Is the AIIM CIP really worth doing? In this post I have a look at what the CIP exam, and the certification, mean.
[Updated: May 2016]
The value of the CIP
In 2012, when it first came out, Laurence Hart wrote about AIIM’s Certified Information Professional (CIP) certification, and the CIP exam. He was working at the time as CIO of AIIM and described the value of the CIP.
In response to this, I commented that I needed to be convinced that the CIP wouldn’t be just another of the many certifications that are available.
(I referred to it as JAC – Just Another Certification)
Is the CIP a JAC – Just Another Certification?
Laurence posted a second blog post where he discussed, further, the type of content that he encountered in the exam.
This assuaged some of my concerns, but also prompted me to do something that I should have actually done in the beginning, and that is, read the CIP information that AIIM has on its site!
If I had, I would have seen that a lot of thought, and work, had been put into it.
The exam is not an easy one
As Laurence pointed out, the exam is not an easy one. The exam has 100 questions and is not the sort of thing that you can just do while sitting in the comfort of your own chair while flicking back and forth between the exam, and Google.
No, for this, you need to go to a Prometric test centre. The guys there are professionals, and you can expect to be under video surveillance while you do the exam.
When AIIM was putting the whole “certification” thing together, including the CIP exam, they went and asked the industry, what “stuff” was actually important to know.
This was all scribbled down in a large notebook, and then scrutinised by subject matter experts. The SME’s then created the monster known as the CIP exam. Very broad, but also very deep in each of the various areas.
AIIM also recognise that the industry is not a static thing. Technology changes, business processes change ways of working change.
As a result, if you pass the exam, it’s only valid for three years. After that, it’s necessary to either re-sit the exam or to prove that you have attained a necessary level of continuing education credits ((in this case, 45).
And what does that mean?
Continual Professional Development
Initially, this was something else that bothered me. “Hey, my company just paid $500 for an on-line training course. It was easy – didn’t have to do anything, and voila, I’m recertified.”
No – earning continued education credits is not so easy. You earn credits by attending conferences, formal university-level courses, chapter meetings, giving presentations. And you don’t earn that many credits for each of these items. Even if you re-sat the exam after three years, AIIM will be continuously updating it to reflect changes in the industry, so you can’t just “use the same answers as last time”.
This is what really impressed me. In the Netherlands, medical doctors need to keep up a certain level of training. Each course or conference they attend delivers them a certain number of points. To stay registered they need to attain a certain level each year. (It is most likely the same in other countries, it’s just my wife’s a doctor, and I get to hear about this all the time.)
I realize that there is a world of difference between a Certified Information Professional, and a Medical Doctor, but this one factor drove home to me how serious AIIM’s CIP certification is.
This one factor drove home to me how serious AIIM’s CIP certification is.
Based on what I have read, I’m putting the CIP exam high on my list of goals for this year.
(And, even though I’ve been working in the industry now for over 13 years, I’m not going to do the exam “cold” as Laurence did. I’ll be making damn good use of those training videos.)
- 2016 CIP Program Update
- Certified Information Professional 2016 Update Outline
- CIP Data Sheet
- CIP Study Guide
- CIP – Maintain the Certification Form
- Becoming a Certified Information Professional (wordofpie.com)
- Certified Information Professional, A Valid Measure (wordofpie.com)
- My Next Life as AIIM’s CIO (wordofpie.com)
Want to learn more?
Below is a selection of resources that I personally feel are relevant to this blog post, and will allow you to get more in-depth knowledge. I do earn a commission if you purchase any of these, and for that I am grateful. Thank you. (Important Disclosure)