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Essentials of RIM Certificate Program – Frequently Asked Questions
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What is the anticipated length of study?

It will take approximately 25 hours to complete all of the courses for the Essentials of RIM Certificate and the final comprehensive exam.


Will there be an instructor available to answer questions for each of the courses?

Yes, ARMA International has subject matter experts (SMEs) available to answer questions. Please contact us with your questions at


Is the program relevant to Canada?

Yes, the certificate focuses on general RIM concepts and is not specific to any country.


Do I need to be an ARMA member to participate in the program?

No. However, the professional member rate is quite a savings. To become a member, visit


What do I need to do to complete and earn the certificate?

You need to register and pay for the certificate courses; complete the content within each course, including practice exercises and quizzes; complete and pass the individual course exams and evaluations, within two years from the date of your certificate program registration; and then complete and pass the final comprehensive certificate exam and evaluation.


How do I take the exam?

Each course has an online multiple-choice exam that must be successfully completed. Upon completion of all courses and passing of all individual course exams, you will be able to take the final comprehensive online multiple-choice exam. The final exam must be passed to earn the certificate.


Is there testing at the end of each course?

Yes, there is an online multiple-choice course exam and the final online comprehensive multiple-choice certificate exam.


If I purchase the courses as a certificate program package, do I have a year to complete it?

You have two years from the date of purchase to earn the certificate by successfully completing all of the courses and exams.


Can I purchase courses individually and then enroll into the certificate program package later?

Yes. You will receive a credit of the amount paid for each non-expired, previously purchased course and be charged an additional $250 processing fee for enrollment into the certificate program, enrollment into the individual remaining courses, and an additional year access to the previously enrolled courses.

To “Try It before You Buy It,” purchase the course “What Is RIM?” first. If you decide to enroll in the certificate program, we’ll credit this single course purchase toward the certificate program cost without the additional $250 processing fee.

Please note that all courses and the final exam must be completed within a two-year period, and
any previously purchased course amounts will be credited toward your certificate program enrollment at your current membership rate. 

Email with questions or if you’d like to take advantage of any of these credits.


How is this certificate different than the profession's CRM certification?

A Certified Records Manager (CRM) is a certification program, where the focus is on assessing current knowledge and skills within a specific profession. A certification program usually has eligibility requirements (such as years of work experience), ongoing requirements (such as continuing education, renewal fees) and/or recertification requirements. After meeting these requirements an individual is awarded a title and designation (such as John Doe, CRM). ARMA International fully supports the ICRM and recommends that RIM professionals attain the CRM designation as the crowning achievement of professional information management practice.

By contrast, the Essentials of RIM Certificate is a certificate program, which is a non-degree-granting education or training program consisting of a learning event or series of events designed to educate or train individuals to achieve specific learning outcomes for a specific topic or focused group of topics within a discipline.

Participants earn the certificate (like a diploma) after all program requisites, including completion of a specific training program and successful completion of a comprehensive assessment, have been achieved. Individuals can then list the attainment on résumés or in signature lines, such as with ARMA Internationals’ Essentials of RIM Certificate “Essentials of RIM Certificate Holder.” Additionally, there are no ongoing requirements to maintain a certificate, such as continuing education, reassessment, or renewal fees.




Certifications covers a broad body of knowledge – often an entire field.

Certificates, in contrast, usually cover a focused or specialized body of knowledge within a field.

In certifications, the focus is on assessing current knowledge and skills within a field.

Certificates first focus on training individuals to achieve certain knowledge or skills and then assessing their attainment of it.

Certifications usually have eligibility requirements (such as years of work experience), ongoing requirements (such as continuing education, renewal fees) and/or recertification requirements.

Certificates can be dated with a validation period to encourage participants to retake the program or portions of it to stay current. However, they are most like a diploma and once earned do not require ongoing maintenance, such as continuing education, reassessment, renewal fees.

Certifications usually include passing of an assessment covering a broad area of knowledge and skills.

Certificates include passing of a comprehensive assessment covering the specific training program for the certificate.

Certifications usually awards a title and a designation, e.g. the ICRM ’s Certified Records Managerand “CRM.”

Certificates award a certificate (like a diploma) so that individuals can list the attainment on résumés such as ARMA International’s Essentials of RIM Certificate’s “Essentials of RIM Certificate Holder.”