AIIM–Poor Quality

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Hi guys, Am I the only one who has noticed that while AIIM is quite good at telling everyone else what to do, they’re not so good at following their own guidance?

Here’s what I mean:

– For an information and image management standardisation body, the quality of training videos, supporting courseware, and narration is shocking in my experience. In the information governance training for example, the narrator in the videos cannot seem to get tone and inflection right, which makes following the videos really difficult. When one resorts to the course material, it’s just a dump of what the narrator read. Worse still, the notion of Bloom’s taxonomy and how course objectives should be set and addressed seems completely absent. Then there’s the small stuff, incorrect use of English; in Unit 9 of the information governance course, the word ‘disposition’ is used to mean ‘disposal’. Seriously? What about quality control? Compare to Cisco or Microsoft or Harvard ManageMentor or Coursera or EdX. The AIIM training I have accessed doesn’t even fit the base criteria to legitimately be called training material by any formal definition I have seen in my opinion. As a point of reference, I served as Director of Learning for a global business.

– The rules for posting to this forum, which flash up when one first connects, indicate that we are responsible for securing our personal info. Then, the first post I go to make has a default signature containing my name and contact details. When I connect to my profile to disable the signature, I discover that my personal address is displayed. Look in the address bar, does anyone see HTTPS? What about AIIM’s responsibility to secure what they store?

– I recently discovered an issue in the training course assessment module whereby all respondents to the course assessment were allowed to see all answers from all other respondents. In both courses I attended, the course assessment solicited the personal information of third parties and when I reviewed the answer from other respondents, the personally identifying information solicited was visible. It took AIIM over a week to fix the issue after much back-and-forth between myself and their senior personnel; most of them CIPs. Moreover, HTTPS on the learning site where such info was available, was not enabled.

I desperately need a credible and reliable standards organisation to which I can refer and to which I can refer my colleagues. In my opinion, AIIM simply doesn’t meet the high standards that–based on the AIIM messaging and mission–AIIM should meet.

Anyone else have similar experiences? And can anyone else suggest a standards body that drinks their own Kool-Aid so to speak?


Yes, you are the only one who has mixed a specific class or set of video classes prepared by the training department with the work done by the Standards group.
The training program is separate from the standards program, so if your issue is with the quality of a specific aspect of industry training you should stick with that, and not condemn the entire industry association. If you truly have the background and experience you claim to have, you would understand not only this, but also, that there are many methods of getting information from industry leaders in the standards program. If you have a gripe about training you should focus your discussion on that particular class, not the accredited standards program (that is different than training), just as marketting, and administration are also different groups. I don’t work for AIIM, but have spent the last 30+ year in the industry.

Your comments about the standards program are so out of line and inaccurate, the best suggestion i can provide is don’t take the class you aren’t happy with and talk to the training director at AIIM directly. IF you actually think the AIIM standards program doesn’t reach extremely high standards for quality and content, you also should understand that AIIM gets audited on a regular basis ensuring everything is done in compliance with ANSI requirements. AIIM has held the secretariat to ISO TC/171 for 20+ years and has been extremely active is setting international standards that have and continue to share our industry.

So Please get your facts rights before you start slamming an organization you clearly and obviously know nothing about and rather want to rant on about your dissatisfaction over a course. Really ? Was the course so bad you felt the need to slam an entire group of people. You really need to look closer at what the standards programs and training programs are all about.

EID Inc.
[City] [State]

Thanks for your thoughts. I have seen a couple of videos in the ECM exam preparation materials which didn’t seem to be sufficiently professional in terms of audio/visual quality for an industry leading organisation. I am alarmed to think the privacy of its members has not been adequately maintained.

I’d like to see AIIM’s response to this thread, because we all want a good quality and safe interaction.
Kind regards

I am sorry to hear that we didn’t meet your expectations. AIIM is a small non-profit association, and we don’t have the same training resources as Cisco and Microsoft. Most of our 30,000 course attendees seems to appreciate the course content, but we still know that we can always improve. My colleagues therefore offered to give your money back for the course.
I also want to use this opportunity to thank you for making us aware of a bug in our new learning management system. This was resolved just after you made us aware of it, and we have also started to make the course evaluation optional, not mandatory.

And regarding your question, – here are some possible resources for you;
Feel free to contact me at askjekkeland@… if want to discuss any of this in more detail.
Kind regards,

Classy response Atle.
Thanks for setting an example of how to refrain from being defensive when people attack our products, tools and applications. As someone who supports cutting edge applications, I know how hard it is to not blast back at people who tell me our apps “suck” when I know how much those apps benefit so many others. The humility in your response is inspiring.

Nationwide Insurance

You were a gentleman as always. No individual or organization can make everyone happy and some people are never happy. I am so glad you responded in the manner that you did. Thank you for your leadership and your friendship.

Ron Bush Consulting, Inc.

There is a high-quality alternative for information governance (IG) training, from our Institute for IG. More students have attended our live online IG training than any other IG education provider.

I am the primary instructor for both IG Basics and IG Advanced Concepts & Best Practices. I authored the course, and the primary course textbook (along with 9 SME contributors), Information Governance: Concepts, Strategies, and Best Practices (Wiley CIO)
Amazon remove preview
Information Governance: Concepts, Strategies, and Best Practices (Wiley CIO)

View this on Amazon >
The IG textbook is also being used to teach IG at major universities worldwide from the University of Oxford in England to U of Michigan in the Midwest to San Jose State University in Silicon Valley.

We have recorded, on demand sessions for self-paced learning, but also I teach the IG classes live, online, delivered in HD video to your desktop. These are interactive sessions so you may ask questions anytime (if your mic is working, otherwise, we use Q&A/chat). Students take short quizzes to help them retain the information and track their progress. The first day of training is only $99. Check out the details here: Institute For Information Governance – Online

I have summarized my credentials – including having written and published 4 books on IG since 2008, and currently being the most active blogger on IG topics here: Your Information Governance Training Options: Who Authored the Course?

And I have summarized the course content for IG Basics and IG Advanced here in this blog post: Your Information Governance Training Options: Comparing Content

We have a number of testimonials on file but here is one from last week’s IG Advanced class, from Irene Gelyk CRM, IGP, CIP, ermm, of 2plus2 Consulting in Toronto:

I thoroughly enjoyed the Advanced IG online training provided by Mr. Smallwood. He was very knowledgeable and responsive to our questions, and injected some humour and variety into the sessions. He even provided online “road trips” with relevant vendors to give us a break and bring the knowledge gained into the “real world.”
If you are considering sitting for the IGP exam, this course and Mr. Smallwood’s book are an absolute must.

Institute for IG at IMERGE Consulting
[San Diego] [CA]

I haven’t taken AIIM’s IG course, so I can’t comment on its quality. I have, however, taken other AIIM courses and have been very satisfied, and I am proud holder of the CIP designation.
That said, if you want another option, I highly recommend Robert Smallwood’s IG Course. I just took the advanced course last week and enjoyed it. To get the best bang for your dollar, purchase Robert’s most recent book (Information Governance, Concepts, Strategies and Best Practices), and read it cover to cover. Next, select the chapters that are closely related to what your immediate needs are and read them again. And then take the course. I think he is offering the course again in the fall, so you have some time. IG On-Demand
Institute for Information Governance remove preview
IG On-Demand
Presented by Charles Dollar & Lori Ashley SharePoint Governance Model; where to begin the planning process; project charter; roles and responsibilities; training plan; communications plan, and more. Defining cloud computing; cloud deployment models; benefits of the Cloud; security threats with the Cloud, and how to counter them; managing documents and records in the Cloud. View this on Institute for Information Governance >

One other piece of advice, from one professional to another, watch what you say online, because once you’ve clicked submit or send, taking all that negativity back is hard to do.
If you are not happy with some of the material and/or have some suggestions to improve the quality of a program, use that as an opportunity to network with like-minded peers and not as an opportunity to vent frustration. It’s not worth it.

Mark Grysiuk Records and Information Management Consulting

Could AIIM’s course materials be improved? Of course they could! However, as was stated, AIIM is a non-profit so they are naturally more limited than a company like Cisco that has egregious profit margins on almost everything they sell.

That said, I would personally be supportive of optional higher levels of membership and then tiering the offerings. That way, if you want the highest quality, deepest-dive type material – whether printed, video or other – you would have the opportunity to choose to pay more to get to that.


Here are some points I’d add to this discussion:
1) Criticism should be taken as an opportunity rather than a problem.
2) The fact that people take the time to provide it means they care.
3) Perfection is not the aim; continuous improvement should be.
4) Benchmarking, best practices, and comparison to other organizations is not only good but also essential (to survival).
5) AIIM is a membership organization.
6) To the degree that we the members of AIIM are dissatisfied with its processes and outputs, it is incumbent upon us to improve them.
7) To the degree that desired improvements may involve more than a small amount of time, effort and/or resources, a more or less formal performance plan should be compiled by those who care about making them.
8) Such a plan should identify stakeholders of both the performer and beneficiary type as well as the performance indicators by which progress will be measured.
9) AIIM should render such plans in open, standard, machine-readable StratML Part 2, Performance Plan/Report, format (ANSI/AIIM 22:2009).
10) Pierre’s basic point is well-taken: We should strive to do as we say others should do.
11) AIIM is in the process of revising policies and procedures for its Standards Program.
12) Those who care about those policies and procedures should engage themselves in helping to improve them.
13) As a matter of general principle, it seems to me there are far too many policies and procedures in narrative form … and far too few actual performance plans in machine-readable format.
14) I have volunteered to render AIIM’s revised standards policies and procedures in ANSI/AIIM 22:2009 format.
15) I have drafted a PPT tutorial on StratML Part 1, Strategic Plans (ISO 17469-1), to be narrated by William Glascoe III.
16) When Betsy Fanning has had a chance to upload it to AIIM’s training site, I will welcome any constructive criticism on how it might be improved.
17) I will be particularly pleased to hear from anyone who may care enough to help do so.
18) One way or another, sooner or later, the results will always speak for themselves.
19) If they fail to say what we’d like, we may have no one to blame but ourselves.

AIIM StratML Committee

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