In 2012, ARMA International began development of a new credential – the Certified Information Governance Professional (IGP). The IGP recognizes the efforts of those professionals who are most accomplished with respect to the implementation of the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles®.
Why 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 provide the road map 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.
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 records and information management (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. Information governance consultants acting at the highest levels of their profession fit the bill nicely, too.
How was the examination developed?
In May 2012, a group of 11 subject matter experts met to perform a job analysis and develop an examination blueprint for ARMA International’s Certified Information Governance Professional. Then, an online survey was created to validate the results of the job analysis study and finalize the examination blueprint. The online survey was completed by approximately 350 information governance professionals around the world.
The survey respondents reported working in 111 countries across the globe. In addition, survey respondents reported working in 50 out of the 50 States in the United States, as well as the District of Columbia. Respondents worked in various work settings and had varying years of experience.
Why is the IGP incorporated under an independent governing board?
In keeping with best certification practices, and in meeting the accreditation requirements for ISO/IEC 17024, a separate body was established and authorized to independently govern the IGP certification program. The IGP Governance Board has sole responsibility over all certification policies and decisions. This is done in order to avoid real and perceived conflicts of interest, and to assure stakeholders are treated in a fair and impartial manner.
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.
What is the relationship between the IGP and the CRM?
The certifications are 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 certification is one of the natural career paths for anyone in the RIM profession, as well as for others in careers concerned about various aspects of information governance. As such, the IGP certification is geared toward the professional working at a strategic level, and it assesses competence in various topics, including 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.
Am I allowed to carryover excess credits to my next recertification cycle?
Yes. IGPs are allowed to carryover a maximum of 15 hours from one three-year cycle to the next. The credit requests must still be submitted within the 120-day time limits established for submission of credits. At the end of the cycle, certification staff will determine how many credits can be carried over into the next cycle. The evaluation will recognize IT and legal credits first, and will continue acknowledging credits up to the maximum of 15 credits.
Will this certification be ANSI / ISO accredited?
The IGP certification program 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 program. The independent certification board will begin the formal accreditation application process pending completion of additional program requirements.