Knowledge Management Institute

KM Competencies/Standards

A Word About Certification and Standards

We are occasionally asked about our certifications, and how KM Institute's credentials compare to other certification bodies -- certainly a fair question, and one we are happy to address. 
Let's break it down a bit...

How can someone be "Certified in KM" if there are so many areas of KM, and differing philosophies and approaches?

Over the years, this question has come up in various discussion forums and we have a pretty simple answer for it: We teach the content necessary to earn the KM Institute Certified Knowledge Manager (CKM) designation (and other Certification programs).  We do not claim to be the only Certification program, nor the only training a Knowledge Manager might need if he or she needs various perspectives.  We simply deliver the KM Institute methodology; a proven approach of KM best practices using methods and principles backed by years of development and practical application.  

Some suggest you can't "certify" a practice that is not universally applied or accepted by an independent body.

KM is still a young discipline, and to date there has not emerged an independent accreditation body.  The CKM designation (for example) is not like the PMP (for Project Management), which has a unique set of methods and teachings understood and agreed to by global PM, and is the only official designation. 

The CKM is specific to the KM Institute curriculum.  The fact that the "CKM" title has emerged as the most recognized worldwide, is a testament to the depth and breadth of the program, but it is not necessarily the only training a Knowledge Manager might need.  In fact, we recommend our students seek a variety of resources for their learning and professional growth in KM. 

KM Competency

A movement is afoot to create standards in KM education and certification, spearheaded by several esteemed academics from a number of leading Universities where KM is taught at the Master's and Doctoral levels.  These academics have recently joined forces with "AIIM" - the Association of Information and Image Management, a global, non-profit organization that provides independent research, education and certification programs to information professionals, to create standards for the KM profession. 

To quote from AIIM's "Call for Participation in Knowledge Management Standards" document:

"AIIM’s standards development and credentialing infrastructure will support development of three standards, including:

  • Standards and credentialing of competencies for individuals as knowledge management professionals, including different levels of professional development, variety of areas of specialization; 

  • Standards and certification of organizations as knowledge organizations, with reference to different levels of maturity and various efforts of specializations; 

  • Standards and credentialing of education and training programs, with reference to different levels of intensity and coverage."

KM Institute is rapidly mapping its own curriculum to be in sync with the emerging standards outlined by AIIM.  We anticipate that, when these standards are fully developed and recognized, KMI will be aligned and quickly achieve accreditation by this board.

We invite your questions or comments on this topic.  Email:

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