MPI President and CEO Paul Van Deventer
Meeting Professionals International has announced it is backing away from some controversial changes in its Certificate in Meeting Management program.
In December, MPI relaunched the certificate program in partnership with the Global Business Travel Association, revealing changes to the name, eligibility requirements, assessment, and program format. On telephone forums in February to address concerns about the new CMM, many constituents strongly argued that the changes would erode the prestige of the CMM, known as a certification for experienced meeting professionals.
In an April 4 letter to the MPI community, MPI President and CEO Paul Van Deventer announced several revisions to the new CMM, based on the community’s concerns.
• The new name—CMM Designation Program—has been scrapped. The plan had been to change the name “Certificate in Meeting Management” to “CMM Designation Program,” making CMM a trademark not an acronym. The program will retain the Certificate in Meeting Management name.
• The eligibility requirement, which had been 10 years of experience for the original CMM, had been revised to a minimum of five years. Now, Van Deventer reports candidates will need: a minimum of seven to ten years of professional experience in the meeting and event or business travel industry, a minimum of three to five years of management experience with two years of profit and loss responsibility, and a letter of recommendation from a professional colleague or supervisor.
• At the conclusion of the old CMM program, applicants took an essay exam and wrote a business plan. For the new CMM, the exam is eliminated and applicants develop a “business case assessment.” While many of the February forum participants argued in favor the exam, that element has not been reinstated. However, Van Deventer clarified the business case must connect with course materials and “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.”
Van Deventer also clarified that people who earned the CMM from MPI before 2014 will retain the CMM designation. New certificates, he said, will be sent to CMM designees with the correct Certificate in Meeting Management branding, correcting the association’s mistake of referring to the CMM on its Web site, course materials, and diplomas, as a “certification” program rather than a “certificate” program.
With the new GBTA partnership in the CMM program, MPI has said it would grant the CMM designation to anyone who held GBTA’sCertificate. That decision is now not clear. GBTA, Van Deventer wrote, “will communicate directly to individuals that achieved the comparable GBTA certificate regarding parameters for using the CMM designation.”