CRM Resources

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Pete Casey, CRM - CRM Committee Chair

I find that the ICRM website ( is a great resource for information relating to the CRM examination. One item I would like draw attention to from the ICRM website is The ICRM Code of Ethics. The ICRM Code of Ethics is listed as an item of study for Part 1 of the examination. According to the Business Dictionary, code of ethics are “Written guidelines issued by an organization to its workers and management, to help them conduct their actions in accordance with its primary values and ethical standards.”

Most records managers know about the existence of standards. ISO 15489-1 and ISO 15489-2 make up the international standard for records management.

The ISO standard for records management can be used as a model to build a high quality records management program.

ISO 15489-1 ProductID=1187
ISO 15489-2 ProductID=1188

The ICRM Code of Ethics is a professional standard that all RM practitioners can use as a model for professional business conduct. The ICRM Code of Ethics is a standard that fosters professionalism and ethical integrity in records management. All Certified Records Managers are expected to conform to the ICRM Code of Ethics, but all records managers could find value in these principles. I have copied the ICRM Code of Ethics below for your reference.


Certified Records Managers® should maintain high professional standards of conduct in the performance of their duties. The Code of Ethics is provided as a guide to professional conduct.

1. Certified Records Managers® have a professional responsibility to conduct themselves so that their good faith and integrity shall not be open to question. They will promote the highest possible records management standards.

2. Certified Records Managers® shall conform to existing laws and regulations covering the creation, maintenance, and disposition of recorded information, and shall never knowingly be parties to any illegal or improper activities relative thereto.

3. Certified Records Managers® shall be prudent in the use of information acquired in the course of their duties. They should protect confidential, proprietary and trade secret information obtained from others and use it only for the purposes approved by the party from whom it was obtained or for the benefit of that party, and not for the personal gain of anyone else.

4. Certified Records Managers® shall not accept gifts or gratuities from clients, business associates, or suppliers as inducements to influence any procurements or decisions they may make.

5. Certified Records Managers® shall use all reasonable care to obtain factual evidence to support their opinion.

6. Certified Records Managers® shall strive for continuing proficiency and effectiveness in their profession and shall contribute to further research, development, and education. It is their professional responsibility to encourage those interested in records management and offer assistance whenever possible to those who enter the profession and to those already in the profession.

Professional certification programs document a specific level of professional knowledge and experience based on established competencies. Such programs are built upon a defined body of knowledge acknowledged as critical for a professional's success in the field. Certification programs have stringent eligibility requirements, including minimum levels of experience and education. Candidates must successfully complete an exam and may have to demonstrate specific skill sets.

Certification programs can be established at many different levels. Advanced certifications are more selective and have more extensive requirements. They are more difficult to achieve and require additional financial investments and substantial preparation time.

Many certification programs also require continuing education in order to maintain the certification. This ensures that certified individuals remain current in their skills and knowledge.

Is a certificate program the same thing as professional certification? No. It is very common for educational programs, conferences and seminars to provide attendees with a certificate of attendance or completion. Such certificates identify the title and dates of the course(s) taken and the sponsoring organizations.

What about certification in the RIM field? In the records and information management profession the primary certification is the Certified Records Manager (CRM). The CRM is designed for experienced professionals with management-level responsibilities. ARMA International has contracted with the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM) to be its certifying body.

The only specialty certification to date is that of nuclear information records management, which ICRM administers on behalf of the Nuclear Information Records Management Association (NIRMA). Candidates for this specialization first take the core CRM exam. Upon successful completion of an additional exam portion, the candidate receives the CRM/NS (nuclear specialist) designation.

Additional details about RIM certification, along with a list of study materials, are available at the ICRM Web site: For a list of available study materials from ARMA International, click here.

What are the benefits of certification? Individuals who pursue professional certification can expect to experience a number of benefits as a result of their efforts. CRMs and CRM candidates cite the following as reasons for pursuing certification:
    *Additional knowledge gained through the certification process
    *Tangible documentation of their knowledge and experience
    *Enhanced professionalism and personal growth
    *Increased self-confidence in solving RIM problems
    *Potential for increased job responsibility with commensurate salary benefits.