About the Institute

The Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM) is an international certifying organization of and for professional records and information managers. The ICRM was incorporated in 1975 to meet the requirement to have a standard by which persons involved in records and information management could be measured, accredited and recognized according to criteria of experience and capability established by their peers.

The ICRM is an independent non-profit organization administered by a Board of Regents (the Board) in accordance with the Constitution and By-laws of the Institute.


The primary objective of the ICRM is to develop and administer the program for professional certification of records managers, including certification examinations and a certification maintenance program. The ICRM serves as the official certifying body for both ARMA International and the Nuclear Information and Records Management Association (NIRMA).


Certified Records Managers (CRMs) are professional records and information managers from a growing number of countries including the United States, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Japan. Each individual is experienced in active and inactive records systems, and related disciplines such as archives, computerization, micrographics, and optical disk technology. CRMs receive the CRM designation by meeting both educational and work experience certification requirements established by the ICRM and by passing the required examinations.

Responsibilities of Certification

To remain a CRM in good standing and thereby be authorized to use the personal designation of "CRM", a person must conform to requirements set by the Board. This includes fulfilling the requirements of the ICRM Certification Maintenance Program as outlined below. CRMs are expected to conform to the ICRM Code of Ethics (see Code of Ethics in Menu) and participate in activities to improve the records management profession. The Board may revoke the Certification of any CRM it determines is not in good standing.

Benefits of Certification

Research has shown that CRMs and CRM candidates believe that attaining certification status results in enhanced professionalism and personal growth. The records and information management knowledge gained through the certification process and the improved attitude of self-esteem and confidence can result in CRMs obtaining increased job responsibility with commensurate salary benefits.

CRMs receive a Newsletter and access to the ICRM web site. Each CRM is also entitled to attend the ICRM Business Meeting and the ICRM reception held at the Annual ARMA International Conference. Individuals who have qualified as examination candidates, but who have not yet completed the process also receive the Newsletter and may attend both the Annual Meeting and Reception. The ICRM is a volunteer organization. CRMs assist in the development of professionalism in records and information management and the promotion of the value of certification for records managers. They share their experience and knowledge by participating in ICRM committees and through writing, teaching, and speaking.

The annual membership fee is currently $200.00 (US) for regular members and $15.00 (US) for retired members.

The Certification Process

Attaining the CRM designation is based on educational background, work experience and the passing of a six part examination.

The six part examination is divided into:

  • Part 1 Management Principles and the Records Management Program
  • Part 2 Records Creation and Use
  • Part 3 Records Systems, Storage and Retrieval
  • Part 4 Records Appraisal, Retention, Protection and Disposition
  • Part 5 Technology, Equipment & Supplies
  • Part 6 Case Studies

Parts 1 to 5 each consist of 100 multiple choice questions. Part 6 consists of case studies which require essay responses.

Applying for the Examination

Persons wishing to become a CRM must complete and submit an application form (ICRM Form 1) with supporting documentation indicating acceptable work experience and education. These credentials are reviewed and evaluated by the ICRM�s Certification Standards Committee to determine if the certification requirements have been met.

Application Fees

Prospective candidates pay a non-refundable fee for processing their original application and evaluating credentials. Applicants who fail to meet mandatory qualifications are required to resubmit a new application form (including a new processing fee) if they request reconsideration more than one year after the date of the original application. Please go to www.icrm.org for the application (ICRM Form #01) and the fee amount.

An applicant must be accepted as a Candidate before applying for examinations. A Candidate must pass Parts 1-5 before applying to take Part 6. Examinations are given by Pearson VUE, an independent testing service. A fee per examination is charged for each of Parts 1 through 6. Application to take any part of the exam is done through the ICRM member database with a link to the Pearson VUE site to register and pay fees. These fees are only refundable if an applicant cancels his/her registration 24 hours prior to their scheduled exam. Candidates must notify the Regent ? Exam Administration and also contact Pearson VUE directly.

Application and fees must be submitted to Pearson VUE, the testing service, by the deadline established for each examination. All payments must be in United States currency. Please go to www.icrm.org for a listing of the current examination fees.

Professional Work Experience

The ICRM has determined that a professional records and information manager must have acceptable work experience in three or more of the following categories:

  • Management of a Records Management Program
  • Records Creation and Use
  • Active Records Systems
  • Inactive Records Systems
  • Records Appraisal, Retention and Disposition
  • Records Protection
  • Records and Information Management Technology
  • Records Management Education, Training and Awareness

Acceptable work experience may have been acquired if a person has: conducted studies and surveys or developed, designed, and implemented records management systems; has direct managerial or operational responsibility for programs; or has taught in an accredited college/university on a full time basis courses in records management.


The optimum combination of experience and education requirements are a masters degree from an accredited college and two years of full time or equivalent professional experience in records management.

The Certification Standards Committee of the Board may, at its discretion, accept two years of additional experience as a substitute for one year of education.


Applicants may not sit for the examination until their credentials (the application form with supporting documentation) have been approved by the Certification Standards Committee. At the discretion of the Committee, applicants who, in the judgement of that Committee, do not furnish adequate written documentation of acceptable education and experience may be offered the opportunity to provide additional supporting material. If acceptable documentation is still not received by the requested date, their files will be closed. They may apply again (as a "Resubmission") at such time as they can provide the proper documentation.

All applicants will be contacted within two months of their initial application and informed of their status, i.e. approved, requesting additional information or denied.

Taking the Examination

The first five examination parts may be taken in any sequence the candidate desires or a candidate may sit for Parts 1 to 5 of the examination at one time. Part 6 may be taken only after the candidate has passed the first five parts. Candidates may retake any part of the examination as often as necessary, within a five year period.

Examinees are allowed 80 minutes for each part when taking parts 1 to 5 of the examination. Part 6 (Case Studies) has a four hour time period, exclusive of time needed for administrative purposes.


The passing score for each part of the examination is 70%.

Completion Time Required

All parts of the examination must be passed within a period of five consecutive years. If an applicant fails to do so, the part(s) taken and passed initially must be repeated so that the passing of all parts occurs within a five-consecutive-year period. This period will be five years from the date that that the Applicant is approved as a Candidate.