Today I Earned My CIP

CertInfoProfI wrote AIIM’s Certified Information Professional (CIP) exam in March 2015. Two hours to answer 100 multiple choice questions across six knowledge areas. I finished in 41 minutes. Frankly, I suggest that anyone who needs the entire two hours should probably not be working in any area related to managing information.

I wrote the exam not because I wanted the certificate for any particular reason, but because I wanted to assess my competence across the various domains. In preparation for the exam I did absolutely nothing other than what I do on a regular basis. I worked on my projects, I engaged with the information management community, I read, I wrote, and I attended the annual AIIM conference. I admit to a certain amount of trepidation in my approach as I may have found out I’m not as “expert” as I had initially thought.

As it turned out, I missed my target score by 0.9% overall, but I passed the exam and in a few weeks I’ll get an email, a certificate, and a pin (apparently I’m on my own to get the tattoo). I’m pretty pleased, not because I passed, but because the score breakdown shows me where I need to put in some additional effort in my professional development (not that anyone should ever consider not putting in effort). My breakdown is as follows:

  • Access / Use – I scored about what I expected and I’m happy with that.
  • Capture / Manage – I scored a little higher than I expected. I’m a bit “meh” about that one as the capture part isn’t really where I put a lot of focus, but I do spend a fair bit of time dealing with the manage piece.
  • Collaborate / Deliver – I scored lower than I expected. I’ll need to put some additional effort in here.
  • Secure / Preserve – I scored way higher than I expected. This one scares me as it may indicate that I ought to get into Records Management or something.
  • Architecture / Systems – I scored about what I expected. I would have been seriously bummed if I’d scored lower than expected as this is where I make most of my living.
  • Plan / Implement – See above.

I’d love to get a question-by-question breakdown of what my scores were; I’ll bet money that there are some AIIM and I could debate. Having taken some AIIM training in the past, I know that sometimes the answers on the exams are based on the course content rather than what happens in the real world. I’m cool with that as there are just too many possible right answers to account for them all in an exam.

Assuming the course goes ahead, I’ll likely continue with some professional development in May by taking AIIM’s ECM course in Calgary. I already have the ECM Master certificate (along with ERM and EMM), but I’m not after the certificate. I’m after what I can learn by attending the sessions and leveraging the discussions with the instructor (Jesse Wilkins) and the other attendees. I know that there are some who attend training for the piece of paper, and that’s cool in an academic setting. In real life, the take away has to be the experience and the knowledge. The paper is, maybe, a good piece of personal marketing.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the pat down and scan upon entering the exam facility; the TSA and CATSA could learn a thing or two.

10 Comments on “Today I Earned My CIP

    • Totally agree. When I did the ERM course I had to split it into two sessions, resulting in discussions with groups in Toronto and Calgary. I’m interested to see what’s changed since I last took the ECM course (2008).

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well done! Surprised you didn’t take the CIP a lot earlier (I just checked mine and discovered to my horror that it was in 2012! Where did the time go?).

    I had a similar experience to yours and very similar reasons for doing it. WIth hindsight, it very much goes into the “Nice to have” category although I wish it carried a bit more kudos: It’s as good a test as we have at the moment, to ensure that IM professionals have a wide enough spectrum of understanding of our industry, rather than be extremely knowledgeable in a thin sliver only.


    • Thanks, George. So now that I have the CIP I’m good enough to be connected to you on LI? 🙂

      To be honest, I just never got around to it. I think I would have done it a lot sooner if it had caught on as some hoped it would. I think there might be a whole blog post as to why I think it hasn’t caught on.


      • Oh, my take on that? Same reason MoReq 2010 didn’t catch on… Great idea, no investment on generating demand for it in the market. “Build it and they’ll come” syndrome 😉


  2. Personal opinion only, but George hit the nail on the head there. I’ll quibble only on the the MoReq comparison because, jesuslord, was that thing long and seemed to falter for the same reason DoD 5015 — do you really need all of that that’s in there. At least that was my hovering around the edges of RM take on it.


  3. I think the education part is great. However, I have been in this business since 1987 and I can only 1 person asking me if I had any certifications. I attended a great SharePoint presentation last week that was put on by Kolabria. They asked at the beginning of the class who knew what ECM was. I was the only person to raise my hand there were at least 30 people in the class looking to build ECM functionality in SharePoint.


  4. Pingback: CIP No More – Meh | PHIGs IMC Inc.

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