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Subject: Re: Electronic Records Certifications
From: "Jones, Virginia" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 12 Dec 2002 08:59:27 -0500
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The usual disclaimers apply to my response - I am expressing my personal
opinion and NOT the opinion or policy of any Board or Committee I sit on.

>>I'm convinced that the present leadership of the ICRM wants no part of
electronic records<<
This is a bit of a broad statement considering that Part 5 of the CRM exams
is all technology and includes a strong element of questions regarding
electronic records issues.  The profession has advocated for years that the
basic tenets of records management applies to all formats and media - not
just paper or microfilm.  I suggest that, rather than diluting the CRM with
extraneous certificates and certifications, we need to evaluate how best the
CRM testing structure can reflect an expanded body of knowledge.

>>I think there is at least a need for:
> CRA: Certified Records Analyst
> CROM: Certified Records Operations Manager:
> CRM: Certified Records Manager (which already exists)
> SIM: Strategic Information Manager
> SIO: Strategic Information Officer<<

By definition, use, experience and testing, a CRM IS a records analyst and
records operation manager, as well as other records and information related
functions.  This appears to me not to be a list of certifications, but a
list of job titles or positions.  Any one of these five "certifications" are
covered by the CRM.

>> The SIM and the SIO represent the future career paths for the information
management professional. <<
Not in the real world.  As I've said in previous posts, strategic planning
of any kind is required in every field - accounting, asset management,
information management, technology management, real estate management, water
quality and supply management, etc.  The term "strategic information
management" has a recognized meaning in government and in the corporate
world, and that is purchase and application of technology - not management
of information.

>>There are many opportunities for advancement that "records" personnel are
shut out of because in many people's minds "records" will continue to mean
hardcopy paper files.<<
Only if we let it.  Why should we take on redefining another term (strategic
information management) when we are not willing to redefine our own term
(records)?  My organization does not consider "records" to mean only paper
files - I've made sure of it.  My education and training efforts have been
successful in raising awareness of and concern for all records and
information in the organization including electronic records.

>>We as a profession must work to change that perspective or we will always
be  relegated to the basement.<<
I came out of the basement years ago and consistently refuse to go back.  I
know my responsibilities as a Certified Records Manager includes electronic
records and any other issues or new technologies that arise that impacts the
records and information of my organization.  And I continue to stay aware of
issues and technologies and what I must do as a records manager to fulfill
my responsibilities.

Ginny Jones
(Virginia A. Jones, CRM)
Records Manager
Newport News Dept. of Public Utilities
Newport News, VA
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