CRA and CRM Certifications


CRA and CRM Certifications

Students enrolled in the Master of Archives and Records Administration degree program can apply completed course work toward examination credit for either the Certified Records Analyst or the Certified Records Manager designations. Our school’s unique partnership with the Institute of Certified Records Managers offers MARA students a direct path to certification.

The purpose of the partnership agreement is to build a bridge between records and information management education provided by the MARA program in order to fast track graduates for ICRM certification. 

The ICRM currently offers two certifications that are aligned with the student learning outcomes and core competencies of the MARA program. 

  • Certified Records Analyst: Launched in September 2016, the Certified Records Analyst (CRA) is the most recent certification offered by ICRM. Attaining the CRA allows records professionals to demonstrate that they are knowledgeable and experienced in active and inactive records systems, as well as in electronic records and information, regulatory compliance-related requirements, and the lifecycle management of records and information. Using the framework of examinations developed for the CRM, a successful CRA candidate will pass Parts 2-4 of the exam, hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and demonstrate one year of professional RIM experience. Years of experience may be substitute the formal education requirement.
  • Certified Records Manager: Attaining the CRM requires candidates to pass Parts 1-6 of the exam, hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and demonstrate one year of professional RIM experience. CRM candidates may be asked to demonstrate more substantial management responsibilities than CRA candidates. The ICRM believes that the RIM knowledge gained through the certification examination preparation process, and elevation of confidence that is achieved as a result of mastering related competencies, is directly related to the CRM’s ability to garner higher-level RIM positions with commensurate salaries. 

The parts of the exam are as follows (more detail is available on the ICRM website):

  • Part 1 – Management Principles and the Records and Information (RIM) Program
  • Part 2 – Records and Information: Creation and Use
  • Part 3 – Records Systems, Storage and Retrieval
  • Part 4 – Records Appraisal, Retention, Protection and Disposition
  • Part 5 – Technology
  • Part 6 – Business Case (essay question)

SJSU iSchool and ICRM Partnership

The partnership between our school and ICRM is based on the pre-approval of MARA courses as credit toward the ICRM examination. Under the partnership agreement, MARA courses will be reviewed by ICRM every four years, coinciding with the existing internal four-year review cycle for the MARA program. During this period, MARA students may apply their course work as follows:

  • MARA students who already hold the designation of CRA or CRM may use those courses pre-approved by the ICRM toward maintenance credit;
  • MARA students who seek to attain the CRA may use MARA courses as credit toward Parts 2-4 of the exam and submit other relevant documentation with their application;
  • MARA students who seek to attain the CRM may use MARA courses as credit toward Parts 1-5, must sit for Part 6, and submit other relevant documentation with their application.


After graduation, SJSU MARA grads who want to attain either the CRA or the CRM request a verification letter from the Program Coordinator ( to upload with their application to the ICRM:  Must select the specific partnership application for SJSU in the list of applications.

Once the ICRM admin reviews the verification letter and confirms the application has met the partnership requirements, they will grant a credit for Parts 1-5 of the ICRM exam.

At that point, the Graduate can accept the CRA credential (since they will have a credit for parts 1-5), start paying dues and become a member of the Institute and will have an unlimited amount of time to past Part 6 to become a CRM.

OR the applicant  can apply to get the credit and take Part 6, skipping getting their CRA first. Upon passing the Part 6 exam, the graduate would then accept the CRM credential and start paying dues.

If a Graduate chooses to apply and they don’t accept the CRA right away, they will have credit for Parts 1-5 but until the Graduate takes and passes Part 6, they will not be a member or hold a credential. The application will be in a holding pattern.  Or if the graduate accepts the CRA, their membership will be in a holding pattern until they pay their first year of dues.

About the ICRM

The Institute of Certified Records Managers 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 primary mission of the ICRM is to develop and administer the professional certification of Records and Information Managers including the relevant examinations and certification maintenance program. The ICRM serves as the certifying body for records and information management professionals and the Nuclear Information and Records Management Association.