Wednesday, December 7, 2011

ATR: Underwhelmed by Information Certification

A couple months ago, I wrote about my achievement of AIIM's Information Certification. I took a little while to compose the post and I ran my drafts past both AIIM and the ICRM. The timing was fortunate, as the ICRM was just announcing some much-needed changes to their test process. I wanted to be fair to both organizations and really wanted to try to be objective in evaluating the new Certification against the gold standard in the industry. I found that AIIM's Certification was surprisingly rigorous and the ICRM has taken up the challenge to step up to the plate on some long-desired program modifications.

After a few emails, I finally had my designation acknowledged by AIIM right after Thanksgiving. One email went astray and I was then sent a link to AIIM's website to claim my welcome, congratulations, and certificate. All quite underwhelming. I certainly understand growing pains, but AIIM really doesn't have their stuff together. The certificate is generic. I was told that it is essentially the same format for any other AIIM certificate program. Nothing fancy and it is a PDF, so you print it yourself if you want something for your wall. John Mancini has a generic congratulations letter that promotes other AIIM training. There are links to graphics for the Certification, but how I display the Certification is quite unclear to me. Since it doesn't fit in the typical alphabet soup, initials after your name format, I really don't know how to show it off. Even putting the designation on a resume is unclear. I guess I'm supposed to put the logo on my business cards. Um, that ain't happening. The Corporate business card standard doesn't allow other logos on the Day Job's cards. I still have no information on certification maintenance.

Clearly I got in to this early. But I think that I expected AIIM to be much more mature in running this program. Maybe I got in on beta version .9, but paying full price for a beta leaves a lot to be desired. I'd suggest to the ICRM that they have little to worry about if AIIM continues to handle this program in this manner. It feels slapdash.

Color me underwhelmed.

Comments from AIIM welcome.


Mark Graves said...

I've considered the CRM before, but that idea never took off because RM isn't my core profession. It's important for technology professionals to understand RM concepts, but I never saw the value of pursuing the CRM. I like the competencies of the IC and I think it would be a worthwhile certification. Like you, I'm a little dumbfounded by the alphabet soup issue. From a branding/marketing perspective, IC doesn't pop and is very generic sounding. With that being said, I'm not sure what I would recommend as an alternative. Certified Information Professional or Certified Information Manager?

Patrick Cunningham, CRM, FAI said...

I was informed by AIIM today that the certification was being modified to be "Certified Information Professional" or CIP.

Jesse Wilkins,CRM said...

As Patrick notes the name has been changed to CIP, which I think helps clarify several issues around the name and branding.

As to Patrick's other concerns I understand and share them - however I suspect that these are the same types of growing pains associated with any certification and I'd bet that e.g. the ICRM had similar issues at the start.

Continuing education credits are similar to those required by the ICRM. CIPs will need to document 45 CEU credits per 3-year recertification cycle. We're still building the back end to allow for things like preapproval of events, self-service requesting of credits, etc. but again we've been around for 3 months, not 35 years. Not to excuse the issues we ran into.

Jesse Wilkins, CIP, CRM
Director, Research & Development
AIIM International