I took a little detour to explain my opinion on what I see as the four pillars that warrant in-depth reviews in support of information governance (IM). The issue arose when we asked Wendy if she thinks practitioners should get their certifications in Information Governance Professional, Customer Relationship Management, CIPM, CEDS, etc. Our collective response was that it depends on professional interests and ambitions through M&A advisory.
From my perspective, the Information Governance Professional designation is the overarching certification designed for those who aspire to become the arbiter of the entire information governance agenda within their organization. Those arriving at this stage in their careers have usually made a thorough examination of one or more of the following:
- Records and Information Management (GDI)
- electronic investigation
Before I begin discussing my views on these career and certification paths, I want to clarify that while I currently chair the Information Governance Professional Certification Committee, the opinions expressed here are strictly mine and not those of the information governance professional or ARMA International. Additionally, the certifications discussed here are presented as examples only, as there are myriad other designations to consider depending on your employment needs.
There is no one path to information governance expertise.
As most of our readers know, records and information management or information governance aren’t exactly the career paths we dreamed of as kids. Most of us started our jobs by chance since a career in records and information management doesn’t have to be glamorous. I will never forget the day when we welcome new friends to our garden when the topic “what do you do for a living” came up. When it was my turn, I enthusiastically gave my two-minute explanation but noticed that the guy across from me had fallen asleep during my speech, holding his glass of red wine in his hand. almost overturned.
But I digress. When it comes to a college degree, as my kids will tell you, I would stress this if you are considering starting a career. Regardless of my specialization. I simply need you to have a solid foundation that exemplifies your critical thinking, analytical ability, ability to multi-task, and reading and writing skills.
If you’re lucky enough to know that you want to go into records and information management or information governance early in your career, there are schools like LSU and San Jose State that offer a baccalaureate and other advanced degrees. There is also a specialization in library science, which teaches the fundamental key skills necessary for information governance.
Some advanced degrees also give you a foundation that may be enough to avoid extensive studies leading to certification. For example, a law degree is tied to most of the key elements of information governance like investigation, privacy, and compliance. It was my career path and it served me well. However, I often wish I had a CRM or CPIVP certification to give me peace of mind that I have a solid foundation for what I preach in our industry. I should have pursued one of these certifications if I was to be competitive in today’s job market.
The four pillars: in-depth certifications
Once you get that college degree (or the old school of adversity, which I’ll discuss below), either your interests or your employer’s needs can determine the certifications you’ll need. That said, there are clear avenues to gain in-depth expertise in the four key pillars of information governance.
In-Depth Case Management Analysis – Customer Relationship Management
I am a big fan of Customer Relationship Management (the Certified Records Manager designation administered by the Institute of Certified Records Managers). This is a rigorous exam designed to truly assess a professional in the records and information management space. It requires a critical understanding of traditional records and information management practices, but also of translating these practices into the modern electronic world.
I know there are a lot of people who see the CRM certification as competing with the Information Governance Professional certification, but that’s far from the truth. Customer relationship management is a key in-depth analysis of the critical component of information governance. If I was a young information governance professional without a law degree, I would have started with customer relationship management.
In-Depth Privacy Analysis – CIPM
Closely following CRM, and increasingly popular these days, the Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) certification offers an in-depth analysis of workflows and domain confidentiality keys. Many lawyers and paralegals choose this certification over client relationship management because it’s a more natural extension of their professional degree. The legal field has become so crowded that even lawyers are looking for ways to distinguish themselves from the competition. CIPM certification is administered by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
In-depth electronic forensic analysis – CEDS, Paralegal, or JD
Before the relatively recent rarity of the CIPM, eDiscovery offered certifications such as CEDS (Certified E-Discovery Specialist) to add credibility to professionals trying to advance holds for legal reasons and on the workflow associated with the investigation, as shown in the EDRM.net model. CEDS is administered by the Association of Certified Electronic Forensic Specialists.
In-Depth Security Analysis – CISM or CISPP
Finally, and perhaps most foreign to me, is the technical certifications offered in the security space such as Certified Information Security Manager or CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) or Professional Certified in Information Systems Security or CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional).
These certifications are usually held by those who come from the IT industry, including those who have an IT engineering degree or years of experience in this field. This is a critical in-depth analysis that intimidates most information governance professionals because it is much more boring and does not provide the breadth of information relevant to customer relationship management with the help of the M&A advisor.
What about Information Governance Professional certification?
You may have noticed that I did not include the Information Governance Professional certification in the in-depth review pillars section. This is because this one is designed to give you a vast knowledge of the four in-depth analyzes mentioned above. I would recommend the Information Governance Professional certification for anyone who, at a minimum, already has in-depth expertise in one of these four areas.
Going straight to the Information Governance Professional certification without any of the other in-depth reviews, I’m afraid you don’t have the perspective needed to truly oversee an Information Governance program. The Governance Professional certification is administered by ARMA International.
Information governance education never stops
Many more people may find themselves in the old school of adversity. For many people with a lot of experience, it might seem ridiculous to pursue certifications since, after 30 or 40 years in the industry, you have more than proven yourself. That said, I would like to say that for those who might be in the middle of their career, certifications could give you some insight into the competition when looking for new jobs or promotion opportunities.
Increasingly, for example, employers are requiring information governance professional certification or customer relationship management certification as minimum hiring criteria.
Also, even if you’ve proven yourself after more than 20 years of working in records and information management, for example, you might still have training gaps in some of the in-depth analyzes that have become more prevalent. in recent years, such as privacy and security.
Additionally, if you are looking for a C-level position that involves overseeing an entire information governance program, the Information Governance Professional certification could give you a very useful educational overview of all the points you will be required to supervise in your position.