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Top 11 Records Manager Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for records managers and the benefits of each.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 19 min read

Certifications are important for records managers because they demonstrate a level of professional expertise and knowledge in the field. Having certifications can help set a records manager apart from other candidates when applying for jobs, as employers may be more likely to hire someone who has been certified in records management. Certifications also provide assurance to employers that the job candidate is knowledgeable about laws related to records management and understands best practices within the field. Additionally, certifications can help to give credibility and recognition to a records manager’s skills and experience, which can be beneficial when seeking promotions or higher-level positions.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Records Managers and explains how they can help advance a records manager's career.

What are Records Manager Certifications?

Records manager certification is a professional credential that demonstrates a person's expertise in the field of records management. Records managers are responsible for organizing, maintaining, and preserving organizational records, such as digital documents, physical files, emails, photographs, and more. Records managers must have a thorough understanding of legal requirements related to record-keeping and be able to apply best practices to ensure compliance with these regulations.

Having records manager certification can help professionals stand out in the job market by demonstrating their knowledge and skills in this field. It also shows employers that they understand the importance of records management and can provide their organization with sound guidance on how to properly manage its records. With this certification, professionals can also gain access to continuing education opportunities which can help them stay up-to-date on any changes or advancements in the field. In addition, it may open up better career opportunities as many employers prefer to hire certified candidates over those who are not certified.

Pro Tip: When considering records manager certification, make sure you research the various certifications available and understand the requirements for each. Additionally, look into any continuing education and professional development opportunities that may be available to help you stay up-to-date on best practices and industry trends.

Related: What does a Records Manager do?

Top 11 Records Manager Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Records Managers today.

1. Certified Records Manager (CRM)

Certified Records Manager (CRM) is a professional designation awarded by the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM) to individuals who demonstrate expertise in records management. The CRM credential is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for successful records management practice.

To become certified, applicants must meet certain educational and experience requirements, pass an exam, and agree to adhere to a code of ethics. The ICRM requires that applicants have at least three years of full-time professional experience in records management or related fields prior to taking the exam. Applicants must also complete at least 24 hours of approved continuing education credits within five years prior to applying for certification.

The CRM exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as records policy development, legal compliance, information security, and digital asset management. The exam takes approximately four hours to complete and is offered twice a year in April and October.

The cost to take the CRM exam is $450 USD for ICRM members or $650 USD for non-members. Additionally, there is an annual fee of $125 USD for maintaining your certification status with the ICRM.

2. Certified Electronic Records Manager (CERM)

Certified Electronic Records Manager (CERM) is a professional certification program offered by the Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA) International. It is designed to recognize the expertise of records managers in managing electronic records, including those created, stored, and maintained in digital formats. The CERM certification program consists of two parts: an online knowledge-based assessment and a practical application component.

To become certified, applicants must first pass the online knowledge-based assessment with a score of 70% or higher. This assessment covers topics such as electronic records management principles, standards, best practices, procedures, and technology. Once the applicant has successfully passed the online assessment, they must then complete the practical application component which includes hands-on projects related to electronic records management.

The entire process typically takes about 6 months to complete from start to finish. To get started on the path to becoming certified, applicants must first register for the CERM program through ARMA International's website. The cost for registration is $499 USD plus applicable taxes and fees.

3. Certified Information Professional (CIP)

Certified Information Professional (CIP) is a professional certification program offered by the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP). It is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of professionals in the field of information technology.

The CIP certification program consists of two exams: The Certified Information Professional Exam (CIPE) and the Certified Information Professional Practical Exam (CIPP). The CIPE exam covers topics such as project management, system design, database administration, networking, security, and software development. The CIPP exam focuses on practical application of IT principles.

It typically takes about 18 months to complete the entire process of becoming a Certified Information Professional. This includes studying for and passing both exams as well as completing any required continuing education credits.

To become a Certified Information Professional, you must first register with ICCP and pay an application fee. You will then need to purchase study materials from ICCP or from another source that meets their standards. Once you have studied for both exams, you can register for the exams with ICCP. After passing both exams, you will receive your certification in the mail within 4-6 weeks.

The cost to become a Certified Information Professional varies depending on where you purchase your study materials from but typically ranges between $500-$1000 USD.

4. Information Governance Professional (IGP)

Information Governance Professional (IGP) is a certification program that provides an understanding of the principles and best practices of information governance. It is designed to help professionals understand the importance of information governance, develop skills in managing data, and build a comprehensive plan for their organization's data management.

The IGP certification requires completion of a series of courses and exams. The courses are offered online or in-person, depending on the provider. To become certified as an IGP, candidates must complete all required courses and pass the IGP exam. The length of time it takes to become certified varies depending on how quickly you can complete the required coursework.

To get started with the IGP certification program, you will need to register with an approved provider and purchase the course materials. Prices vary depending on which provider you choose, but typically range from $500-$1,000 USD.

Once you have completed all required courses and passed the exam, you will be awarded your IGP certification. This certification is valid for three years before needing to be renewed.

5. ARMA International’s Certified Information Governance Professional (CIGP)

ARMA International’s Certified Information Governance Professional (CIGP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage information governance in any organization. The CIGP certification is based on ARMA International’s Information Governance Maturity Model, which provides an industry-standard framework for assessing and improving the maturity of an organization’s information governance program.

The CIGP certification requires that candidates pass a two-part exam. The first part is a multiple-choice exam, and the second part is a case study assessment. Candidates must also demonstrate their knowledge of the Information Governance Maturity Model by completing a series of online courses.

The entire process typically takes six to eight months to complete, depending on how much time each candidate can dedicate to studying and preparing for the exams.

In order to become certified, candidates must register with ARMA International and pay a fee of $400 USD. This fee covers registration for both parts of the exam, as well as access to all related course materials and resources.

6. ISO 15489-1:2016 Records Management Certification

ISO 15489-1:2016 Records Management Certification is an international standard for records management. It provides guidance on the principles, requirements and implementation of records management systems. The certification is designed to ensure that organizations have a comprehensive system in place to manage their records effectively and efficiently.

The certification process typically takes around 6 months to complete. Organizations must first develop and implement a records management system that meets the requirements of ISO 15489-1:2016. Once the system has been implemented, it must be assessed by an independent third-party auditor who will evaluate its compliance with the standard. If the audit is successful, then the organization will be awarded certification.

In order to get ISO 15489-1:2016 Records Management Certification, organizations must first identify an accredited certification body that can assess their system against the standard’s requirements. The cost of certification varies depending on the size and complexity of the organization’s records management system, but typically ranges from $5,000-$10,000 USD.

7. AIIM’s Certified Enterprise Content Management Professional (CECMP)

AIIM’s Certified Enterprise Content Management Professional (CECMP) is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated expertise in the field of enterprise content management (ECM). The certification is designed to validate knowledge and skills in ECM and related disciplines, including document imaging, records management, digital asset management, workflow, capture, and web content management.

The CECMP program consists of two components: a written examination and a practical assessment. The written exam covers topics such as ECM concepts and principles, data modeling and architecture, metadata and taxonomies, security and privacy considerations, systems integration strategies, legal requirements for ECM projects, and project management best practices. The practical assessment evaluates an individual’s ability to apply the knowledge gained from the written exam by completing a series of tasks related to ECM implementation.

The entire process takes approximately six months to complete. To get started on the path towards becoming certified as a CECMP professional, you must first register with AIIM for the certification program. Once registered you will receive access to online study materials which you can use to prepare for both components of the certification process. After studying for several months you will be ready to take the written exam which is administered at testing centers across North America. Upon successful completion of the written exam you will then be eligible to take the practical assessment which is conducted at AIIM’s headquarters in Maryland or via remote proctoring services.

The cost of becoming a CECMP professional varies depending on your geographic location but typically ranges between $1,000 - $2,000 USD. This fee includes registration fees for both components of the certification process as well as access to online study materials.

8. AIIM’s Certified Document Imaging Architect (CDIA+)

The Certified Document Imaging Architect (CDIA+) is a certification program offered by AIIM, the Association for Information and Image Management. CDIA+ is designed to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to design, implement, and manage document imaging systems.

The CDIA+ certification consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical exam. The written exam covers topics such as document imaging system architecture, scanning hardware, image processing software, workflow automation, indexing methods, security considerations, and more. The practical exam requires applicants to demonstrate their ability to apply the concepts they have learned in the written exam by designing an actual document imaging system.

It typically takes between three to six months to complete the CDIA+ certification program. To get started on the program, you must first register with AIIM and pay a fee of $595 USD. After registering, you will be able to access online study materials and practice tests that will help you prepare for both exams. Once you have passed both exams successfully, you will receive your official CDIA+ certificate from AIIM.

The cost of the CDIA+ certification program varies depending on where you are taking it from; however, it generally ranges from $595 USD up to $1,000 USD or more for those who take it through an accredited institution or training center.

9. AIIM’s Certified Information Professional (CIP)

The Certified Information Professional (CIP) is a certification program offered by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the management of information, including its capture, storage, retrieval, and use.

It takes approximately three months to complete the CIP program. The program consists of four modules: Introduction to Information Management, Records Management, Knowledge Management, and Digital Asset Management. Each module includes an online course and a final exam. The cost of the CIP program is $1,495 USD.

To get certified as a CIP, you must first register for the program on AIIM's website. Once registered, you will receive access to all four modules and can begin studying at your own pace. After completing each module's online coursework and passing the final exam with a score of 80% or higher, you will be eligible for certification as a Certified Information Professional (CIP).

10. AIIM’s Certified Business Process Professional (CBPP)

The Certified Business Process Professional (CBPP) is a certification program offered by AIIM, the Association for Information and Image Management. It is designed to help professionals demonstrate their expertise in business process management and gain recognition for their knowledge and skills.

The CBPP certification program consists of three components: an online exam, a practical application project, and an online presentation. The online exam tests the candidate’s knowledge of business process management best practices, while the practical application project requires them to apply those best practices in real-world scenarios. The online presentation allows candidates to showcase their skills and demonstrate their ability to effectively communicate their ideas.

The entire CBPP certification process takes approximately six months to complete. Candidates must first register for the exam through AIIM’s website and pay a fee of $350 USD. Once registered, they have six months to complete the exam, practical application project, and online presentation. After successfully passing all three components of the program, candidates will receive their CBPP certification from AIIM.

The CBPP certification is highly valued in the industry as it demonstrates that an individual has mastered key concepts related to business process management and can effectively apply them in real-world situations.

11. ARMA International’s Advanced Records and Information Management Professionals Program (ARIMPP).

ARMA International’s Advanced Records and Information Management Professionals Program (ARIMPP) is a certification program designed to recognize professionals who demonstrate a high level of expertise in the field of records and information management. The program consists of four levels: Certified Records Analyst (CRA), Certified Records Manager (CRM), Certified Information Professional (CIP), and Master Certified Information Professional (MCIP).

The CRA certification is the entry-level certification, which requires applicants to have five years of experience in records management or related fields. It also requires applicants to pass an online exam that tests their knowledge of records management principles, processes, and practices. This certification can be obtained in as little as three months.

The CRM certification is the mid-level certification, which requires applicants to have ten years of experience in records management or related fields. It also requires applicants to pass an online exam that tests their knowledge of records management principles, processes, and practices. This certification can be obtained in as little as six months.

The CIP certification is the highest level of professional credentialing within ARIMPP and requires applicants to have fifteen years of experience in records management or related fields. It also requires applicants to pass an online exam that tests their knowledge of records management principles, processes, and practices. This certification can be obtained in as little as nine months.

The MCIP certification is the highest level within ARIMPP and requires applicants to have twenty years of experience in records management or related fields. It also requires applicants to pass an online exam that tests their knowledge of advanced topics such as data governance, enterprise content management systems, digital preservation techniques, privacy laws, e-discovery protocols, etc. This certification can be obtained in as little as twelve months.

The cost for each level varies depending on membership status with ARMA International; however, all certifications require a one-time fee for registration and testing fees ranging from $250-$500 USD per level depending on membership status with ARMA International.

Do You Really Need a Records Manager Certificate?

The answer to whether or not you need a Records Manager Certificate depends on your current level of knowledge and experience in the field. If you are already an experienced records manager, then it is unlikely that a certificate will be necessary. However, if you are new to the profession or looking to advance your career, then a Records Manager Certificate can be beneficial.

Having a certificate will demonstrate to employers that you have taken the time to learn the best practices in records management and have obtained the necessary skills for success in this field. A certificate can also help open up more job opportunities and show potential employers that you are serious about being a successful records manager. Additionally, having a certificate may help you stand out from other applicants who lack similar qualifications.

In sum, obtaining a Records Manager Certificate could be beneficial for those who are new to the field or looking to advance their career. It can show potential employers that you understand best practices in records management and have taken steps to become an effective professional in this area. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether they would benefit from obtaining this certification.

Related: Records Manager Resume Examples

FAQs About Records Manager Certifications

1. What Are the Benefits of Becoming a Certified Records Manager?

Answer: Becoming a certified records manager can help professionals increase their knowledge, hone their skills, and gain recognition in the field. Certified records managers are able to demonstrate their expertise and proficiency in managing records, as well as earn higher wages than non-certified professionals. Additionally, certification may give professionals access to exclusive job opportunities and networking events.

2. How Do I Become a Certified Records Manager?

Answer: To become a certified records manager, applicants must meet the eligibility requirements of the certifying organization, such as having a certain amount of experience or education in the field. Then they must submit an application and pass an exam that tests their knowledge of records management principles and practices.

3. What Are the Different Types of Records Manager Certifications?

Answer: The type of certification you pursue depends on your professional goals and experience level. Common certifications include ISO 30301 Certified Records Manager (CRM), ARMA International’s Certified Information Governance Professional (CIGP), AIIM’s Enterprise Content Management Professional (ECMP) Certification, and CompTIA’s Storage+ Certification among others.

4. How Much Does it Cost to Become a Certified Records Manager?

Answer: The cost of becoming a certified records manager varies depending on which certification you pursue and what materials are required for the exam preparation process. Generally speaking, most certifications range from $200-$1000 USD depending on whether you need to purchase additional study guides or practice exams.

5. How Long is a Records Manager Certification Valid For?

Answer: The validity period for most records manager certifications is two years after which time recertification is required in order to maintain one's credentialing status. Re-certification typically requires passing an updated version of the original exam or completing additional continuing education units (CEUs).