How much does Records Management training cost? In a way, it’s a bit like asking, “How much does dinner cost?” So much of the answer depends on what you want. The cost of dinner could run anywhere from a couple of bucks for those pursuing the dollar menu at their favorite fast food joint, to something like “The Posh Pie” at the Lord Dudley Hotel in Sydney, Australia, which comes with a hefty $12,000 price tag. But, as the Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM), we get asked this question all the time. And just like the dinner question, it really depends on what you want. But, if you’re like me – when it comes to dinner (or training), you like to know the options.
When I teach, questions often come up about the differences and similarities between document management and records management. Is there any difference? Does it really matter? Which one is best? The answers are, respectively, yes, yes, and it depends. Let’s take a look at each.
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Since the creation of AIIM’s Certified Information Professional (CIP) program, we’ve certified over 1,500 information professionals. Throughout the years working with students to help them prepare for the CIP, I often get asked about other good certifications for records managers. But, when there are literally thousands of certifications in the marketplace, and dozens that have some connection to records or information management – how can you determine which one is right for you? Here are a couple of different ways to think through this:
Defining a New Era of Records Management Records management has traditionally been significantly focused on compliance. Compliance is important; to be sure; the more highly regulated an organization is, the more important compliance is. Every organization has to comply with something, even if it’s just tax and personnel regulations. And it’s complicated – every year seems to bring more laws and regulations, not less. As a reflection of this, in the original AIIM Electronic Records Management course, we identified 4 business drivers, and the first one listed was compliance (along with continuity, effectiveness, and efficiency). But while compliance is important, it’s insufficient as a business driver. Compliance doesn’t get management excited and eager to pour resources into it until there is a problem – and once the problem goes away, so does the focus and availability of resources. We argued in the AIIM 2019 State of the Industry – Content Services that “[information management] is better sold indirectly – as a byproduct of automation and customer experience – than head-on.”
You're interested in an information management certification, and you've narrowed it down to two; the Certified Information Professional (CIP) vs. the Certified Records Manager (CRM). Both certifications are well-known, respected credentials in the information management industry. So what's the difference and which is right for you?
It's become trite to note the speed at which technology changes, and that the speed of those changes continues to increase. But just because it's trite doesn't mean it's not true. This means that, for records managers to continue to remain relevant, we need to ensure that we are on top of new developments in records and information management that will significantly impact our organizations. I wrote about individual professional development plans in another post. In that post I make the case that information professionals need to develop and maintain knowledge and skills in three areas: information management foundations, their industry domain, and professional or “soft” skills. I should probably add a fourth – information management technology and how it applies to a particular role or function. For the remainder of this post, I’m going to identify what I believe to be the most important skills records managers need to have in that domain, and then some brief additional suggestions.