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Knowledge Management (KM) is a management discipline that aims to sustainably improve the effectiveness of organisations and social systems through deliberate and planned systems interventions.

It is a multidisciplinary management science, drawing from diverse fields including information theory, data sciences, librarianship, communications, marketing, psychology, biology, sociology, and management research.

Many KM curriculums for both tertiary qualifications and private certifications only cover a small subset of the areas relevant to effective practice of knowledge management in organisations.

The RealKM Open KM Syllabus is an initiative which attempts to systematically describe the themes and topics required for a fully-rounded education in knowledge management theory and practice.

The goal is to provide a reference standard which can be used to:

  • compare the content of educational KM programs
  • create a common language for KM specialisations
  • assist KM practitioners to identify opportunities for personal improvement


If you have any questions or suggestions for improvement of the syllabus, please contact Stephen Bounds on

Domains and Themes

KM role descriptors

Knowledge Management role descriptions

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