A bit over a week ago, AIIM International decided to fold its Certified Information Professional (CIP) program into its existing educational structure. Then last Thursday, the organization reversed course, not only staying with the certification but announcing a v2.0 will be launched at its 2016 event.
As the face of the CIP’s free overview videos, I’ve been deluged with messages asking for my take on these moves, and I’m happy now to share my thoughts. Just remember that I do not sit on the AIIM Board and have no direct knowledge of how these decisions were made.
1. Why Do You Think the CIP Program Was Terminated?
The root of this decision likely has to do with what AIIM President John Mancini referred to in his post as “the struggle to make ends meet.” Close ongoing observation made it painfully clear that the CIP program did not receive the kind of marketing support we might have expected – even within the AIIM community, never mind beyond it. Consequently, the number of certifications actually earned, while promising, did not match the original (I suspect inflated) forecasts, and after spending so big to develop the program, the CIP was deemed expendable.
2. Why Do You Think the CIP Program Was Reincarnated?
In a word, pressure from CIP designees. (Okay, that’s four words.) My guess is that AIIM was surprised by the outcry that followed the publication of the CIP’s death notice, and it backtracked accordingly. This kind of responsiveness is all too rare in association (and business) circles, and AIIM is to be commended for it. My only question is how many non-CIPers weighed in, or even noticed? I am a CIP holder and I never got a public email regarding the program’s disposition, and I know I’m not the only one for whom this is true.
3. What Do You Foresee for the CIP Going Forward?
I am a proud member of the AIIM Company of Fellows, so I take no joy in responding to this question by saying “see Answer #1 above.” The plain facts are that (a) certification programs are expensive to administer and update, and (b) AIIM does not have the resources (human and financial) it once did. Please understand; this is not a knock against AIIM. It’s just the harsh current reality, and it is and was the same for other longstanding groups like ARMA and those now departed like TAWPI. So I have reservations about the CIP’s ultimate longevity.
4. Do You See a Need for Certification like the CIP?
Yes, I do. I’ve always taken a holistic view of information management, and it’s entirely true that it was easy for me to get behind the CIP from the day I was introduced to it. I also believe that AIIM ought to be a leader in this regard, for its members are best served by focusing on information management practices, not particular information management technologies. What I’m not sure of is whether this view is shared by of all the AIIM Board members, and that is what eventually will make or break not only the CIP, but the organization itself.
5. Will You Continue to Support the CIP?
Yes, I will. A good idea is a good idea, and I will continue to provide the kind of knowledge and support you need to be as successful as you possibly can. All you have to do is ask!