There’s been a lot of talk about MPI’s changes to the Certificate in Meeting Management program proposed late last year. Namely, designees were upset about the "dilution of the title" since MPI decided to make it a collaborative recognition for both meeting and travel professionals, altering the instructional content and reducing the time commitment to 3.5 days of onsite education (from 7) and the experiential requirement to 5 years (from 10).
One of the biggest adversaries was Ann Rebentisch of Los Angeles-based Handshake Events, who also runs a Linked-In group for CMM professionals. After a list of signatures gathered from an online petition was submitted to MPI President and CEO Paul Van Deventer, he responded earlier this month, notifying members that their suggestions were well considered and would be used to further revise the program to better meet the needs of CMM designees.
Here’s his letter in full:
April 4, 2014
"Dear MPI Community,
The bedrock of MPI is our members and chapters, so when you raised concerns with planned updates to the CMM Program, we said that we would listen to your input and if your suggestions result in a stronger program, we would make appropriate adjustments. Over the past six weeks we have received a great deal of constructive feedback through extensive community outreach.
After aggregating, analyzing and synthesizing your feedback, we found a number of consistent recommendations, which if implemented, would strengthen the CMM Program going forward. After reviewing the recommended changes with our partner, GBTA, together we have agreed to revise the CMM Program as follows:
The program will retain the Certificate in Meeting Management name and may also be referenced by the CMM acronym.
The criteria for participation in the CMM Program have been revised as follows to better align with the Meeting and Business Event Competency Standards (MBECS). Each candidate will be evaluated through a comprehensive application process with documented panel review against the following criteria.
· Minimum of 7-10 years of professional experience in the meeting and event or business travel industry
· Minimum of 3-5 years of management experience with two years of profit and loss responsibility
· Personal statement and letter of recommendation from professional colleague or supervisor
Each future CMM Program participant will be required to develop a business case in which they must apply the course materials learned. The business case should reflect real situations, address current challenges that need to be resolved and be actionable - meaning the participant must have responsibility and influence over the challenges’ outcome. Each participant’s business case will be evaluated and scored against a pre-established standard of performance or rubric by CMM Program faculty.
Professionals that achieved the Certificate in Meeting Management from MPI prior to 2014 will retain the CMM designation, which is now supported by both MPI and GBTA. GBTA will communicate directly to individuals that achieved the comparable GBTA certificate regarding parameters for using the CMM designation.
In addition, MPI will reissue new certificates to existing CMM designees with the correct Certificate in Meeting Management branding. More details will be shared in the near future about how and when the new certificates will be provided.
On behalf of MPI and GBTA, thank you for your interest in the CMM Program. We recognize that it is your contributions, energy and support that are the foundation of MPI and, as such, we will always listen to your input and value your voice.
Again, thank you for your interest in this prestigious program, your passion for this industry and your support of MPI. We appreciate the feedback you have shared and believe these changes will strengthen the CMM Program going forward."
This is certainly good news for the many individuals who have worked diligently at attaining this certification and, together, gives a great standard of professionalism for our industry.
Editor, Illinois Meetings + Events magazine