Certified Information Governance Professional
Frequently Asked Questions

ARMA International is pleased to announce it has begun the development of a new credential – the Certified Information Governance Professional (IGP). The IGP will recognize the efforts of those professionals who are most accomplished with respect to the implementation of the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles® (the Principles).

What’s the Principles got to do with it?
The Principles is information governance. Businesses today are dealing with a world of chaotic organizational information, but most are managing just the 7%-9% of that content that, according to RMfuturewatch.com, is the portion that can be considered official records.

What happens to the other 91%? It lives and grows exponentially in servers. It walks out the door on portable devices. It lives in the cloud. It’s duplicated on hard drives and in SharePoint® sites.

To bring order to this chaos, organizations must implement an information governance program, which focuses on managing all information – not just those 9% that are records. The Principles provides the roadmap for doing this. Conforming to the Principles assures your organization that its:

  • Information will be protected against loss. Its critical records will be backed up, protected, and easily accessible, allowing it to continue business in the event of a disaster.
  • Information will be available when needed. The organization will have systems and processes in place that will enable it to locate, retrieve, and disseminate information to the right people at the right time so it can be used for making decisions, transacting business, and responding to litigation.
  • Information will be retained as required and disposed of when no longer required. The organization will have a records retention schedule that will ensure that information is being retained to meet its business, legal, regulatory, and historical requirements and that it is disposed of in the normal course of business when its required retention has been met.
  • External investigation and litigation obligations can be met easily. Processes will be in place to ensure all information relevant to litigation or regulatory investigation can be located, placed on legal hold, and produced when needed.  

Will the IGP compete with the CRM?
Not at all; it will be complementary.

ARMA International fully supports the Institute of Certified Records Managers and the certified records manager (CRM) designation. We encourage records and information management (RIM) professionals to attain CRM status. It is difficult work – and the rigors of such an effort prove the mettle of those who attain that designation. Certified records managers are at the top of the RIM profession. They are in the trenches every day, helping move their organizations forward.

The IGP will be the certification for one of the potential natural career paths for anyone in the RIM profession, as well as for others in careers concerned about various aspects of information governance. Areas in which the certified information governance professional will have a greater level of involvement at a strategic level than traditional RIM practitioners includes information privacy, information security, risk management, corporate transparency and accountability, information integrity and authenticity, software solutions, quality audits, and continuous improvement.

A certified information governance professional may not actually execute many of the tasks required to implement an effective program. But those who earn the IGP certification will have proven that they have the knowledge and skills required to drive the governance of all of the information within an organization.

Clearly, a CRM would give their organizations a real advantage as an IGP, given the CRM’s vast understanding of the processes involved with implementation of those tasks particular to managing records.

What does the information governance professional’s job look like?
Information governance professionals are strategic in nature.  They are in or work with those in the highest levels of the organization. Their span of control and influence is broader than traditional RIM and is heavily influenced by information technology. The IGP also takes on a proactive role in identifying opportunities and business needs that are not being met, determining what content an organization should create and how it can be effectively used within the organization.

IGPs routinely interact with those key functional areas that are necessary to implementing and maintaining good information governance; in addition to IT, they frequently interact with legal/compliance, records management, and business unit leaders. They have a firm grasp on key interdisciplinary strategies required to respond to litigation, implement new systems, and incorporate new technologies – in short, to do all of the things that are characteristic of good information governance!

Finally, they are able to communicate effectively with the C-suite in order to achieve support – both financially and rhetorically – for the way all information is handled within the organization.

Is this a new position in the C-suite?
Not necessarily, though people involved in information governance in various capacities often carve their own pathway, creating unique job titles along the way as they prove their value to organizations. A CIO may be well-served to have this certification, as might someone in the corporate counsel’s office. Consultants acting at the highest levels of their profession fit the bill nicely, too.

How can I help?
Thanks – we could use your help!  This project will require the talents of numerous professionals in various roles at various times over the next several months as we develop this certification. There are four major processes for which we will need your help:

  • Almost immediately, we will need a focused group of subject matter experts in the field of information governance to participate in a job task analysis (JTA) workshop. Under the direction of trained workshop facilitators, the panel of experts will identify all the activities performed in this job, along with the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the tasks.
  • Next, we will need subject matter experts for an online survey that will be conducted to help us validate the JTA results.
  • Once the JTA results are validated, subject matter experts will be needed to write test items.
  • Finally, we will need qualified candidates to take the exam, which will allow us to test the exam and use the results to set the certification’s passing score.

After these steps are completed, we will be able to begin the formal accreditation process through the American National Standards Institute. (See “Will this certification be ANSI-accredited?” below.)

We’ll be communicating about volunteer needs and our progress all along the way.

Visit this link to apply to participate. 

 

Will this certification be ANSI-accredited?
The IGP certification is being developed according to ISO/IEC 17024, Conformity assessment - general requirements for bodies operating certification of persons, and it is our intention for it to be an accredited certification. The certification will begin a formal accreditation process once the certification is complete and available to qualified candidates.

 

Is coursework required before the exam?
There is no formal coursework required for the exam. Candidates should have a strong command of the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles®, current industry issues, e-discovery, technology, and case law – all of the key components of information governance. As the process unfolds, we will be able to provide more guidance about the exam topics.

 

When can I apply to sit for the exam and how much will it cost?

Exam development can be a lengthy process when conducted in a quality manner. (See “How can I help?” to see an overview of the development process.) Qualifications for sitting for the exam and the exam format will be built as part of the exam development process. It is also too early in the certification development process to determine cost of the exam. But, we anticipate the cost will be competitive with other professional certifications.

 

 

© 2014, ARMA International