The wait is over: After a long period of development and refinement of the course materials and exam questions that culminated in an exam held last November and December, the Convention Industry Council has announced the names of those who have passed the test to become the first to hold the subspecialty certification for healthcare meeting professionals, called the CMP-HC.

“CIC congratulates the early adopters of the CMP-HC,” said CIC Chief Executive Officer Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP. “The early interest and success in the program confirms the need for the subspecialty. We see it as a predictor of growth and advancement in healthcare meetings.”

Medical meeting planners earn the designation CMP-HC by demonstrating that they know the subset of regulations, laws, and best practices specific to healthcare meetings, as well as the body of meeting-planning knowledge covered in the Certified Meeting Professional exam, which is a prerequisite for the subspecialty certification. The exam is based on the healthcare-specific body of knowledge outlined in the CMP-HC Standards; both the Standards and the exam were developed and will be maintained by healthcare meetings subject matter experts.

Michelle Bartolone, CEO of Meeting Sites Pro, Inc. and Strategic Meeting Management, Inc., long held her CMP before recently earning the CMP-HC subspecialty designation. She says, "The curriculum is all-encompassing as it covers PhRMA, AdvaMed, Open Payments, OIG, FDA, Sarbanes Oxley, ACCME, and many other regulations on the federal and state level, as well as those from association governing bodies from around the world. It does not just test your ability to plan a healthcare meeting; you have to be well-versed on the various types of meetings our clients have and about the regulations and guidelines facing each." Adds Meeting Sites Pro's vice president, Kevin Harty, who recently earned a CMP-HC to go along with his MBA and MSA, "It would be difficult if you did not have day-to-day extensive knowledge and experience in these areas."

The beta test was offered free last fall to interested healthcare meeting managers who were willing to be the guinea pigs for the new subspecialty designation. More than half of the approximately 100 beta testers who sat for the exam last fall are now included in the directory of those who hold the designation.

Those who are interested in sitting for a future exam—the next one takes place in November—are invited to join a CMP-HC study group in Orlando, Fla., on March 23, just prior to the opening of the 10th Annual Pharma Forum, co-organized by MeetingsNet and the Center for Business Intelligence. (Pre-registration is required for the study group.) Bartolone, who co-chaired the first CMP-HC virtual study group and will lead the pre-Pharma Forum session, also is starting a virtual study group in April 2014.  For additional information on the CMP-HC Study Group, please e-mail michelle@meetingsitespro.com.

For those who register for the conference, there also will be a session that covers eligibility requirements and other details about the designation’s evolution and current status. Applications for the next exam will be accepted for review from May 14 to July 31.