Julia Rutherford Silvers, CSEP

Certified Special Events Professional

Event Management Authority

Like angels and elephants dancing on the head of a pin, our dreams and responsibilities may have no limits, but must be balanced according to the music of the moment.

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Certification

4 May 2006

 

Certification, as defined in the APEX Industry Glossary, is the "program and process by which a participant completes proscribed training and passes an assessment." The National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA) defines it as "the voluntary process by which a non-governmental entity grants a time-limited recognition and use of a credential to an individual after verifying that he or she has met predetermined and standardized criteria." The Certification Program Development Guide (1999, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada) defines it as "a credential granted to a candidate upon demonstrating that he or she has met industry-specific requirements" and notes that "this involves education requirements, a minimum number of years of specific experience, and successful completion of a certification examination based on a set of occupational standards."

 

Many industry organizations offer certifications, some of which are listed below, and many organizations and academic institutions offer certificates in various types of events management. There are also hundreds of commercial "certification" and "certificate" programs, some of which offer inexpensive and virtually instant credentials. It is important to recognize that credentialing (certification or certificate) programs that are not affiliated with a recognized industry association or accredited academic institution often lack credibility in the marketplace.

 

When considering which credential you wish to pursue, the assessment factors should include:

  • the credentials (accreditation or affiliation) of the organization offering the certification or certificate

  • the requirement of significant practical industry experience in order to pursue the credential

  • the scope and rigor of the training process (materials, courses, etc.) if applicable

  • the scope and rigor of the assessment process (examination, etc.)

  • the requirement for re-certification (for certifications) on a periodic basis

Certification or certificate credentials in the events industry should not be quick and easy to attain. The organization offering the certification  designation must provide a program that covers the depth of knowledge and measure of ability necessary to certify expertise in this responsibility-laden profession.

 

For examples of certification program competency blueprints see CMP-EMBOK Analysis and CSEP-EMBOK Analysis.

 

Event Industry Certifications*

Designation Affiliation  

CAE

Certified Association Executive

American Society of Association Executives

www.asaenet.org

CDME

Certified Destination Management Executive

Destination Marketing Association International (formerly International Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus)

www.iacvb.org

CEM

Certified in Exhibition Management

International Association of Exhibitions and Events

www.iaee.com

CERP

Certified Event Rental Professional

American Rental Association

www.ararental.org

CFEE

Certified Festival & Event Executive

International Festivals and Events Association

www.ifea.com

CHME

Certified Hospitality Marketing Executive

Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International

www.hsmai.org

CITE

Certified Incentive and Travel Executive

Society of Incentive & Travel Executives

www.site-intl.org

CMP

Certified Meeting Professional

Convention Industry Council

www.conventionindustry.org

CPCE

Certified Professional Catering Executive

National Association of Catering Executives

www.nace.net

CSEP

Certified Special Event Professional

International Special Events Society

www.ises.com

DMCP  

Destination Management Certified Professional

Association of Destination Management Executives

www.adme.org

TCP (EVC) Certified Tourism Professional (Event Co-ordinator) Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council  www.emerit.ca
TCM (EVM) Certified Tourism Manager (Event Manager) Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council  www.emerit.ca

* Please note that this list is primarily U.S.-based, and it is not comprehensive.

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