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Why Be a CRM? How to Begin

Lucy Rieger, Director, CRM 

Why should you become a CRM? An Information Management professional may have various credentials, but the most important one is Certified Records Manager. Current job ads reflect a growing trend that the CRM is preferred, and in more and more instances, CRM is required. The ICRM claims it cannot keep up with the demands for CRMs.

 How do you become certified?  You apply to the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM) and must be accepted and approved to take a 6 part certification test.  The requirements for application have changed, offering new and varied opportunities for acceptance.  These requirements are a combination of education and work experience.  Carefully reading the specifications reveals that there are many variations and combinations that can fulfill application requirements.  These are less stringent than they were previously, and well worth reviewing.   

One of the biggest revisions for candidacy is the education requirement.  The minimum acceptable education is graduation from high school (completion of 12 grades) or equivalent (e.g. GED Certificate). Steve Golden, CRM, Chair of the ICRM Board of Regents, commenting on the application changes last August stated "This is the industry's most rigorous series of exams, culminating in the credential that has been respected for the last 36 years. We're pleased to make the application process more approachable for potential Candidates, without the need for them to jump through administrative hurdles of proving areas of expertise. The exams prove an applicant's professional work experience quite adequately."

Once accepted you become a CRM Candidate and are eligible to take Parts 1 to 5 of the ICRM exam. Exams are given four times a year during the first weeks of February, May, August and November. You make take up to five years to complete the exams. You may repeat taking the exams as many times as it takes to pass. However, you must pass Parts 1 to 5 before you can take Part 6. 

How do you get started?  Apply! Then start studying. You can take CRM Workshops at the ARMA annual conference in Chicago. Or, wait for the upcoming NNJARMA local workshops, soon to be announced. Or, try one of the other local chapters. The most important thing is to begin. Here's how: go to the ICRM website at www.ICRM.org and read about Applying for the Examination. Print out the Application Form. That's Part 1 of Becoming a CRM done! Need help filling out the form? Contact us at NNJARMA and we will assist you in step 2, Becoming a CRM Becoming a CRM Candidate.  

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