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New certification coming for medical meeting planners

I got all kinds of excited back when then-PMPN (now Plannernet) took a baby step toward developing a certification that covered what those who plan medical meetings specifically need to know for its planner network a few years ago. Then along came IMMPA (the International Medical Meeting Professionals Association), which picked up where PMPN left off (with that company's blessings) and started working its own certification program that would measure medical meeting planners‘ knowledge about the specific regulatory issues involved in these types of meetings.

At some point, IMMPA reached out to the Convention Industry Council, an umbrella group of meetings industry organizations and the administrator of the Certified Meetings Professional, or CMP, designation, which covers the body of knowledge needed to conquor meeting planning logistics. Then yesterday CIC announced that it would be the latest keeper of the flame, developing a subspecialty certification for current CMP holders who produce events for healthcare professionals that it says it hopes to launch by next summer.

I still think this is a good idea, though I hesitate to get too excited after having gotten giddy over the announcements and then seeing how hard it seems to be to make it happen. But I think that we have the right players lined up now. CIC, with IMMPA's help, should be able to pull it off.

Do we need it? Even though we do have the Certified CME Professional (CCMEP) designation, that's designed for CME providers, not necessarily the meeting planners who are arranging the meeting space, hotel blocks, food and beverage, and all the other things that happen behind the scenes to make a medical meeting happen. Do the meeting planners also need to know about the PhRMA and Advamed codes, the Sunshine Act, the various state rules and regs, not to mention those of ACCME and other accreditors? I would say yes, yes they do.

What do you think? Is this an important new step in making meetings more compliant, or just another opportunity to string some more credentials behind your name? Do we need a medical meeting pro designation?


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