December 29, 2015

The CIP in 2016 Part 1: Revising the CIP

I've been thinking about the CIP a lot lately. Full disclosure: I run the CIP program for AIIM and helped develop the original version in 2011. AIIM canceled it, and then reinstated it, and while I know much of the back story, I will not share any of that here or yet. Rather, I'd like to focus on a bit on what I and AIIM are doing with regards to updating the CIP and how the community can help.

A certification requires a lot more than simply writing a bunch of questions and setting up a web page. In order to launch an update to the CIP, here's what needs to happen, in fairly short order. 

1. Update the outline and coverage. The original CIP was very...lumpy. Records management and BPM were provided the same weight on the exam as webconferencing and instant messaging. We're also going to align the CIP much more closely to the broad, if somewhat informal, body of knowledge we've already developed at AIIM in the form of our Master Classes and certificate courses.  Once the draft outline is done, we will share it with the broader CIP community for feedback. 

2. Develop new exam questions. We will look to reuse good questions from the existing CIP exam bank where appropriate, but we will also need to revise some of them and will need new questions as well. We're investigating different mechanisms for doing this, but there will be an opportunity for CIPs to participate in item writing and review. 

3. Score the exam. A critical part of the development of a certification is to ensure it is psychometrically valid. This basically means that the exam questions themselves are correct, accurate, not misleading, and comport to industry standards and best practices. This process also leads to the development of the passing score, rather than setting an arbitrary score. There is an art to this; many certifications use the modified Angoff method to set the scoring standards

In order to do this we will need people to actually take the exam so we can see how good the items are. Again, more on this to come. 

Every certification goes through a substantially similar process; there is even an ISO standard dedicated to the development of personnel accreditations. This ensures that the certification is developed in a way that is defensible and reliable. 

In my next post I'll discuss some of the other ways CIPs can help push the CIP forward in 2016. 

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