Meeting Professionals International will make several changes to its controversial plans to alter its Certificate in Meeting Management accreditation program, according to an April 4 open letter from MPI CEO Paul Van Deventer. MPI, along with the Global Business Travel Association, its partner in this process, will keep the "Certificate in Meeting Management" title and alter the eligibility requirements for the program, according to the letter.
The changes come after the associates in December introduced the changes to its CMM program. Chief among the concerns of some CMM holders was the fact that the program changes might weaken the caliber of the designation by lowering the experiential requirement from 10 to five years and by opening up eligibility to travel agents.
One protest was led by CMM holder Ann Rebentisch, strategic meetings and events manager at Handshake Events, and her LinkedIn group of more than 450 CMM-designated professionals.
In response to the backlash, Van Deventer released a video in January, apologizing for not introducing the new program more effectively, and announcing several February open forums meant to garner more feedback concerning the program.
According to Van Deventer's letter, eligibility requirements for the CMM program will change to better align with MPI's Meeting and Business Event Competency Standards. Candidates are now required to have a minimum of seven to 10 years' experience in the meetings and events or business travel industry, and a minimum of three to five years of management experience, with two years of profit-and-loss responsibility. They also now will be required to provide a personal statement and letter of recommendation from a colleague or supervisor.
CMM program participants now also will need to develop "a business case in which they must apply the course materials learned," Van Deventer said in the letter. These cases should reflect real-life situations and address actual, solvable challenges, and all will be assessed based on standards of performance pre-established by CMM program faculty, according to the letter.
As of now, all professionals who have already achieved the CMM designation will retain the title, supported by both MPI and GBTA, and MPI will reissue new certificates to existing CMM designees with the correct Certificate in Meeting Management branding.