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 jwilkins@aiim.org

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 http://www.aiim.org/cip.

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 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: 
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.

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 jwilkins@aiim.org.

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. 
Epicurious: Diner-Style Bacon for a Crowd. Because why wouldn't you?