Inside the CompTIA CDIA+ certification

When CompTIA launched the CDIA+ certification in the early 2000s, it stood for Certified Document Imaging ArchiTech, a nice play on words that emphasized the mix of technical and management skills covered by the CDIA+ program. Today, "ArchiTech" has been replaced by the simpler and less buzzy "Architect," but the recently revised CDIA+ certification is still more than just an imaging technology designation.

The CDIA+ is a vendor-neutral certification aimed at electronic document management (EDM) professionals who are imaging technology gurus, but who also have knowledge and skills from the following disciplines:

  • Enterprise Content Management
  • Project Management
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Business Sustainability
  • Storage Solutions
Documents in a file room

EDM took on a new importance in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. Businesses in the devastated area lost hundreds of thousands of records, customer files and other business-critical documents. Many of these records existed only as hard-copy pages in filing cabinets. In some cases, the records had been scanned into electronic format, but there were no off-site backups of these digital files.

After Sept. 11, more organizations began implementing EDM solutions which were tied into their existing disaster recovery plans and business continuity strategies. This created a business requirement for a stronger project management element within EDM activities, as well as a technology requirement to leverage new or existing off-site storage solutions.

Additionally, there are industries which have strict regulatory and compliance requirements when it comes to the creation and storage of electronic records. The health care industry and law enforcement agencies are just two examples of such organizations. For these groups, EDM solutions must meet stringent design specifications, and hold up to regularly scheduled audits.

All of these developments have resulted in the CDIA+ becoming a highly-relevant industry certification for anyone who wants to design, implement, and maintain EDM solutions.

Earning the CDIA+

To earn the CDIA+, candidates must pass the CDIA+ certification exam (exam number: CD0-001). This exam can be booked through Pearson Vue testing centers worldwide, and is currently available in English and Japanese formats. The CDIA+ exam consists of 100 questions, and candidates have 90 minutes to complete the exam. The passing score for the CDIA+ exam is 700, based on a scale of 100-900.

Here are the knowledge domains for the CDIA+ exam, with an approximate percentage of how much exam content is devoted to each domain:

  • Enterprise Content Management (20 percent)
  • Capture (23 percent)
  • Storage and Networking (13 percent)
  • Security and Compliance (16 percent)
  • Analysis, Design, and Implementation (28 percent)

Note the heavy weighting given to the Analysis, Design, and Implementation exam domain. This is where exam content devoted to project management, business requirements, and implementation issues like change management and end-user training will be found.

A full outline of the CDIA+ exam objectives can be downloaded in PDF format from the CompTIA CDIA+ certification webpage.

As reported in a recent edition of the GoCertify Certification Watch newsletter, document imaging company Ricoh has authored a CDIA+ study guide, which CompTIA recently licensed the content from, and is now offering for purchase as an ebook via Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, Nook, and Kobo. This is the first instance of CompTIA publishing a study guide for one of its own certifications.


While the utopia of the "paperless office" is less of a pipe dream today than it was in the previous decade, the hard truth is that there are currently still plenty of filing cabinets stuffed with thousands of pages of hard copy records in many corporations and government agencies. A lot of these offices are only now starting to capture these records electronically, meaning there are employment opportunities for workers trained in EDM solutions.

The CDIA+ certification from CompTIA is a well-recognized industry designation for EDM specialists who are looking to add value to their current employment situation, or are looking to break into the field.


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About the Author
Aaron Axline is a freelance technology writer based in Canada.

Aaron Axline is a technology journalist and copywriter based in Edmonton, Canada. He can be found on LinkedIn, and anywhere fine coffee is served.