IMA's Karen Renk
Beginning next year, incentive professionals
will be eligible to obtain a new career certification. At the same
time, the only existing incentive-specific certification, the
Certified Incentive Travel Executive (CITE) will undergo a major
The new designation, Certified Professional of Incentive
Marketing (CPIM), is being launched by the Naperville, Ill.-based
Incentive Marketing Association and is spearheaded by Steve
Maselko, CITE, a member of IMA’s board.
“We’ve reached the point where we can invest people and time
into overseeing certification,” said Karen Renk, executive director
of the five-year-old IMA.
In addition to a section of comprehensive questions, the test
will include a record of contribution to the incentive industry
(five years of professional experience and attendance and/or
presentations at industry meetings) and the development of an
educational seminar or thesis relevant to the incentive field.
Candidates for the CPIM do not have to be members of IMA;
recertification will be required every two years.
The association officially will launch the certification program
next month and will award the first CPIMs at the Motivation Show,
managed by Hall-Erickson Inc., next October. Testing dates and
costs had not been finalized as of press time.
Meanwhile, the Chicago-based Society of Incentive & Travel
Executives is revising its CITE. According to Todd Dunlap, CMP,
CITE and chair of the CITE task force, the first step in
overhauling the certification process is to simplify the written
test so questions have one correct answer; grading will be handled
by SITE’s staff.
Dunlap also is creating a bank of 500 test questions, so CITE
candidates who fail the test the first time can retake it with new
questions. His committee has recommended to the board that the CITE
designation be offered to non-SITE members, and that CITEs should
be required to be recertified every few years.
“We want more CITEs out there to raise the profile of the
certification and increase its prestige within the meetings
industry,” said Dunlap.