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New CMP International Standards to Take Effect in 2012

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Alexandria, VA - June 7, 2011 - The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Board of Directors today announced approval of a revised CMP Blueprint, now to be known as the CMP International Standards. The new CMP International Standards, also sometimes known as a "body of knowledge," define and categorize a comprehensive summary of the competencies, skills and abilities a certificant must possess to be successful in his or her field. These competencies are identified through a job analysis process, and this resulting document guides the development of the examination.

"Our standard practice is to update the blueprint every five years. The last blueprint was revised in 2007, so this update is right on schedule," stated Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, chief executive officer of the Convention Industry Council (CIC), the industry body which administers the program and awards the CMP certification.

"The difference in this regular update was that we partnered with the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC), which had recently completed a job analysis for their standard, "Event Management - International Competency Standard." Our analysis included their standard, the CMP Blueprint, as well as MPI's Meetings and Business Events Competency Standard, which is also aligned with CTHRC's competency standards. To complete this process we conducted an additional job analysis to validate the resulting body of knowledge and ensure alignment with the CMP. The resulting CMP International Standards are much more detailed than the previous blueprint, so it was really a matter of re-weighting the topics and adding updates that have occurred in the industry over the five years since the previous analysis. Candidates will not see sweeping changes."

Alignment with the CTHRC's competency standard, which has been adopted by several countries, is an important strategy for the CMP program moving forward, as other countries look to the CMP certification as a means to qualify their workforce. "The process of making the CMP globally applicable has been under way for some time," stated Martie Sparks, CMP, chair of the CMP Board. "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. Now that we have the new standards there is additional behind-the-scenes work that needs to take place before they goes into effect. Those candidates planning to take the exam in 2011 and through the January 2012 exam will prepare and test against the outgoing CMP Blueprint."

 "Adoption of the CMP International Standards is part of a large-scale project," stated Kotowski. "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 additional materials need to be developed. Additionally, the CMP Board has initiated the process to move to computer-based testing in the second quarter of 2012. This will truly open up the CMP certification to the world with a global testing platform. With paper and pencil-based testing, we are able to offer only 40-50 testing sites, primarily on two specific days, per calendar year. Our testing partner has access to more than 10,000 testing facilities in 166 countries, and with this change, we will be able to offer testing windows that are five to seven days long, several times a year. Access to the exam and convenience for candidates will multiply exponentially."

Even as the new CMP International Standards advance, work continues on globalizing the existing examination. A project is under way to evaluate the entire CMP exam item bank. The current questions are being reviewed for applicability and language comprehension at a global level. These improvements to the examination will take effect with the July 2011 exam, resulting in a heightened accessibility and relevance to candidates outside the United States and Canada.

The CMP globalization project is supported in part through a grant from the MPI Foundation.

For more information on these future changes to the CMP program, please see the CMP International Standards FAQs on the CIC website.

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