The Certified Meeting Professional Designation Matures and Changes with The Times

The CMP Designation Embraces International Standards

As the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program [3] celebrates its 25th year, changes are being made that will make this credential, which more than 14,000 people have earned over the years, even more global in its reach. This is a natural progression for a program that has continually evolved to reflect changes in the hospitality industry.

As we now operate in a global context, it's not surprising that the CMP program is being revised to embrace an even wider constituency. During the recent meeting in Mexico of the CMP Conclave, which meets annually to discuss and effect changes to the program's body of knowledge requirements, measures were approved to support the globalization of the certification. New CMP international standards will take effect in 2012. (For an in-depth look at these changes, turn to page 20.)

As Martie Sparks, chairwoman for the CMP program, notes: “The process of making the CMP globally applicable has been under way for some time. The first major change was implemented last year with the introduction of the new CMP application. The new application places the emphasis on industry experience and education. The next step was to conduct an international analysis of the skills and competencies required of today's meeting professionals. That has been completed and is embodied in the new CMP International Standards.”

Karen Kotowski, CEO of the Convention Industry Council (the industry “umbrella” association that manages and administers the CMP program), explains further: “Adoption of the CMP International Standards is part of a large-scale project. Next steps will include development of additional exam questions to address any new competencies in the standard, and taking a look at study materials to see if more materials need to be developed. The CMP Board has initiated the process to move to computer-based testing in the second quarter of 2012.”

I received the CMP designation in 1986 and began serving on the CMP Board in 1992. (Indeed, the Religious Conference Management Association, led by RCMA's executive director and CEO Dr. DeWayne Woodring, was one of the original founders of the CMP program.) Systematic, significant changes have occurred during my tenure on the board, and I'm comfortable with those changes. They have strengthened the CMP credential, while at the same time, the core components of the program, so critical to its success, have remained the same over the years.

That's change that works!