AIIM - The Global Community of Information Professionals

In Pursuit of the CIP: why did I wait so long?

Jul 10, 2017 9:25:00 AM by Peggy Winton

I have a confession to make: I was a CIP skeptic. That’s right; I often found myself questioning whether the body of knowledge CIP represents -- even in its redesigned form -- was truly relevant for today’s information stewards in leading the digital transformation charge. I wondered whether business strategists who comprise the fastest growing AIIM membership sector would find applicability therein? Or, was CIP simply a capstone on a lifelong career for those core (and fewer) content “specialists”?

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Topics: information certification, cip, information management, information, certified information professional, certification

Own Your Own ECM Career

Feb 24, 2017 11:24:00 AM by Marko Sillanpää

[This is a guest post by  Marko Sillanpaa. Marko is the founder of BMO Consulting. An organization that helps vendors and users navigate the ECM landscape. Marko’s has been working in the content management space for over 18 years. In the past, he was the Director of Product Strategy at Documentum, Enterprise Adviser at Hyland, and the Director of Global Services at TraDOS. He has also worked as a consultant for CSC, Accenture and regional system integrators.]
Did any of us choose enterprise content management (ECM) as our career path when we joined the workforce?  While there are degree programs in information studies, I think most of our paths were accidental.  While we may have accidently entered ECM, the decision to stay has been our own choice.  Still we often don’t look at ECM as our career, but at “computers” as our career.  Yet I can hardly imagine a brain surgeon saying they were, “just a doctor.”  I know I don’t want to keep being asked if I can fix someone’s printer.  I think it’s time we own our career.
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Topics: cip, certified information professional, ecm, certification, AIIM17

Some thoughts on the AIIM CIP Program

Dec 14, 2015 3:06:59 PM by John Mancini

As you may know, the AIIM Board of Directors recently reached the decision to combine our Masters and Certified Information Professional (CIP) programs. A few of our members contacted me about this, and I thought I would expand upon my reply to them and give everyone the backstory on why and how that decision was reached.

For the past 12 years, AIIM has produced deep-dive skills development programs in a variety of information management disciplines, with Enterprise Content Management as the overall body of knowledge -- Electronic Records Management, Business Process Management, Information Governance, SharePoint Governance, Taxonomy and Metadata, and other courses as subsets. For most of these courses, we offered Practitioner, Specialist and Master level designations. As of this writing, there are 2,000 Masters, each of whom has successfully completed course work, an examination, and a peer reviewed case study.

We launched our CIP program a few years later, with the objective of assembling a broad base of knowledge extending beyond the realm of information management. This body of knowledge was captured in a series of videos offering a high level summary of dozens of topics. Individuals who felt they understood this body of knowledge were encouraged to take a proctored examination to demonstrate their understanding of these topics. As of this writing, there are 1,000 CIPs.

As these separate but parallel programs evolved, certain disconnects became apparent to us and our community:

  1. There were overlaps and inconsistencies between the body of knowledge represented by the CIP and that represented by our deep dive training program. Naturally, this was confusing to many, who struggled to understand which of the two paths to pursue.
  2. A key challenge in our industry is that many members of our community are not members of a “profession” in a traditional sense, but business, IT, and IM people with a project-based business problem. We have had close to 30,000 training students, but only 1,000 CIPs.
  3. The key value proposition for certification programs is their incorporation into job descriptions, job qualifications, and ultimately, professional advancement. Growing this flywheel of professional certification and personal advancement is challenging in any profession; getting hiring organizations in our industry to standardize around a very broad certification such as CIP has been doubly so. We have had far more success in building recognition and appreciation for the single discipline Masters certification as a “badge” than the CIP.  
  4. One can argue that not enough marketing muscle was put behind the CIP, and frankly there is an element of truth to that.  As a small 25-person organization, AIIM needed key suppliers and large user organizations to embrace the CIP, and that never happened.
  5. While financials were not the driving force behind the CIP decision, at some point even a non-profit has to make sound business decisions.  Here are a few data points to consider:
    1. The original CIP cost $191,583 to develop. Given the rapid pace of technology change, the knowledge base needs a reset, and we faced a decision about whether to reinvest yet another $150K+ or find an alternate path for the CIP.
    2. Since the CIP was created in 2012, it has generated $271,964 in revenues. The net LOSS of the CIP to AIIM and to its members has been ($283,438).
    3. During the same period, our training revenues, driven by the Practitioner, Specialist, and Master designations, grossed $6,387,455, or about 23x more, and a significant net profit that was reinvested back in other member programs.
    4. Much as I personally love the CIP concept, the Board is right.  It hasn't meet the original projections for adoption by large vendors and users, and it's time to move on.
  6. As we thought about how to best maximize the investment made by our members in both programs, we came to the conclusion that our best strategy moving forward was to focus on one program and focus on the program with the more rigorous qualifications and with broader buy-in by hiring organizations – and that is the Masters program.
  7. By integrating the CIP into the Masters program, we gain more flexibility to add specific new courses and certifications as our industry evolves. The convergence of cloud, mobile, and consumerization is creating a perfect storm for information management. We need new best practices for dealing with these issues, and our efforts will be focused on filling this void. Our strategy moving forward will be to offer inexpensive quick study courses to introduce topics to newcomers (very similar to the CIP videos), and deep dive courses on key information management topics (with Specialist and Masters designations) for those who need to demonstrate their competency to current and potential employers.

We believe that having a unified network of 3000+ AIIM Masters will give us a much larger, critical mass of certified professionals, and allow us to focus on increasing the value of the credential in our industry. I hope that this helps to explain the iterative approach that the Board has taken. I realize and respect that this is a challenging issue for many.

I welcome your thoughts and opinions -- ping me at johnmancini [at]

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Topics: cip, certified information professional, certification

Martyn Christian from @Kofax on #AIIM and the #CIP (Certified Information Professional)

May 18, 2012 8:55:25 AM by John F. Mancini

Martyn Christian is Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for Kofax. He is responsible for all marketing initiatives, including brand, product, industry and field marketing functions. Martyn has more than 25 years of marketing and general management experience within the software industry.

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Topics: cip, kofax, certified information professional, content management, ecm, certification, aiim

What? Another Certification? Why should I even consider the CIP?

May 3, 2012 5:43:30 AM by John F. Mancini

For those getting this on email without embedded content, here is the direct link.

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Topics: cip, information management, technology, skills, content management, ecm, certification, IT

Our inspiration for the CIP videos - Khan Academy on 60 Minutes

Mar 13, 2012 7:14:39 AM by John F. Mancini

Most people don't realize this, but the inspiration for our decision to make the knowledge associated with our Certified Information Professional certification available for free as YouTube videos came from Sal Khan at

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Topics: cip, googe, khan, certified information professional, microsoft, certification, aiim, 60 minutes, khanacademy, khan academy

The Full List - 6 Imperatives Facing Information Professionals

Mar 5, 2012 5:39:45 AM by John F. Mancini

A few readers requested that all of these be aggregated into a single post...So here they are! (Also, to get a copy of my new White Paper covering some of these issues in more detail, go to THIS LINK.)

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Topics: statistics, information management, cloud, governance, certified information professional, data, ecm, mobile, certification, big content, big data, social, trends

I want to wash this Big Data right out of my hair - But I can't - Big Data and the Academy Awards

Feb 24, 2012 12:31:37 PM by John F. Mancini

Big Data and the Academy Awards

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Topics: Annenberg, information management, War Horse, IBM, Hugo, LA Times, certification,, The Tree of Life, The Help, Midnight in Paris, big data, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Moneyball,, Academy Awards, The Artist, The Descendants

What they are saying about #AIIM Certified Information Professionals (#CIP)

Feb 6, 2012 9:27:07 AM by John F. Mancini

"There will always be a role in organizations for those with pure technical knowledge. But the real value add in the world of Systems of Engagement comes from those who can place these skills in a broader context — in the context of the business. That's what AIIM's Certified Information Professional program is all about."

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Topics: cip, information management, certified information professional, certification, aiim

76 percent of business executives would pay a salary premium for Certified Information Professionals

Feb 3, 2012 2:22:14 AM by John F. Mancini

We just released the results of an independent market survey of more than 200 business executives, attesting to the value of certification for information professionals.

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Topics: certified information professional, ecm, training, certification, aiim, IT, Gartner

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