Germany offers many avenues for additional training in the area of Information Management. The market for training and further education in the area of Information Management is developing at a rapid speed in Germany. 15 German universities currently offer Information Management in 24 different study courses (Studis.online). But what is on offer in the further education market? As a pioneer on the topic of technical documentation, (Tekom) offers an answer complete with relevant certifications.

On the international stage, the American organisation AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management) may be a more familiar name. Their certification, which reflects years of practical experience and know-how, is called CIP – Certified Information Professional.

 Did You Know?

The professional title “Technical Writer” was coined by Tekom (Gesellschaft für Technische Kommunikation) in collaboration with the Federal Labour Office.

There were around 85,000 full-time technical writers in Germany in 2016. A large portion of the documentation is, however, authored by individuals, who actually have a different role, which means that the actual profession ‘Technical Writer’ is largely unknown. (Wikipedia)

 

Why Should You Get Certification?

According to PayScale.com, organizations are willing to pay 27% more for a certified professional than an uncertified comparable specialist. But the majority of CIPs report that the true value is what it does for your reputation.

Hemaben Patel, ECM Lead for a large international airline, explains, “Having the CIP gives my internal customers and partners a certain level of confidence that whatever strategy or solution I propose is based on best practices and experience.” (AIIM)

The CIP course and the CIP study guide offer a wealth of valuable learning content. Read more on the subject below. The CIP certificate is proof of what the CIP certification has made you: An expert for intelligent information management – or in other words: an Information Manager.

The certification for Certified Information Manager could be our first step towards becoming an information manager if you have previously been employed as a technical writer. The responsibilities of an information manager are much broader in scope. The CIP certificate will help you find the right role on an international stage.

 

For Whom Will CIP be Interesting?

CIP is an interesting proposition for

  • Information Management Consultants
  • Technical Writers
  • Project leads, project managers and team members in IM projects
  • Anyone working in the areas of Records Managements, Document Management, Electronic Archiving and Enterprise Content Management
  • IT Management professionals and technical IT staff

Intelligent IM can also be an exciting topic for groups in the following areas:

  • Risk Management
  • Business Analysis
  • Process Design
  • IT Coordination
  • Change Management
Test yourself!

Are you ready for your certification?

There are three freely accessible tests that you can use to assess your knowledge: Sample Test 

 

Even More Practically Oriented Since May 2019

The CIP certification has been around for a few years now, but some content changes were made in May 2019. It now includes numerous practical scenarios. It also now recognises the fact that organisations no longer need ECMs (“ECM is now dead”, Gartner. aiim). More to the point: We now understand the fact that the challenge is only to some extent a technical one. However, the authors left one chapter on technology untouched. Technology is, after all, an important tool and very much needed when facing the challenges of creating intelligent information:

  • Modernizing the information toolkit
  • Digitalizing core organizational processes
  • Automating compliance & governance
  • Leveraging analytics & machine learning

This realisation is also reflected in the new structure of the various learning topics, which focus on the following content:

  1.   Creating and Capturing Information
  2.   Extracting Intelligence from Information 
  3.   Digitalizing Core Business Processes
  4.   Automating Governance and Compliance
  5.   Implementing an Information Management Solution
Are you already a CIP?

What has changed in comparison with the previous version?The first and last chapters are similar in terms of content. Some topics were summarised in the middle part and new focal points were set. These were the former contents:

  1. Creating and Capturing Information
  2. Organizing and Categorizing Information
  3. Governing Information
  4. Automating Information-Intensive Processes
  5. Managing the Information Lifecycle
  6. Implementing an Information Management Solution

 

Cost & Scope

The certification consists of 100 multiple choice questions. The various topic areas are weighted differently. The weightings can be found in the study guide. A 60% score is a pass.

Non-AIIM members will have to shell out USD 1785 – but in my experience, the certification is not required for technical writers. In most cases, practical work experience and in-depth familiarisation with the study guide should guarantee a pass.

The CIP Study Guide is available free of charge for professional members. Everyone else will have to pay affordable USD 60.

The test fee is around USD 385 (members pay USD 349).

(The membership fee is USD 169 per year. I personally opted in favour of a membership before I did my certification. It gave me access to the community and it got me an overall discount of USD 100 for the study guide and test.)

 

Summary

Certifications are always career boosters. Specifically in terms of international job opportunities, the CIP certification is a great place to start if you want to step up the ladder from Technical Writer to Information Manager. The certification is based on many years of valuable practical experience and was completely revised in May 2019 to reflect latest developments. The time needed, as well as the financial cost can be minimised with practical experience and autonomous preparation.

Why Should Technical Writers get CIP Certification? (PDF)

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Imprint: 
Date: August 2019
Author: Jennifer Gitt
Contact: marketing@avato.net
www.avato-consulting.com
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