September 13, 2016

The Certified Records Manager (CRM) Certification: What You Need to Know

4 minute read

The Certified Records Manager (CRM) certification is the primary certification of the Records and Information Management (RIM) profession.  It is designed for experienced professionals with management-level responsibilities. Why should you get this certification?

The value of the CRM certification to Records and Information Management (RIM) professionals is that it provides enhanced professionalism and personal growth as well as documented recognition of their skills.  It also provide benefits from a career advancement standpoint, as many companies are looking specifically for people with a CRM certification.

An interesting fact for our St. Louis readers, the Chairman and Past President of ICRM, Rae Lynn Haliday, is from St. Louis and works for the St. Louis Zoo.  Haliday shared the following insight, "Achieving the CRM certification was pivotal in elevating my RIM career. The CRM culture that has been built over the last 40 years, and its value to records managers and their employers, is undeniable."

There are currently 923 active CRMs.  Since I am from the consulting/vendor side, I was curious as to how many CRMs are from that side versus corporate Records Managers.  A 2013 survey performed by ICRM showed that 17% of the respondents were consultants/vendors/sales.

The CRM certification is developed and administered by the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM) and has been in existence for 41 years.  The ICRM is responsible for all the examinations and the maintenance program for the certification and updates the exam annually.  ICRM has also mapped the certification to ARMA International's Core Competencies to achieve a tight overlap in competencies.

Obtaining the CRM certification is not a trivial process.  It is based on educational background, professional work experience, and a six-part examination.   It is not a certification that you can read a study guide and then take a test; it is much more involved.

The six-part examination is mostly multiple choice questions, but Exam 6 also contains case studies which require essay responses.

Your level of education can vary from a high school degree to bachelor degree, with each year of education reducing the amount of professional experience that is required.  For example, if you only have a high school degree, you are required to have five years of professional level RIM experience.  If you have a Bachelor degree, then you are only required to have one year of professional level RIM experience.

The professional work experience must be directly related to the Records and Information Management (RIM) field.  Acceptable experience includes conducting studies and surveys, developing, designing, and implementing RIM systems, having direct managerial or operational responsibility for programs, or teaching courses in RIM for an accredited institution of higher education on a full-time basis.

Once you have achieved your certification, you must earn Certification Maintenance Points (CMP) to maintain your certification.   This ensures that members are maintaining professional competence, updating existing knowledge and skills, and attaining new expertise.

ICRM offers a plethora of materials to assist in preparing for the exams.  ARMA International also provides CRM Study Packs as well as publications that are useful resources for preparation.

My summation for this certification is that it requires hard work and dedication.  It is not a certification that you can read a study guide or take a course, and achieve the certification.  More importantly, you need to be working in the field and have experience in Records Management, and you must continue your education to retain the certification.  These are the very reasons that this certification carries so much weight and is so well respected in the industry.

For more detailed information about the Certification Records Manager (CRM) certification, visit

New Call-to-action

Receive News Updates As Soon As They Happen