Attending employee-sponsored training
  • Attending a college course, whether for credit or not
  • Developing and/or delivering a presentation
  • Publishing an article or book. A blog post might count if it's a pretty meaty post. A Tweet? Not so much. 1 credit per article or page. 
  • Attending vendor-sponsored or vendor-provided content, including product demos. Vendors have unique content to share that is incredibly valuable, even when it's very specific to their solution. 
Again, it has to align with at least one topic area on the CIP in order to qualify. And this is by no means an exhaustive list. 

Each event qualifies for 1 CEU credit per contact hour of educational content; we round down to the nearest 1/2 credit. So an AIIM preconference workshop from 9-5 would count for 6.5 hours - 8.0 hours, less 2 15-minute breaks, less 1 1-hour break for lunch - or 6.5 CEU credits. 

So what types of events would NOT qualify for CEUs?
Again, pretty simple: If it doesn't align with the CIP, it doesn't qualify. So: 
  • Attending an AIIM or ARMA chapter meeting on "How to Dress for Success" or a similarly unrelated topic
  • Employer-provided training on conflict resolution or how to drive a forklift
  • A vendor mixer/meet & greet with no educational content
  • Snack and lunch breaks during events and conferences
  • The Welcome Reception at an event or conference
  • Work experience. We just don't have any way to know how long it took you to do that thing you did or to compare it with others' work experience. 
  • A conference unrelated to the CIP. However, if a session you attend does relate, it counts. We have given credit for specific sessions at conferences on genealogy, state government, project management, and many others. 
  • Other certifications. But certification prep might count if you can document it. 
The bottom line is that if it relates to the CIP, we'll probably accept it; if it doesn't, we won't. 

How do you document and submit your credits?

List all the events you believe would qualify. For AIIM-delivered events - conference, webinars, etc. - we will confirm your registration and attendance in our systems. 

For any non-AIIM delivered events, you need to submit some sort of documentation: a registration receipt, certificate of attendance, something. We'll be flexible but we do need some sort of proof you attended what you said you did. 

You can email your credits to You can provide your credit card number directly on the form, or request that we call you to take the credit card number over the phone. If you want to submit hard copy, pay with check, etc., mail your information to: 
Attn: CIP Renewal
1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Event coordinators, submit your events for preapproval. 
Simply send an email to me at or to with the name of the event, the location, date/time, and the details about the event such as a link to a web page or brochure. We generally turn those around pretty quickly so you can help market your event to CIPs. 

Note, however, that you do NOT have to get your events preapproved in order for them to be worth CIP credits; this just streamlines the process so you know what credits will be granted and helps you promote your event to CIPs as a way for them to get CEUs. 

The bottom line
Continuing education helps to ensure you're up-to-date on current processes, technologies, and best practices. It demonstrates to your employer your commitment to staying up-to-date and to your own professional growth and development. And you've passed the CIP exam, which is no small matter. Maintaining your CIP is a cost-effective way to demonstrate your professionalism and ensure that you can continue to reap the benefits of being a CIP in the future. 

I welcome your comments here or at

July 23, 2016

Activity for 7/23: 5k/3.1 mile race, walked, plus about 1 more mile walking to/from start.

July 21, 2016

Ken Treece: Despite Preservation Efforts, Company Heavily Sanctioned For Employee's Intentional Spoliation Pretty blatant behavior from a Senior VP of Sales - in other words, a senior manager who one would assume would be smart enough to realize the potential consequences (but apparently didn't care).

July 10, 2016

Activity: 3.2 mile ruck w/ 40-lb pack but normal walk/run attire. 57 minute or 17:53 pace.

July 7, 2016

FCW: Court: Feds can't hide outside emails from FOIA. Well, of course not. Much longer post on this coming from me soonish.
Nick Inglis: Understanding the Information Strategist.

I'd argue that one of the gaps not on his diagram is information governance, where there is a lot of heat and even a bit of light here and there. I find that ironic given his call-out to his own IG conference. And I have quibbles here and there. But I think that the overall corpus he describes is part and parcel of CIP, not something new. I also think that there is no one role in an organization that does all three things:

  • Sets organizational policy
  • Is "in charge" of information 
  • Coordinates between the various roles
That last is squarely where the CIP sits in my mind and in the roles and job titles of many of those that have already earned it. 

July 6, 2016

The CIP 2016 Update is LIVE!

I am pleased to announce that after a lot of hard work, some stops and starts, and with the assistance of dozens of information professionals around the world, the 2016 revision to the CIP is now LIVE.

Here's how we got here:

So what's next? Well, the exam is live, so if you're a candidate or know someone who is or should be, you can:

Already a CIP? Nothing changes for you - you do NOT need to take the revised CIP to maintain your CIP status. Provided, of course, that you complete your 45 CEUs within the 3 years after you were certified and pay the CEU fees. If you did not do that within 3 years, your CIP has expired and you do in fact need to take it again.

I can't tell you how excited I am about this relaunch. I believe that this revision has made the CIP a stronger, better-written, more useful exam and that it will continue to grow into the premier information management designation in the industry.

Questions or comments? Feel free to comment here or ping me directly at

The CIP 2016 Passing Score

Over the long weekend we notified all the CIP 2016 beta candidates as to their total scores, their individual domain scores, and whether they passed or failed. I heard from a few beta testers that a 60% passing score seems quite low, and why are we making the test easier, and won't that compromise the overall perception and quality of the CIP?

One of the key steps in the development of any certification is setting the passing score. There is a widespread misconception that the passing score "should be" a certain score such as 70% - 75%. This is akin to setting the retention for some or all of your records at 7 years: Nobody really knows how they got there, and it's not defensible, but everyone else is doing it so it must be OK.

In order for a passing score to be defensible, it needs to be criterion-based. This is typically done through some sort of standard-setting study. There are a number of ways to do this; a common way used for certification exams is modified Angoff scoring.

The way Angoff scoring works is that subject matter experts, who themselves are representative of the target audience, take the exam in an unproctored, untimed, and unscored setting. As they go through the exam, they rate the likelihood of a candidate like them getting that question correct. The harder the question is perceived to be, the lower that percentage will be; a super-easy question might be given a 95% rating (because people still pick B accidentally instead of A), while the lowest grade, 25%, represents a pure guess on a question with 4 possible answers.

This was the approach we used to set the CIP passing score. Once the SMEs finished their ratings, we had a call to discuss them. Each item had a range of ratings and we discussed the individual ratings of those items with large ranges. We looked at the complexity of the individual item, how the beta testers answered, and how well those questions discriminated (good scorers tended to get them right, poor scorers tended to get them wrong). SMEs were allowed to change their ratings after discussion and many did on many items. This ended up with each item having a difficulty rating and a statistical validity associated with that rating. We then took all the individual items and assembled the final passing score range of 47-51 items which equates to a 55-60% passing score and set the passing score at the top of that mathematically determined, defensible, range.

So back to that 60% passing score: 60% seems quite low, right? But it's exactly the opposite: a 60% passing score reflects that the exam is actually harder compared to the previous CIP. Had we put the passing score at 70%, only about half the beta candidates would have passed, many of whom are superior candidates compared to the 3-5 year candidate that the CIP has targeted since its inception.

And in part because the exam is more challenging, we've already developed an in-depth CIP study guide and an instructor-led classroom prep workshop to help candidates prepare to succeed on the exam. The study guide is free for AIIM Professional members and $60 for non-members. The revised CIP is also more closely aligned to existing AIIM training programs; taking one of them will also help prepare candidates for the relevant portion of the CIP.

We will definitely monitor the performance of the CIP, and if the passing score needs to be tweaked  in 6 months or a year we have a process for doing that as well. But I hope this information will underscore my, and AIIM's, commitment to doing the CIP the right way, not simply throwing together a bunch of questions and setting an arbitrary passing score.