July 25, 2016

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 certification@aiim.org. 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: 
AIIM
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 jwilkins@aiim.org or to certification@aiim.org 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 jwilkins@aiim.org.

1 comment:

Donda young said...

thx for the reminder!
(Future enhancement) Would like to see the form connected to my AIIM profile for tracking purposes over time and a paypal option for submission of payment.