December 20, 2017

Matt Wade: "I don't trust the cloud" - Actually, you do. This is an even better example than the one I usually use in the records management context - that of the longstanding use of Iron Mountain et al for offsite storage.

H/T: Gregory Zelfond
John Mancini, CMSWire: Where Digital Transformation and Content Management Intersect

December 14, 2017

AIIM Awards Nominations Now Open

AIIM announced today that it is accepting nominations for awards to be given at the AIIM18 annual conference in San Antonio, TX. Awards categories include:

  • Company of Fellows (must be nominated by a Fellow)
  • Award of Merit (limited to members of the CoF)
  • Standards Achievement Award
  • Carl Weise Scholarship Award
  • AIIM Leadership Award

Additional information, including past winners, is available at
To submit your nomination, please submit your letter to Jessica Lombardo, Director of Membership (, outlining your reason for nominating the AIIM member and why you think they should be honored in 2018. We will then follow up with the candidate for letters of support and a current CV.

Nominations are due by February 15, 2018. 

November 21, 2017

Eric A. Packel, in Lexology: Moving Beyond Passwords - Does Your Face Raise Privacy Concerns? Good article - when you use biometrics the thinking is that nobody has your face or fingerprints. But at some point those have to be converted into a digital string to be used as passwords etc. If your password is compromised, you can change it; how do you change your face?
Andrew Pery, on Digital Landfill: GDPR Compliance starts with Data Discovery

November 2, 2017

Information Coalition announces new InfoBOK website, summit

The Information Coalition has posted to Twitter that there is a new site dedicated to the development of their information body of knowledge (InfoBOK). The site is live at; it also notes the scheduling of a 1-day summit to be held March 7, 2018 in NYC.

I certainly wish Nick well in this effort. That said, as I noted in my recent InfoGov17 keynote, I think there are significant challenges with this effort just as with other similar efforts by ARMA, Gartner, and even our own CIP development, including but not limited to:

  • Getting consensus on what a given term/concept means
  • The "SME" gap between those who are experienced enough to meaningfully contribute and the tendency of all of us to base best practices on what *we* know and do
  • The opposite issue, which is the tendency to want to include emergent technologies and processes well before there are any best practices defined or even definable
  • The Boundary issues that are always part of these efforts. No matter what is included, some information management-related topics will be excluded - in the case of the current draft of the InfoBOK for example there is no mention of customer communication management, geolocational/GIS management, COLD/ERM, or engineering drawing management. 
It's also the case that the general idea behind a BOK is to develop an assessment-based credential associated with it. This is obviously a topic near & dear to me as we approach 1500 successful CIPs since 2011; but the information management certification market is already pretty saturated between the CIP and the many deep-dive certifications out there from IAPP (privacy), ACEDS (e-discovery), ICRM (records management), ARMA (information governance), etc. and I'm not sure (yet) that I understand the new ground that this program would cover.

As I noted in that keynote, this is not to disparage the work that's already been done, but simply to note that any BOK is a tradeoff between these sorts of elements, and this is no exception. There are some exceptionally smart and experienced people involved in this effort and I'll be interested to see where it ends up.

October 11, 2017

Inaugural CIP Today Newsletter - Oct 2017

Update: Made public as of Nov 2, 2017.

Welcome to the inaugural edition of CIP Today, a newsletter for CIPs. As the lead developer for the initial CIP and the architect for the current version, I'm pretty proud of what we've done with it in just 6 years: the number of CIPs continues to grow, the percentage of CIPs that maintain it continues to grow, and whenever I talk to CIPs I hear about how it's empowered them within their organization and among their professional peers.

When we started putting this newsletter together, we wanted to make sure that it was relevant to CIPs - the issues you're facing today, the issues on the horizon, and how to ensure that you provide value to your organization. At the same time, the CIP is an individual certification so we need to include things that are of value to you, the individual CIPs reading this. I hope that you will find this valuable, and I welcome your thoughts, comments, and submissions at


Jesse Wilkins, CIP
Director, Professional Development

Standards Update

ISO 32000-2 – Richer PDF File Format
by Betsy Fanning, CIP

Several weeks ago, ISO published ISO 32000-2, PDF 2.0 -- a new version of PDF. What does that mean to you? Let’s take one step backwards before revealing the new things that PDF can do based on this new standard. When PDF was first introduced in the 1990’s, it was considered a proprietary specification that quickly became a de facto standard fully driven by the market and what it’s users wanted. The PDF Specification was proprietary because the development of it was all done by Adobe Systems only. In 2008, that all changed! Adobe offered the specification to ISO to become an international standard. AIIM played a part in making that happen in its role as the secretary to the ISO committee for document management standards and where PDF/A (PDF/Archive) had been previously developed. The PDF Specification was published by ISO in 2008 as ISO 32000-1. It was an exact replica of the then current Adobe version of the specification.

So, what makes ISO 32000-2 or PDF 2.0 so special? This is the first PDF specification that was developed with input from experts from many countries and not controlled by Adobe. At the working group meetings, we had subject experts from 11 countries discussing the specification and working on new features.

You may say, PDF works now, why do we need new features? PDF was not broken and the industry felt the need to for some new things for the file format. These new features are the result of organizations implementing techniques to remove paper from their processes and consequently identifying new ways to use electronic documents. In addition to improvements to the file format, PDF 2.0 also:
  • Allows secured PDF files to be delivered inside a readable “cover letter” document.
  • Provides additional support for rich media annotations, geospatial features, PRC (Product Representation Compact, a 3D format).
  • Gives any PDF document the ability to include machine-readable metadata about the files attached to it.
  • Include source data and other file formats as part of the PDF document.
  • Improved the support of tagged PDF to make PDF files more accessible and easier to repurpose.
  • Updated digital signature features.
  • Supports 256-bit AES encryption
While the working group responsible for this standard is taking a short, well deserved break, it is actively seeking even more new features for the next version. If you have any ideas of what you would like PDF to do that it does not do today, please feel free to contact me, Betsy Fanning, at to share your ideas. [Read more.]


CIP Certification Maintenance:

We've made some quality of life chances to certification maintenance. If you're a CIP, you can now submit your CEUs directly through a web-based form. This form only takes one activity at a time, though, so you'll need to submit another form for each event you do. As with the current PDF form, if it's an AIIM event - webinar, conference, training course - simply report the activity. If it's from a chapter event or another event producer (ARMA, MER, PMI, etc.) you will need to attach some sort of documentation such as a receipt, certificate of attendance, or agenda. And of course the event has to be educational and relate in some manner to the CIP. This blog post explains the recertification process in greater detail.

We're still working on the payment process - more on that below. The form is live.

We're also introducing a new automated process to send out periodic reminders to CIPs that you need to complete the recertification process. We don't want to spam you, but we do want you to be able to complete your recertification in a timely and non-stressful manner, so we're going to send a reminder every 6 months or so, more frequently as your renewal date nears. Look for those emails starting this month.

Preapproval for CIP CEUs:

In addition, if you're an event producer and want to request credits for your event, we have a form available for that as well. The form asks for basic information: point of contact, event name, date, website, # credits requested, and includes a button to upload an agenda. We turn these around pretty quickly. The form is live and available here.

Changes to Fees & Payment Process Effective January 2018:

We've had more than a few former CIPs complain that they were decertified because they didn't know the process, weren't reminded, etc. To address that and hopefully streamline the overall process we're making a number of changes. We already noted the email reminders above; we're also changing the payment process.

1. Effective January 2018, the recertification fee will change from annual payments to a single payment during the three-year term. You can pay that fee at any time, but you must pay it within the 3-year anniversary of your certification date.

2. We're also increasing the member renewal fee to $135. This brings the pricing in line with other AIIM member discount rates and is still a bargain compared to the cost (and stress!) of taking the CIP test again. The non-member rate will remain unchanged. So if you're a professional member (and why wouldn't you be?), if you pay whatever balance is due on your CIP renewal by the end of this calendar year, you'll be paying the current rate. If you wait until 2018, you'll have to pay $135 less whatever you've paid this cycle. Please contact me at with any questions.

AIIM Partners with IAPP:

You may have seen that we've announced a partnership with the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Under the terms of that agreement, we'll be teaching several of their privacy courses including CIPP/US, CIPT, and CIPM. Courses will be listed on the AIIM training website as we schedule them. We're working with the IAPP to assign CIP CEUs for all of their courses; in the meantime, if you take or have taken an IAPP course, submit it per the usual process and it will be awarded CEUs.

AIIM Partners with ICRM:

We've also partnered with the Institute of Certified Records Managers. Under the terms of that agreement, the AIIM ERM Master Class will be accepted in lieu of Part 5 of the CRM exam. CRM candidates will still need to pass exam Parts 1-4 and Part 6 to receive the CRM certification. And of course the ERM Master Class is worth CIP CEUs - 26 CEUs to be specific. [Read more.].

BPM Course Updated:

I'm pleased to announce that in September we launched a revised version of our BPM Specialist and Master courses. The course content has been updated to reflect changes in technology as well as changes to practices in the discipline. [Learn more.]

Modern Records Management Course Update:

We're also working to update our ERM course, which we have renamed to Modern Records Management. We're planning to launch the Specialist course in early November. If you want a sneak peek at the course outline, send me a note at

The AIIM Conference 2018

I'd like to personally invite you to attend the AIIM18 conference, scheduled for April 11-13, 2018 in San Antonio, TX. There are a ton of activities that should be of interest to CIPs, including:

  • CEUs! 12.5 for the conference and another 6.5 if you take one of the precon workshops.
  • World-class networking throughout the conference
  • A CIP-only networking session
  • The annual CIP group photo
  • The exclusive CIP T-shirt
  • And more! For more information visit

Share Your Story

As a CIP, I want to know what you're doing and how you're doing it. If you have a story to share, an article you think would be of interest to other CIPs, or even just want to tell your CIP story, send me a note at I can help you write it if needed, and we'll make sure it gets in the next newsletter.

Upcoming CEU Opportunities

Just a reminder that all CIPs have to complete 45 hours of continuing education every three years in order to remain certified. Here are some upcoming AIIM events you might wish to consider:

And non-AIIM events are OK too, as long as they are educational in nature and address at least one topic on the CIP. Vendor demos/presentations/sessions as well. Questions? Ping me at

Key POCs

You have questions? We have answers. Here's where to get AIIM-related information:

Marco Klindt: PDF/A considered harmful for digital preservation. The author notes in section 1.1 that his title is "a bold and provocative statement." But it's a good read, if a bit technical for many readers in the middle bits. And if it does serve to start discussion, especially around some issues like redaction, I think that's a good thing. Will be watching for any other responses on Twitter.
WBT Systems: How to Continue the Conference Learning Experience. Lots of this could be applied to training courses as well.

October 3, 2017

Ride the Lightning: DOJ Attorneys Foul Up Redaction, Jeopardizing Case I talk about this regularly in my ECM and ERM classes. From the story Sharon linked to:
In the inadequately redacted portions of the brief, the prosecutors described the content of Black’s interview with the FCA. One sentence was highlighted in black and written in a gray font that was clearly legible. Other portions of the brief were blocked out with what appeared to be black highlighting but were easily read by copying and pasting the contents of the brief into another text document. Word searches of the document returned text that was barely hidden behind the faulty redactions.
I can maybe sorta see someone clueless about redaction using a black highlighter on black text. How do you black highlight gray text that is still clearly legible and leave it that way? Maybe DOJ needs to take my ERM workshop in October.

October 2, 2017

Graphic Imaging Services to offer CIP workshop in Las Vegas, NV

Update 10/31/2017: This workshop has been preapproved by ARMA for 18.0 IGP continuing education credits - 9 general, 8 IT, and 1 legal.

I am pleased to announce that Graphic Imaging Services, a provider of document imaging services in the Las Vegas, NV area, will be hosting a special Certified Information Professional (CIP) Preparatory workshop in Las Vegas January 9-12, 2018.

The workshop will be taught by Pam Doyle, CIP, a world-renowned expert in information management. The workshop itself will run Jan 9-11 with the onsite proctored exam being delivered on Friday, Jan 12.

Updated location: The workshop is being held at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino, 9090 Alta Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89145.

This course is being made available at the incredible price of $995. The registration fee includes:
  • 3 days of instruction delivered by one of the best information management experts in the industry
  • Access to the online CIP prep workshop materials for 6 months
  • Classroom handouts & materials
  • The CIP study guide
  • The CIP exam fee for one exam
For more information or to register, please visit or contact Lisa Desautels at

September 10, 2017

Activity 9/9: 5k walk with 10# weight vest and 10# backpack

September 6, 2017

ICRM announces CRM-Federal Specialist

Title says it all. Requires 1 year documented experience in U.S. Federal records management and be a CRM in good standing.

Press release:

September 1, 2017

Don Lueders: AIIM and the ICRM Announce Important New Strategic Partnership

CompTIA announces retirement of CDIA+

From the announcement

The CompTIA CDIA+ certification retires December 1, 2017. CompTIA will not renew or replace this certification exam. Anyone studying for the CDIA+ certification exam is encouraged to complete their studies and seek certification prior to December 1, 2017.
Vouchers already purchased for either exam will be valid through the retirement date as noted above. Exam vouchers not used by the retirement date will expire and become void.
Although these exams will be retired, anyone who has received their certification will remain CompTIA certified, good for life.
This is not the first time this has been announced actually - think they did so in 2010-2012 timeframe and the pushback was sufficient to resurrect it. But in the last 10 years or so it's always been a bit of an odd duck combining producting imaging planning, basic project management, and technical minutiae which is no longer relevant - for example calculating the image size of a TIFF based on resolution, color depth, and compression algorithm used. 

It's the end of an era - my involvement with the CompTIA CDIA+ exam development process introduced me to a broader world outside of IMR and really got me started in certification and training.

H/T: Pam Doyle

AIIM and ICRM Partnership FAQ

With regards to the ICRM - AIIM partnership, here are some questions I've anticipated.

What does this mean to the quality/standards/caliber of the CRM? We believe that this does not detract from the quality or standards of the CRM in any way. AIIM has offered the AIIM ERM Master Class since 2006, with regular updates. It was developed in accordance with ISO 15489, ISO 26122, ISO 23081, MIKE2, and a number of other industry standards and guidelines. The ERM Master Class consists of more than 20 hours of educational content; the instructor-led course supplements this with activities, exercises, case studies, and  practical discussion and engagement.

The updates in 2009 and 2013 were completed by a CRM - me - though in full disclosure I was only a candidate when I started the update in 2009.

AIIM remains committed to delivering a robust, rigorous course that remains highly relevant to all records managers and especially CRAs and CRMs. And as noted above, candidates will still have to complete Parts 1-4 and Part 6. This just represents another path to complete Part 5.

How do CRM candidates report they have completed the ERM Master Class? AIIM and the ICRM will do a one-time crosswalk to identify CRM candidates who have also completed the ERM Master Class in the past. Moving forward, candidates will need to report completion of the ERM Master Class within 6 months of completion, as is the case with other CMP credits. If you're not sure whether you completed the ERM Master Class requirements, contact me directly at

How do CRMs/CRAs access the member discount for AIIM training courses? AIIM has provided a discount code that will be made available to ICRM members.

Do the discounts apply to any other AIIM products? No, at this time the Professional Member discount is only valid for training courses. However, AIIM Professional Membership is highly valuable to records managers beyond the discounts - I have been an AIIM staff member for almost 7 years and I still pay, out of pocket, every year to maintain my Professional membership (as I do with my ICRM and ARMA memberships). I encourage anyone interested in learning more about Professional membership to contact me directly at

Does this also apply to the ERM Practitioner or Specialist? No, the candidate must complete the ERM Master. Students who have previously completed the ERM Practitioner or Specialist can complete the ERM Master either online or by attending the final two days of any instructor-led ERM Master Class. For more information contact me directly at

Does this apply to the online ERM Master Class? Yes. The online ERM Master Class covers the same information and all other requirements as the instructor-led class.

If you have other questions, ping me at and I'll answer them and probably add them to this FAQ. 

AIIM and ICRM Partner to Advance Records Management Best Practices

I am pleased to announce that AIIM and the ICRM have established a strategic partnership to advance best practices in records management. Under this partnership, CRM candidates have the option to take the Part 5 exam or complete the AIIM ERM Master Class and have it count for the Part 5 exam. Candidates will still have to pass Part 1-4 and Part 6 in order to become CRMs.

AIIM courses and events will continue to be eligible for CRM continuing education (CMP) credits per longstanding practice. In addition, CRMs and CRAs will be able to access AIIM training courses at the AIIM Professional member rate.

Here's a link to some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about this partnership:

Here's the full text of the press release: 

The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) and the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM) Partner to Advance Best Practices in Modern Records Management
AIIM contributes technical module to ICRM body of knowledge

Silver Spring, MD, September 1, 2017 – AIIM and the ICRM announce the establishment of a strategic partnership to advance best practices in Records and Information Management (RIM) through professional certification and training.

This partnership will serve the RIM community by creating new paths to ICRM certification while maintaining current standards and ensuring that the ICRM exam, in particular Part 5, encompasses current technologies and RIM best practices.

ICRM candidates who successfully complete the AIIM ERM Master designation can now receive credit for passing Part 5 of the ICRM exam. CRAs and CRMs will also receive special access to other select AIIM education courses and resources to meet their ongoing continuing education requirements.

Jesse Wilkins, Director of Professional Development at AIIM, noted that "The pace of technological innovation continues to increase, and with it the challenges presented to the records professional.  We believe that the AIIM ERM Master Class provides a timely and relevant path to modern records management and the best approach for addressing current challenges.  We respect the ICRM path to excellence and we are pleased to contribute to that process."

“For more than 40 years, the ICRM has proudly set the standard by which RIM professionals could be measured, accredited and recognized according to criteria of experience and capability established by their peers. We are excited to add AIIM as one of our strategic partners and to recognize their ERM Master Class as one such standard for demonstrating knowledge of the topics on the ICRM Part 5 Technology exam.” said Wendy McLain, President of ICRM.

Details on the AIIM ERM Master Class are available here.

Details on the CRM are available here.

About AIIM
AIIM has been an advocate and supporter of information professionals for 70 years. The association’s mission is to improve organizational performance by empowering a community of leaders committed to information-driven innovation. AIIM is a global, non-profit organization that provides independent research, education, and certification programs to a diverse community of information professionals. 

Jesse Wilkins, CIP, CRM, IGP, CEDS
+1 (202) 649-0270

About ICRM
Founded in 1975, the ICRM is an international certifying organization of and for professional records managers. The Institute confers three designations: the Certified Records Manager (CRM); the Certified Records Manager/Nuclear Specialist (CRM/NS); and the Certified Records Analyst (CRA). 

ICRM Administrator
(877) 244-3128

August 29, 2017

FileFacets: What is PII? What Should We Do About It?

Reminder: AIIM18 call for speakers is open through Sept 29

Just a reminder that the call for speakers for the AIIM18 conference, scheduled for April 10-13, 2018 in San Antonio, TX is open. As in previous years, speakers must be end users; while vendors are allowed to participate, those speaking spots are only available as part of a sponsorship package.

Speakers will receive a complimentary conference registration, but their travel and any additional registration items such as preconference workshops are not included and are at their own expense.

Deadline for submissions is September 29th. More details: The submission form:

DSF '18 Issues Call for Speakers

Seems to be the day for it. The Document Strategy Forum has also issued their call for speakers for DSF '18, scheduled for May 21-23 in Boston, MA. Deadline for submissions is Oct 9, 2017; additional details and the submission form are available at

MER18 Issues Call for Presenters

The Managing Electronic Records (MER) Annual Conference has opened its call for proposals to speak at the MER18 Conference, scheduled for May 6-9, 2018 in Chicago, IL. Deadline submission is November 1, 2017. Additional details about what they are looking for, and the submission form, can be found at

August 22, 2017

Lane Severson: Digital Transformation Shakes Up ECM Priorities

Rachel Ray's Bacon Apple Crumble Pie

Because I haven't blogged about bacon in a while.

I have made this recipe a couple of times and...yeah. Everyone thinks "ew, bacon and apple pie". I say, "what doesn't bacon make better?" Especially if you used applewood-smoked bacon....

You could make it even more bacon-y by replacing the crumble topping with a bacon weave and putting the cheddar cheese on the crust first, then the apple filling, then the weave.

August 21, 2017

Laurence Hart: Governance Propels the Digital Workplace Forward. Laurence's post is in response to Martyn Perks' post, Goodbye Governance, We Don't Need You Anymore.

It should come as no surprise that I'm much closer to Laurence's position than Martyn's, but it's not reflexive. Rather, I found Martyn's post to be logically inconsistent. I'd posit that what he wants is not a lack of governance, but governance provided in a way that, as Laurence notes, moves the organization forward. In other words, he wants smart governance that aligns to business goals and objectives rather than "a set of deadweight policies that inhibit how staff work." But smart governance doesn't mean no governance; rather, it means balancing what the organization needs to do to meet its needs, including legal and regulatory requirements, with a governance framework that works for employees.

To riff off of Laurence's example, cooking requires a governance framework and lots of governance elements in it:

  • Appropriate temperatures for storing and cooking food, which differ based on the type of food and the ingredients used
  • Appropriate balancing between time and temperature - for example, you can't bake bread at 250 degrees, and you can't cook an edible brisket at 500 degrees
  • Proportional use of ingredients - baking is chemistry as much as it is art, and even a simple salad dressing works best at certain proportions of acid to oil. 
And we could probably add many more. And there is some flexibility in most cooking - who's to say you can't put bacon in an apple pie? But if you stray too far from the practices espoused in the cooking (governance) framework, you end up having to deal with unexpected outcomes or even unintended consequences. So too with information governance in the enterprise. 

August 20, 2017

August 19, 2017

August 17, 2017

AIIM opens call for speakers for AIIM18

AIIM has opened the call for speakers for the AIIM18 conference, scheduled for April 10-13, 2018 in San Antonio, TX. As in previous years, speakers must be end users; while vendors are allowed to participate, those speaking spots are only available as part of a sponsorship package.

Speakers will receive a complimentary conference registration, but their travel and any additional registration items such as preconference workshops are not included and are at their own expense.

Deadline for submissions is September 29th. More details: The submission form:

August 15, 2017

AIIM becomes IAPP Training Provider

I am pleased to announce that AIIM and IAPP have entered into a partnership agreement. As part of this agreement, AIIM will teach IAPP certification prep courses including the CIPP/US, CIPM, and CIPT. The inaugural AIIM-taught CIPP/US course is scheduled for October 3-4, 2017 at AIIM HQ in Silver Spring, MD and I will be teaching that course. More details on that course are available at

August 11, 2017

AIIM18 Registration Now Open

AIIM has just announced that registration for the AIIM18 conference, scheduled for April 10-13, 2018 in San Antonio, TX, is now available. More details are available at
Gerald C. Kane, MITSloan Management Review: 'Digital Transformation' Is A Misnomer

What are your go-to sources for all things RM?

Title says it all. Where do you go to stay abreast of current issues, emerging issues, changes in tech, etc. in records/info management? Twitter? RECMGMT-L? Somewhere else? I ask selfishly but also because I teach a lot of RM/IM/IG stuff and I always want to share these types of resources with attendees. Comment here, sent me an email, Tweet me.

July 27, 2017

Craig Ball: Custodian-Directed Preservation of iPhone Content: Simple. Scalable. Proportional. Interesting, but not sure I agree - the comments (including mine I hope!) are interesting as well.

My contribution: how is using an iPhone backup for preservation any different from e.g. using a PC or system backup for preservation? And there is significant case law in the US that reflects on that approach through the lenses of cost shifting, accessibility of the underlying information, etc.

July 9, 2017

Activity 7/9: Walking desk, 2.4-3.0 mph, 9% incline, 1:07, 2.83 miles
Activity 7/8: 5.15 mile walk, average 25-min mile pace

July 5, 2017

Activity 7/5: Walking desk, 2.4 mph, 9% incline, 57 min, 2.3 miles

July 4, 2017

Activity 7/4: Walking desk, 2.4 mph, 9% incline, 1:10, 2.81 miles

June 23, 2017

Activity 6/23: Walking desk, 2.3 mph, 9% incline, 1:40, 3.75 miles

April 6, 2017

Alfresco: Always Open, Always Innovating: Why Our Approach Continues to Gain Industry Recognition. It's a vendor, so grain of salt, but nevertheless insightful as to the power of content services and open APIs. Also includes links to the Forrester Waves for Business Content Services and Transactional Content Services - registration required.

April 5, 2017

AIIM ECM Master and ERM Master Classes Now Available Online

AIIM has offered ECM and ERM training since 1996. We've always offered students two ways to attend our Practitioner and Specialist courses: our instructor-led courses, and self-paced online courses. But the Master Class, with its in-class case study exercise and home case study assignment, has only been available as an instructor-led format.

Until now. I am very pleased to announce that we have put the ECM Master Class and ERM Master Class online. The Master Classes include 100% of the instructor-led content: The ECM/ERM Specialist, the Implementation, and the ECM/ERM Master Case Study. The Master Case Study portion consists of 5 new modules:

  • The case study assignment background - GreenPowerOps for ECM, AIIMBank for ERM.
  • 3 individual (optional) modules that provide students a chance to practice. Each module includes some exercises and a sample answer for each exercise. 
  • The home case study module. This includes the assignments the student will choose from, as well as detailed information on how the home case study assignments are graded. As noted in the online materials, students should select ONE assignment and complete all the tasks on that assignment. 

Students who sign up for either Master Class will have access to the materials, the online exam, the in-class Case Study, and the at-home Case Study for six months.

The online Master Classes are a great solution for students with no travel budget or who cannot get approval to take the time off (including travel time). It's also great for students who do not live near one of our training locations (U.S., Toronto, London, Amsterdam) or training partners, or for whom our instructor-led course schedule just doesn't work. The price for the self-paced online ECM and ERM Master Classes has been set at USD $1,785.

And if you've already completed one or more of the Practitioner or Specialist components, and want to complete the Master Class, you now have an avenue to do this in a way that works with your schedule and recognizes your prior work. This allows you to upgrade your current designation to the ECM or ERM Master.

More importantly in my opinion, prior students who register for the ECM or ERM Master Class get ALL of the Master Class training materials. So if you took the ERM Practitioner in my first class in February 2006, you get access to all of the most current content as well as the Master Class case study content. If you are interested in this, send a note to and, once we verify your previous course status, we will give you a discount code that drops the price to $895.

The ECM Master Online and ERM Master Online are available for registration immediately. Feel free to reach out to me at if I can provide any additional information.

April 1, 2017

Activity 4/1: Run As One, 3.3mile walk done "ruck"-style - boots, utilities, and an ALICE pack with 22 lbs of weight in recognition of the Mission22 movement.

March 27, 2017

Ryan Holmes (CEO, Hootsuite): Does your company need a Director of Getting Sh*t Done? Honestly, every organization needs one of these IMO - but read the entire thing.

H/T: BJ Johnson.
Ralph Losey: The Doors Are Thrown Open to all 85-Classes of the e-Discovery Team Training Program. Ralph has been one of the deans of e-discovery for more than a decade. I plan to go through this myself and rather sooner than later. From the blog post:
This kind of law school quality e-discovery education, if you could get it, would cost anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000. Our price is now – zero. It’s Free. (We used to charge $500 to cover overhead, but in 2017 switched to this free model.) Some day we may include vendor ads, but in the meantime, this is just an old lawyer’s legacy and payback to the legal profession. He now absorbs all of the costs of running the program.
I cannot recommend quickly enough that readers of this blog head over and take a look - this is one instance where what you're getting will likely be worth substantially more than what you're paying for it.

Note: I may have met Ralph once or twice in passing but I have no connections, business or otherwise, to him or his organization except an appreciation for what he's done over the years. I've followed his blog and Tweets for many years and, again, encourage readers to do the same.

March 9, 2017

February 24, 2017

Marko Sillanpää: Own Your Own ECM Career Of course I agree with Marko, but I've been making this same argument for more than a decade. Even the best employer won't know, or be able to provide, the right professional development opportunities for you and all the time.

February 22, 2017

AIIM17 Preapproved for CRM, IGP, CIP CEUs

I am pleased to announce that we've obtained preapproval from ARMA and the ICRM to award continuing education points (CEUs/CMPs) to attendees of the AIIM17 Conference and the precons. Attendees will get the applicable code(s) at or after the conference per longstanding practices of ARMA and the ICRM.

All AIIM events are preapproved for CIP credits as well. We do not use preapproval codes per se with CIP because we can look up AIIM activities in our own systems.

Here are the details for the preapprovals:


  • 12.5 ICRM CMPs (Part V)
  • 12.0 IGP CEUs (7.5 General, 4.5 IT)
  • 12.5 CIP CEUs
BPM Specialist Precon:

  • 6.5 ICRM CMPs (Part V)
  • 6.5 IGP CEUs (3.5 General, 3.0 IT)
  • 6.5 CIP CEUs
ECM Specialist Precon:

  • 6.5 ICRM CMPs (Part V)
  • 6.5 IGP CEUs (6.5 IT)
  • 6.5 CIP CEUs
ERM Specialist Precon:

  • 6.5 ICRM CMPs (Part V)
  • 6.5 IGP CEUs (3.5 General, 3.0 IT)
  • 6.5 CIP CEUs
CIP Prep Workshop Precon:

  • 6.5 ICRM CMPs (Part V)
  • 6.5 IGP CEUs (2.5 General, 2.0 IT, 2.0 Legal)
  • 6.5 CIP credits (but as a CIP, why would you be taking this workshop?)
As always, feel free to ping me at with any questions. 

Retaking the CIP

We want everyone who takes the CIP exam to be successful. At the same time, we know that with a rigorous exam, there will be some candidates who don't pass the exam on the first try, for a variety of reasons. I regularly hear from these candidates who want to retake the exam, but are unsure how to do so.

First, an unsuccessful candidate has to wait 15 calendar days to even reschedule the CIP exam. This is to deter unscrupulous individuals from simply taking the CIP over and over again, memorizing the questions, and then selling them to one of the many "brain dump" (i.e. cheat) sites available. As an aside, if you go to a website that guarantees you'll pass a certification exam on the first try, you should run in the opposite direction as fast as possible. All those sites do is cheapen the value of a certification by creating "paper CIPs", or whatever certification, that have the letters but don't actually know what they are doing. Any candidates who are unsuccessful a second time and require a third or more opportunity to pass the exam are required to wait 90 calendar days.

Second, you should review the areas of the exam in which you performed poorly. We offer a number of resources at, including:

I am happy to provide guidance on other resources for particular domains or knowledge areas.

Third, you need to pay the exam fee again. This is the norm for certifications - I haven't done exhaustive research, but some of the most well-known certifying bodies require retake candidates to pay at least a portion of the original exam fee, and some require paying the entire fee again. For example:
PMI - the retake fee is lower. See here for details.
IAPP - the retake fee is lower. See here for details.
ISACA - the retake fee is the same as the original fee. See here for details.
ARMA - the IGP retake fee is lower. See here for details.

I wasn't able to find the retake fee for the CRM on the ICRM's website, but I believe it is the same fee every time a candidate needs to retake one of the exams.

Our policy is that candidates who wish to retake the CIP exam must pay the full exam fee. Since we don't require an application fee, we don't require AIIM membership to take or maintain the CIP, and our exam cost is already among the lowest in the information management industry, we feel it's still a good value. In very, very rare cases we will waive some or all of the retake fee, but this is highly unusual and requires me to personally review and approve that waiver.

I hope this clarifies the process for retaking the CIP. Again, we want all candidates to be successful, but we also want the CIP to mean something and that means ensuring the exam and the exam process are fair but rigorous. Feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions at

February 19, 2017

StateTech: How State Archivists are Taking On Avalanches of Email Data

Via Peter Kurilecz.

Bob Baird to resign from ARMA CEO effective 3/31

From the Feb 2016 ARMA InfoPro newsletter:

To ARMA members and friends, effective March 31, I will retire from ARMA International. This was a bittersweet and very personal decision for me, but leaders always hope to leave their organizations in a stronger position than where they found them, and thanks to my staff, our volunteers, and our board of directors, I believe we have done just that.

When I joined ARMA in the spring of 2015, we had two very specific goals:
  1. Create a nimbler, more membership-focused, and financially stronger organization to better serve our members
  2. Provide a level of value to members that exceeds their expectations and ensures a strong pipeline of new members
So, how are we doing?
  • We’re a more transparent organization, both externally and internally, with a clear focus on serving members.
  • We’ve created increased value for our members through new programs such as iMasters, inDepth, and the improved virtual conference. In addition, we’ve initiated updates for all foundational IG intellectual property to include:
                - Records and Information Management Core Competencies
                - Glossary of Records and Information Management Terms, 5th Edition
                  (ARMA International TR 22-2016)
                - The Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles®
                - Job Descriptions for Records and Information Management (PDF)
                - The Information Governance Maturity Model
  • We’ve grown IGP certification over 36%.
  • We’ve begun the process of developing the IGBOK (Information Governance Body of Knowledge), which will provide a solid foundation for the practice of information governance and increase the relevance of our profession throughout the industry.
  • And we have strengthened the region/chapter infrastructure together. I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for those “on the ground” who bring ARMA home to our membership.  I applaud you all for your dedication and commitment to this organization. 
The ARMA board of directors didn’t have to look far to find the perfect successor: Jocelyn Gunter. For those who may not know Jocelyn, she’s been my “wingman” and a true partner for these two years.  Much of the change you’ve seen has been a direct result of her many contributions.

You’ll hear more about Jocelyn in next month’s Info Pro, but rest assured she has the right leadership qualities and skills and is the right person to work with our board to take ARMA International to new heights.

Lastly, I want to thank the ARMA board members for their vision, leadership, and support. Your board is comprised of the industry’s best, who, along with Jocelyn, are poised to provide even greater value to you. Knowing what ARMA currently has under development and in store for our membership in the coming years truly excites me.

As I leave, I can say ARMA is in great hands. Thanks to the strength of our members and business partners, our improved relationships with our chapters and regions, a more membership-focused organization, and the leadership and support of the board and staff, ARMA today is a much stronger association and well positioned to better serve its members going forward.

We’ve accomplished a lot but have more to do. As a former military man, I want to quote one of my previous mentors, Lieutenant General Mike Hough, who said:

“One rarely accomplishes great things by themselves. Instead, they stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before and those who stand around them.” 

I have been fortunate to have had this opportunity to know and get to work with you and our community and stand on your shoulders. My many thanks.

For me, I’m going to follow the lead of so many of you who’ve become active volunteers. I look forward to working with you and learning from you in this new role.
Here’s to the bright future of ARMA International!

Bob Baird, CEO, ARMA International

February 17, 2017

Activity 2/17: Treadmill, 2.2mph, 9.0% incline. 1:00, 2.2 miles

February 16, 2017

Activity 2/16: Treadmill, 2.25mph, 9.0% incline, 1:00, 2.25 miles

February 15, 2017

How to Prepare for the CIP Exam

I see the exam results of every single person who takes our 25-question CIP sample exam, and of every person who takes the full, formal CIP. The latter includes specific results by domain as well as an overall score. I'll share some of those statistics in another post later, but I wanted to post some guidance for CIP candidates on how to best improve their chances for success with the CIP exam.

Preparing to be a CIP candidate
Like most certification exams, the CIP was built on the basis of a job task analysis. We asked subject matter experts in 2011 and again in 2016 what CIPs need to know, and be able to do, as part of their job. This resulted in the development of the exam blueprint. So the first recommendation I'd make is: Have 3-5 years of hands-on experience doing those things - at least in one domain. While the CIP is not intended to be a deep-dive into technology, candidates should have some experience with common technologies like scanning, email, Office, the web, and so forth, and common information management processes like document management, records management, or business process management. 

It is a challenging exam. Accordingly, it's very challenging to succeed at the exam if you have no practical experience/knowledge to bring to bear. Someone fresh out of college, or fresh out of high school, or who has just changed jobs from a completely unrelated field, should not expect to pass the exam without a massive amount of studying. 

Similarly, we think pretty highly of our CIP study guide and CIP Prep workshop. But it is not realistic to go into the prep workshop cold, with no background or experience in any of the domains, and expect to pass the CIP 3.5 days later. The workshop and study guide are better understood as ways to brush up on topics you know, and do some light studying of things you might not be as comfortable with.

Update: If you are a consultant or other role and have 5+ years of significant breadth and depth of experience in multiple domains, you can probably take it cold. I know a number of CIPs who did just that. But since you have to pay for any subsequent exam attempts, I would strongly recommend that all candidates do at least some studying of the areas in which you are least experienced. 

Preparing for the actual CIP exam
Congratulations, you're a candidate! Now what? Well, the aforementioned resources are certainly helpful to help you review and prepare for the exam. Here are a couple of other strategies/tips. 
  • Review the exam outline. It lists all of the knowledge areas for which there could be questions on the exam. These are designed to be broadly applicable and reflect defensible best practices across industries, geographic locations, and solutions. 
  • Review the bibliography. These were the resources that we used to write those exam questions. They will often lead you to other resources you can use to round out your knowledge on a particular topic or domain. ISO standards and bodies of knowledge are always a good bet. 
  • Take the CIP sample exam. It's only 25 questions but it should closely approximate the types of questions you'll see on the actual exam. 
  • Take one of the other AIIM courses. The 2016 CIP update aligns more closely to existing AIIM courses as well, so taking our ERM course will prepare you for Domain 5 and to some extent Domain 3. Our ECM course will prepare you for Domain 1 and 2. The Master Classes prepare you for Domain 6. Etc. 
Preparing for YOUR exam
Finally, here are the things to do once you feel ready and prepared to be successful on the CIP exam. 
  • Schedule your exam. You can find Kryterion test centers on their website; if you're taking an AIIM CIP Prep workshop, you generally also have the option to take the exam onsite. To do so, you need to bring a Windows laptop with you; ping me with specific questions about tech requirements. 
  • Prepare to take an exam. The usual guidelines apply: get some sleep, have a typical meal, don't stress out too much. Bring 2 types of photo ID. Don't bring any references, the study guide, your electronics etc. as Kryterion will make you store them with them before you go into the exam room, and so will I if you're taking an onsite proctored exam. 
  • Bring your registration documents with you to the exam. The proctor will most likely have them as well, but having yours readily available, along with the details of your date, time, and location, is helpful and may eliminate one more source of stress. 
If you're a CIP, what other tips would you share? 
JD Supra: Metadata Plays Key Legal Role in $10.8 Million Whistleblower Lawsuit Verdict

February 14, 2017

Laurence Hart: ECM, Content Services, Or Just Doing It?

Certifications and continuing education requirements

All certifications have, or should have, a continuing education requirement. The CDIA exam I took in 2002 has almost zero relevance in the technology and process environment of 2017. And in fact this is one of the key benefits of a formal certification as compared to, say, a certificate or even a full degree program - once you complete a degree or certificate, that's it. As soon as you're done it starts getting stale, Certifications are designed to allow candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in certain areas - but they are also markers of dedication to continuing professional development. Someone who has maintained a certification for 20 years has had to make at least some effort to keep up with changes in the industry and technologies.

The process generally involves earning continuing education units (CEUs) and paying a fee, typically lower than the original exam/assessment fees. Every program determines what types of activities are appropriate for earning CEUs and how many are required; the typical figures are around a 3-5 year recertification cycle and 15-20 CEUs per year of the cycle. Certificants have to report these credits and pay the fees within the time limit in order to maintain the credential. I discuss this process for the CIP in much more length here.

Certifying organizations have to balance the desire to have certificants maintain their credential - and the revenue that comes from them - with the need to ensure certificants really are doing what is expected. If it's too hard, people drop the certification; if it's too easy, it devalues the value of it. So many organizations have a process in place where certificants provide information about a qualifying event along with proof of participation, such as a registration, receipt for payment, brochure, or URL. Certificants should always maintain their own copies of these things - screenshots, the digital (or paper!) brochure, etc. - in case there are questions when it's time to recertify.

One way in which certifying organizations try to balance these needs is to offer preapproval to third party event producers/trainers. This provides a number of benefits depending on your point of view:

  • The certifying organization shows its relevance and that of its designation, as event producers include its name, designation name, and logo in their marketing materials
  • Event producers have a ready way to demonstrate their commitment to the specific certifying organization and the broader community/industry as they market
  • Individual certificants can attend events secure in the knowledge that they are educational in nature and of some level of quality
  • Candidates can also attend those events and for largely the same reasons; in addition, some credentials require some amount of education to even sit for the exam, and these events can meet some or all of that need
Every once in a while a certifying body considers this question and determines that it will only accept its events - that makes it more money, and why should it go to the trouble of accepting, or even promoting, competitive events? This is a terrible idea for several reasons: 
  • Most non-technical certifications are designed to demonstrate industry-accepted knowledge and expertise, not that of a single organization or product. 
  • Individuals won't limit themselves to consuming a single product or service - rather, they will assume that the certification isn't a "real" one since it doesn't accept their otherwise educational activities. 
  • Certifying bodies are themselves part of a community. If AIIM only accepted AIIM events for CIP CEUs, it would only be logical for ARMA, the ICRM, etc. to only accept theirs or at least refuse AIIM events for credit. This results in everyone cutting off their own noses to spite their faces. 
  • Education should be evaluated based on its value and content, not whose name or logo is on the cover. 
  • Frankly, it's also a way for associations to work more closely together. We compete in many ways and on many things - but ultimately we're all in the business of providing value to the members of our communities, and I view all of our various communities as part of the same, larger, information management community. I am an AIIM professional member, and an ICRM member, and an ARMA member, and a member of many other groups.
This is why at AIIM we accept any event for CIP CEUs provided that it meets two requirements: it's educational in nature, and it relates to the CIP body of knowledge. So ARMA events and courses count. So do events produced by other organizations and associations. Vendor events count. Again - it's related to CIP, and it's educational. We provide more examples on our CIP CEU reporting form

So. Event producers, associations, vendors. If you have an event or course that aligns to the CIP, reach out to me. Send me the details - date, duration, location, schedule/agenda - and we'll get it reviewed and approved for CIP credits.  If you have a certification that aligns with information management/governance, send me your details and I'll send over our events and training courses to get preapproved for your certification's CEU program. You  can always reach me at

February 13, 2017

Proctoring and the CIP certification

We just delivered two CIP prep workshops, and each workshop ended with an onsite proctored exam. I wanted to talk a bit about what happened during the proctoring and some impressions I took from it.

Most formal exams are proctored. This just means that there is some supervision mechanism in place, usually a person, to ensure that the exam is completed by the candidate under the conditions established for the exam. For the CIP, we do not allow any reference materials, so the proctor makes sure that the candidate doesn't bring anything into the exam room with them - no papers, no technology. Similarly. students can't collaborate on the exam but must take it silently. The proctor is also there in case something goes wrong - if there's a technology issue for instance.

We offer two proctoring options through our exam provider Kryterion. The first is the very traditional approach wherein a candidate schedules an exam at an exam center, goes to the center on the appointed date/time, and takes the exam. The second is to conduct an onsite proctored exam, which is what we did on Friday, Feb 10, in our office in Silver Spring, MD, and Monday, Feb 13, in Oslo, Norway, for a private course. Both cases are substantially similar so I'll focus on my first-hand experience in Silver Spring.

Before I do though I should note that onsite proctoring is quite common - it's what every high school and university student goes through for every quiz and exam administered in a classroom. Many certifications offer this as an option as well, and the main reason others don't is because of the logistical burden associated with it, not because of any real security concerns.

We held the course in a conference room from Tuesday morning through Friday morning. We broke for lunch on Friday at 12 and reconvened for the exam at 1. We had six candidates who took the exam. Four of the six brought their own laptops to use as exam stations, and I provided two exam stations using my personal laptops. I logged into each workstation using my proctor ID and code, and then logged each candidate into a workstation. As part of that process I downloaded an HTML Application (.hta) file provided by Kryterion that provided several security features. It opened the browser in full screen mode, and made it so that pressing any of a number of keys such as esc, ctrl, tab, etc. would halt the exam and require the proctor to relog the candidate in.

Each candidate then sat down at the applicable workstation, verified their name was displayed, and clicked the Start Exam button which started the exam and the exam timer. Once a candidate started his or her exam, he or she was allowed no further talking, with the exception that he/she was to raise a hand upon encountering any technical issues. We did have a few of those and resolved them quickly, quietly, and without issue.

When each candidate completed the exam, the overall score was immediately displayed along with a breakdown of how the candidate performed on each of the six domains. An overall score of 60% is required to pass the CIP exam - I discuss how we arrived at that passing score in another post.

I am pleased to announce that all six candidates at my exam session passed and that all criteria were met for a successful proctored exam. At the exam administered today, most, but not all, the candidates passed and the proctor conducted the exam in exactly the same fashion described here.

I think that one of the benefits of doing this onsite proctoring is that, as the settings are a bit more familiar than the typical testing booth at an exam center, candidates feel a bit more relaxed. It's every bit as secure, but test anxiety may be reduced slightly. It does require having a proctor, and one who is trained on how to use the Kryterion system, but it's pretty straightforward and the underlying technology is quite good - we had a candidate whose system froze up (on my laptop so my blame) and when we restarted the exam, the candidate's responses and timer were saved such that he was able to seamlessly continue and complete the exam.

The biggest hurdle is that we require candidates to bring their own computer - Windows 7, 8, or 10 only, Internet Explorer or Chrome only, couple of other requirements. I'll be posting separately about those requirements as we prepare for the next onsite proctored exam, scheduled March 14, 2017 at the AIIM17 Conference in Orlando.

If you're interested in the CIP, we offer preparatory courses from time to time in Silver Spring and other locations. You can always find the list of upcoming AIIM training courses, including CIP Prep workshops, at Our next public CIP workshops are scheduled for March 28-31 in Amsterdam and May 23-26 in Silver Spring.