The standards the Convention Industry Council uses in the Certified Meeting Professional program will be updated, broadened, and renamed the CMP International Standards early next year.

The CMP standards, which are updated every five years, have always been called the CMP Blueprint. That name will change to the CMP International Standards with the next update, scheduled for release in January 2012. The change was made to reflect the broadening scope of the standards to include internationally relevant best practices. “Given that more than 14,000 meeting industry professionals from 46 countries have earned the CMP designation, globalizing the standards was a natural progression,” stated Karen Kotowski, CMP, CAE, chief executive officer of the CIC.

Like the CMP Blueprint, the CMP International Standards will serve as a comprehensive body of knowledge for the meetings industry and outline the competencies required to be successful in the meetings profession. The document guides the development of the CMP examination. In addition to best practices for international meeting professionals, the new update will provide a greater level of detail when describing and categorizing industry knowledge, ability, and skills. However, meeting professionals will not see sweeping changes with the new standards.

CIC incorporated findings from the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council’s Event Management International Competency Standard as well as Meeting Professionals International’s Meetings and Business Events Competency Standard. “To have a globally relevant certification administered by a respected organization means a great deal not only to our volunteer advisers and leaders who have contributed to this initiative, but also to the thousands of members and colleagues we have around the world,” said Bruce MacMillan, president and CEO of MPI. “And the alignment of the Meetings and Business Events Competency Standards further solidifies the relevance of the CMP designation worldwide.”

To coincide with the adoption of the CMP International Standards, CIC will switch to computer-based testing in the second quarter of 2012. Meeting professionals will be able to select among more than 10,000 testing facilities in 166 countries.

The CMP International Standards will go into effect after the January 2012 CMP exam. Until then, the test’s guiding document will remain the CMP Blueprint. For more information and a complete list of upcoming exam dates, visit conventionindustry.org.