The Professional Convention Management Association is trying to make the process of becoming a Certified Meeting Professional a little easier. This week, PCMA is launching a revamped and updated online CMP study course, which includes new resources, materials, and a self-assessment tool.

PCMA’s new program, available starting April 3, is a 23 module, interactive, Web-based course that is designed to prepare candidates for the CMP exam. The 23 modules cover the gamut--from program design and budgeting to green meetings, evaluation and ROI, and international meetings. The online offering was completely rebuilt to align with the CMP examination blueprint--which outlines the topic or “domain areas” and the percentage of questions for each domain. Also, the curriculum was rewritten to correspond with the information in the recently published Convention Industry Council Manual, 8th edition. In addition, it is also aligned with PCMA’s manual, Professional Meeting Management, 5th edition, and the CIC International Manual, 1st edition. It’s the only study course, PCMA officials say, that references all three publications.

Additionally, the revamped course has a self-assessment feature that gives learners feedback on their strengths and weaknesses before the participant even begins the course. It also provides the learner with specific feedback to questions both before going into the modules and after completing the modules. Finally, it includes a timed practice exam.

The effort is part of a commitment to raise the level of professionalism in the meetings industry, said Deborah Sexton, president and CEO at PCMA in a press release.

Beyond the online study course, PCMA has also created the Live Learning Center online, with podcasts about the exam, applications, and other resources, such as recordings and materials from educational presentations at past PCMA conferences. In addition, the association is offering blended learning study courses, which combine live, instructor-led courses through the various chapters with the online course. A “train-the-trainer” course on how to lead a CMP study group will be offered at next year’s PCMA annual meeting in New Orleans. Also, for the first time, CMP candidates can take the CMP exam the day before PCMA’s annual meeting, which starts January 11, 2009, then stay for the meeting in the Big Easy.

For more information on the study course, go to