by Jonathan Vatner | April 01, 2004

CIC President Mary Power“The credibility of
the CMP program
is huge to us,”
says CIC president
Mary Power.

More than 9,000 planners have been designated certified meeting professionals since the McLean, Va.-based Convention Industry Council introduced the title in 1985. Over the past 20 years, however, the meetings industry has changed dramatically, and the CMP exam has kept pace by evolving both in content and in geographic reach. What follows are the latest developments affecting attainment of the industry’s premier credential.

Analyzing the planning process
Every 10 years, the CMP board holds an extensive and thorough job analysis, which reconsiders and updates the core competencies and knowledge that meeting professionals should have. The last analysis, completed in the mid-’90s, highlighted 27 areas; the report now in the works likely will put fresh emphasis on concerns such as security and international meetings.
    The new job analysis finishes this year, though it won’t effect changes in the test until late 2005 or early 2006. First, the new core body of knowledge must be reviewed and translated into questions, which then must be methodically tested with real users, with the responses studied by two psychometricians. Only then will the questions be ready for planners’ eyes.
    If, after all these checks to ensure fairness, a planner still feels a question is unfair, she may contest it immediately after the exam. The test committee will examine the question one additional time and throw it out if the complaint is valid. “We take the feedback very seriously,” says CIC president Mary Power.