CIC Prescribes a New Medical Meetings Certification

Recently the Convention Industry Council (CIC) announced plans for a health-care meetings certification that would exist under the umbrella of CIC’s Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program.

Convene caught up with CIC CEO Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, at IMEX America in Las Vegas for a quick chat about the new credential, which CIC hopes to begin awarding by the end of 2013.

Why is there a need for medical meeting planners to have a credential beyond the CMP?

Because of all the regulations out there on medical meetings – PhRMA code, Sunshine Laws, those types of things – medical meetings have very specific requirements; things you can and can’t do that those planners need to know and be cognizant of. And we wanted to be able to test on that knowledge, so that those who are in that specialized field can show that they’ve learned that material and can produce a medical meeting within the requirements of the PhRMA code and any other regulations that are out there.

And the CMP will be a prerequisite for the new credential?

Absolutely. We haven’t set up the governance board for it yet. … They’ll set up the requirements – the number of educational hours that are needed, whether any other prerequisites might be required. But, definitely, the CMP will be a requirement.

Do you know what the new credential is going to be called yet?

That’s still part of the process. It’ll definitely be a subspecialty to the CMP, though, so what we call it – if it’s a Medical Meeting Specialist, we still need to determine that – has to make sense in terms of both the designation as well as for marketing purposes.

Assuming that this goes well, will it be a model for other subspecialty credentials that CIC would administer?

Yes. We also contemplated a sustainable meetings subspecialty as well, because our ASTM/ap ex standards had just released this year. We just completed a job analysis for the CMP, and what we found is we had a greater emphasis on sustainable meetings in the CMP standard, so there’s going to be a greater emphasis in the CMP on sustainability as well. So for right now, we decided not to pursue a subspecialty to sustainability but to beef up that area within the CMP, because it’s something that all planners need to know whether you’re planning an association meeting, a corporate meeting, [or] a medical meeting.

Down the road, will somebody want to take a deeper dive into sustainable meetings? Maybe. That might come back at some point. And if things are happening in other areas that might have a need for subspecialty, we’ll take a look at it. We’ll do exactly what we did this time – take a look at the market, is there a market for it, are there planners and suppliers out there that want it and would pursue it, and we’d go from there.

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For more information about plans for CIC’s medical meetings certification, visit

Christopher Durso

Christopher Durso formerly was executive editor of Convene.