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Letter from the CMP Governance Commission Chair

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Certification program. Certificate program. Whatís the difference? As a holder of the CMP designation, you know that you had to take an exam that assessed your knowledge, skills, and competencies you acquired over the years. This knowledge is based on the body of knowledge called the CMP International Standards. You also know that you didnít simply attend a training class or read a manual to earn your CMP designation. Therein lies the difference in the two programs.

We see a lot of certificate programs in the marketplace and to help you determine what the right educational product is for you and your staff, I wanted to take a moment to dive deeper into the underpinnings of the differences between certificate programs vs. certification programs.

A professional certification program Ė like the CMP Ė is experienced-based, meaning you must have the hands-on knowledge to be successful in passing the exam. Certification programs always have a recertification requirement that shows that once youíve earned the designation, you have pledged to remain current in the field by participating in continuing education activities. Very few certificate programs require any continual learning components.

When you attend a certificate program you often receive a "certificate of completion." This document means you completed the learning experience. Certificate programs often do not have an assessment tied to the training or learning experience to prove that you have learned what was being taught.

There are some certificate programs that do have an assessment component but understand that the assessment is to prove what you have been taught and learned during that training. An assessment-based certificate programís goal is to help the participantís acquire specific knowledge. These certificates are tied to a specific learning outcomes, where the assessment at the end of the course says you have learned what the instructor was teaching. So in short, you are tested on the outcome of that training. Regardless of the type of certificate program you attend, know that it was not a certification.

There are many well-respected certificate programs in the meetings industry. And these programs are often attended by those applying for or recertifying their CMP. In fact, many of these programs have been pre-approved by CIC for CMP credit through the CICís Preferred Provider Program.

The goal of the CMP Governance Commission is to ensure that the CMP programís policies follow best practices for a certification program. We do this by aligning our policies with the standards set by the National Commission for Certifying Agenciesí Standards for Accreditation of Certification Programs, published by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). We use these standards to create the body of knowledge for the CMP program, to set the eligibility requirements, to ensure the exam is psychometrically sound and that the recertification requirements measure or enhance the continued competence of those who hold the CMP designation.

When you wear the CMP after your name, you can be confident that you have completed a best-in-class certification program that is built on a robust program and exam, and when your employers and peers see those letters after your name, they know youíve pledged to remain current in the field by recertifying. Your CMP certification will stand the test of time and we pledge to make sure it remains best-in-class certification. You deserve it. You make our industry stronger.




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The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) is a
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