It’s ironic that the CIP program is dead and this blog has been pretty dead in recent months. I believe the CIP was an ambitious program to start with and can see how it was doomed to fail. Do I believe that AIIM should have given up on the program? By no means!

First, a little context.  In 2005 I obtained my graduate degree in library science with a heavy emphasis on digital archives and metadata.  It was around 2011 that I first heard of AIIM and the mission of the organization as well as the CIP deeply resonated with me. I was CIP before there was CIP. My work experience in those six years after grad school consisted of DBA work, content management, records management and project management. Unfortunately what I learned as I applied for jobs is that employers didn’t want a broad spectrum of cross functional skills, but a deep dive.  This is the direction AIIM is going with the CIP program as it’s being merged into the Master’s program.

A former colleague who was on the job market told me he was going to pursue the CIP in 2016. From previous job hunting experience I knew that CIP was not on many job ads as a desired qualification. I didn’t want to ask him if that had changed and if he was seeing this certification as more sought after because I didn’t want to discourage him if brought no competitive advantage on job market. Regardless of the monetary value of the CIP I find the educational value priceless as it prepares an information professional not to be siloed, but able to professionally hold their own talking across the table to anyone in the organization.

Unless AIIM tells me to cease and desist I still plan to call myself a CIP.  The importance in the CIP is not in becoming one, but maintaining it.  Currently I am in the process of prepping for the Certified Records Manager (CRM) exam and it’s interesting comparing these two exams. Someone can use a six year timeframe to successfully prepare for the CRM.  In a twelve year time frame I doubt the CRM changes a ton. A CIP has to recertify every three years and I believe that in that same twelve years the CIP exam has potential to take on so many different flavors because the landscape is changing so quickly in terms of how we capture information, secure and access information.

I like many others believe that the death of the CIP is untimely. It needed more time to mature before putting it out to pasture. I think the one thing that AIIM didn’t have a good grasp on that I think the InfoTask Force will really need to consider is what is the market need for the CIP. Every records manager should take the profession seriously enough that they want to be a CRM (whether they want it enough to commit to all the exam requires is a different story).  Depending on where you are in your information management journey the CIP may not be for you. As a government contractor when I obtained the CIP all I got was a pat on the back, but I imagine depending on the project someone with a CIP could be indispensable. In an organization like mine where IT is outsourced a CIP is definitely crucial.  Define what is the market need and not just project need for a CIP and you will have a thriving certification

One closing thought, information governance has still not gained a lot of traction in the enterprise. As the information governance role grows so to will the need for someone to govern information across the organization and that someone is a certified information professional