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HSLIC Now Has a Certified Records Analyst

by Jonathan Pringle on 2022-04-28T09:33:00-06:00 | 0 Comments

Portrait of Jonathan Pringle

Jonathan Pringle, MAS, DAS, CRA

HSLIC Scholarly Communications and Digital Librarian

Thanks to funding through the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) Region 4 and its Y1 Professional Development Award, I was awarded $1109 to support formal training in records management through the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM). Between February and April, I attended a three-day (4 hours per day) series of focused workshops and sat for three comprehensive exams. Funding also supported the purchase of several textbooks in records management, which were critical study tools for the tests.

What is Records Management?

Records management is a specialized business discipline concerned with the systematic analysis and control of recorded information. It is closely connected to the field of archives, with the most notable distinction being that records managers work with active and semi-active records, while archivists work exclusively with non-active records. Think of how recorded information moves through an organization, business, or government: individuals create records every day; these records document transactions that are often critical to a specific unit or department. They may have legal requirements for retention or their retention is important for the continuance of business operations. Records managers assist organizations with active and semi-active records, both physical and electronic, from the moment of creation through to their non-active status. Once this status is reached (frequently referred to as having met a retention period), records managers either prepare non-active records for destruction or transfer them to an archives for permanent preservation.

Image demonstrating the lifecycle of records from active to non-active

FEA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

What is a Certified Records Analyst/Manager?

The ICRM certifies candidates once they successfully pass a rigorous six-part examination, each focusing on specific core areas within the records management profession:

  1. Management Principles and the Records and Information Management (RIM) Program
  2. Records and Information Creation and Use
  3. Record Storage, Retrieval, Conversion, and Facilities
  4. Records Identification, Retention, Protection and Disposition
  5. Technology
  6. Sample Business Cases (2 written proposals to hypothetical case studies)

Upon acceptance to sit for the CRM, candidates have five years to complete all of the exams connected to these core areas. The highlighted sections are those that I completed (and successfully passed!) after having taken the associated exams. Each exam is 100 multiple-choice questions; candidates have 85 minutes to complete each proctored exam. The ICRM has recently introduced the Certified Records Analyst (CRA) designation to those candidates who successfully complete the above-highlighted parts; this is an interim designation that certifies candidates to serve in a records management role, but under the supervision of a CRM. Having successfully passed these exams, I am now a Certified Records Analyst.

FACTS: ICRM has 1309 total CRMs and CRAs in the United States; New Mexico has 6 (now 7!) active CRMs and CRAs who work in myriad organizations state-wide.

How Does this Support our Institution?

As a professional archivist (since 2008), I am now trained to support the entire lifecycle of records – from creation to permanent preservation – and can better advocate for the responsible flow of information at our institution.

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