AIIM Open Forum

We're Looking for a Few Good...Subject Matter Experts for the CIP!

By Jesse Wilkins posted 01-10-2019 15:31

Earlier today we sent out a call for subject matter experts (SMEs) for the 2019 update to the Certified Information Professional (CIP) exam. A couple of potential SMEs indicated that they wanted to participate, but weren't sure they had the time. So here's what I sent to one of them, and wanted to share with other potential SMEs.

The exam development process needs highly qualified SMEs for these four primary tasks:

  1. Develop the exam blueprint
  2. Develop exam questions
  3. Review exam questions
  4. Set the passing or cut score

1. Develop the exam blueprint. We are drafting a job task survey (JTA) now as well as a very rough exam blueprint. We'll be sending out the JTA survey to the CIP community and some broader target audiences as well.

Once we get the survey back, we'll use that to revise the exam blueprint and send that out to the subject matter experts. We'll then schedule a web conference session to review and finalize it. We'll be looking to have the final draft of the blueprint done the first week of February and the final approved blueprint the second week of February.

2. Develop of exam questions for CIP 2019. This begins with a 2-hour web conference, and then item writers will have around 10 days to write 15 questions each. This is the one we need the most number of SMEs for, because SMEs are generally only able to write 15 questions each before they start either repeating or burning out. I tell people that writing a really good, accurate, proper exam question takes about 20-30 min, so the commitment here is likely around 8 hours over a 10-day period. This is late Feb to mid-March.

3. Review others’ exam questions for CIP 2019. Same training, and then wait for items to start coming in, so it's a bit back-loaded. I'd argue that reviewing is less taxing but you have to be very detail-oriented to make sure that the question really is correct, concise, and accurate. Late Feb to mid-March.

All of this leads us to a beta CIP exam that we expect to run from mid-March to mid-April. We need at least 125 people to participate in this, but those should NOT be subject matter experts. Rather, we want people with 3-5 years experience in information management (IM) and with exposure to multiple aspects of IM or multiple IM-related processes. I'll post a more specific invitation for that once we get there.

4. Develop the passing score for CIP 2019, based on the beta exam results. This is a process called modified Angoff scoring. It's a couple of 2-hour web conference sessions where we go over every single question from the beta exam and rate each question based on importance and difficulty. This would most likely be early May.

Once we complete the Angoff scoring, we can let the beta test takers know whether they passed or not, publish the official passing score, and formally launch the exam.

But I'm not a CIP...yet.
You can still help.

  • Once the job task analysis survey is live, I'll be posting it to social media and we have some other non-CIP audiences we'd like to hear from. So please feel free to complete that survey. 
  • We need at least 125 non-CIPs to participate in the beta exam. I don't have details to share yet, but the cost of the beta exam will be significantly lower than the cost of the live exam, and candidates who pass the beta will be CIPs in every respect. The most significant difference with the beta is that you'll probably need to wait 4-6 weeks to get your results back.
  • We may have some specific requirements for SMEs, especially for item writing and reviewing, that are not represented in the CIP community. If you're interested and have the requisite experience and expertise, feel free to submit the form below. I can't promise you we'll need you, but I can promise a response one way or the other. 

Great - where do I sign?
We have a call for participation form live at Fill out the form completely and attach a resume or CV. We also have a link to an NDA at the top. Once we get the form and the NDA, we'll review your status and let you know within the next couple of weeks whether we can use you. Our needs may change over the course of the update, so I will keep every potential SME's information and NDA on file until the exam goes live (and then we'll get rid of it because data protection!).

For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact me directly at

#cip #certification #iim
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