The Convention Industry Council has published the standards, eligibility requirements, and testing information for its new subspecialty designation for those who plan meetings and events for healthcare professionals. First announced last fall, the new designation was developed to certify that medical meeting planners who earn the Certified Meeting Professional-Healthcare, or CMP-HC, designation can demonstrate that they know the subset of regulations, laws, and best practices specific to healthcare-focused meetings, as well as the more general body of meeting-planning knowledge covered in the CMP exam. Only those who already have their CMP designation can apply for the new CMP-HC. To be eligible, planners also must have three years of experience managing healthcare meetings, and 15 clock hours of healthcare meeting management–specific professional development.

The newly released CMP-HC standards outline the skills and competencies healthcare meeting professionals will be tested on. The standards fall into three main domains: planning, which will comprise 39 percent of the exam; implementation, 25 percent; and evaluation, 36 percent. Everything on the exam is covered in the CMP-HC standards, which can be downloaded for free from the CIC Web site.

Because the rules and regulations around healthcare meetings tend to change frequently, CIC also provides a list of recommended literature, which will be updated on a regular basis. These books, articles, and other resources are not required reading for the exam, but they have been vetted by the  volunteer heathcare meetings subject matter experts who developed the standards and the exam. These volunteers also will continue to ensure the standards and recommended literature evolve along with the rules, regulations, and best practices specific to medical meetings.

The 2.5-hour exam will have 100 questions. The first exam is scheduled for May 2014, but CIC also is offering a beta exam October 7-21 at Prometric testing sites throughout the U.S. and globally. The fee for the beta test is $255 (CIC is waiving the $155 application fee as a gesture of gratitude for their participation). Those who pass the beta test, which is limited to 150 individuals, will be the first to earn the CMP-HC designation. Applications for the beta test are available at the CIC Web site. Moving forward, the exam will be held in May and November every year.