What Is Certification?

    Professional certification programs document a specific level of professional knowledge and experience based on established competencies. Such programs are built upon a defined body of knowledge acknowledged as critical for a professional's success in the field. Certification programs have stringent eligibility requirements, including minimum levels of experience and education. Candidates must successfully complete an exam and may have to demonstrate specific skill sets.

    Certification programs can be established at many different levels. Advanced certifications are more selective and have more extensive requirements. They are more difficult to achieve and require additional financial investments and substantial preparation time.

    Many certification programs also require continuing education in order to maintain the certification. This ensures that certified individuals remain current in their skills and knowledge.

    Is a certificate program the same thing as professional certification?
    No. It is very common for educational programs, conferences and seminars to provide attendees with a certificate of attendance or completion. Such certificates identify the title and dates of the course(s) taken and the sponsoring organizations.

    Is there an Information Governance certification?
    Soon. For more information about the IGP, visit this link.

    What about certification in the RIM field?
    In the records and information management profession the primary certification is the Certified Records Manager (CRM). The CRM is designed for experienced professionals with management-level responsibilities. ARMA International has contracted with the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM) to be its certifying body.

    The only specialty certification to date is that of nuclear information records management, which ICRM administers on behalf of the Nuclear Information Records Management Association (NIRMA). Candidates for this specialization first take the core CRM exam. Upon successful completion of an additional exam portion, the candidate receives the CRM/NS (nuclear specialist) designation.

    The ICRM has mapped the CRM examination to ARMA International's Core Competencies and has found that the overlap is almost total.

    Additional details about RIM certification, along with a list of study materials, are available at the ICRM Web site: www.icrm.org. For a list of available study materials from ARMA International, click here.

    What are the benefits of certification?
    Individuals who pursue professional certification can expect to experience a number of benefits as a result of their efforts. CRMs and CRM candidates cite the following as reasons for pursuing certification:

    1. Additional knowledge gained through the certification process
    2. Tangible documentation of their knowledge and experience
    3. Enhanced professionalism and personal growth
    4. Increased self-confidence in solving problems related to information management
    5. Potential for increased job responsibility with commensurate salary benefits
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