Event Management Standards Go Global

The first emerit® international professional standard to be launched in summer 2010

Now is an exciting time to be in event management.  The profession is witnessing the growth of its body of knowledge, codes of practice, and competency systems, just as professions like engineering, architecture, and accounting experienced a century ago.  “An international body of knowledge sets the stage for global consistency in the scope of duties and capabilities required of industry practitioners and the conditions they could expect to encounter,” says Julia Rutherford Silvers, CSEP (EMBOK).

International networking and partnership is rapidly becoming standard practice and the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC) predicted that globally-recognized standards and credentials would be in high demand.  Since 2008, the CTHRC has been the driving force behind the development of a set of international standards and professional certification for Event Management.

Based on the council’s track record for developing top quality professional certification, international stakeholders agreed that the CTHRC was the natural choice to spearhead the industry-led emerit Event Management – International Competency Standards project (EMICS, formerly known as IEMS).

The CTHRC’s connections garnered a high level of involvement from Canadian and international Event Management professionals.  “The CTHRC’s leadership enabled participants from around the world to combine their experience, perspectives, and multi-disciplinary skill-sets to compose the EMICS credential,” says Brent Moore, CMP CCM, member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI). 

Working in close collaboration with international stakeholder groups, the CTHRC used existing national standards from participating countries, materials from the Event Management Body of Knowledge (EMBOK), and cutting-edge research to create a comprehensive summary of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to expertly manage an event anywhere in the world.  Once completed, the standards were subjected to a rigorous large-scale validation by events practitioners from over 20 countries in 2009.

With the standards complete, the CTHRC and the EMICS stakeholders turned their attention toward developing a professional, internationally-recognized certification program.  Set to launch in Canada in the fall of 2010, the emerit Event Management certification program will consist of an exam, a practical evaluation, and on-the-job experience.

An international benchmark, the EMICS credential will transcend borders and event disciplines, allowing the mutual recognition of transferable qualifications.  Employers will appreciate that emerit-certified Events Professionals have met standards set by international industry experts and Events Professionals will have access to opportunities throughout the globe.

As opportunities for worker mobility increase, so will opportunities for learner mobility.  Post-secondary institutions are already starting to adopt EMICS as a tool for informing new and existing curricula.  “Our industry has suffered from the lack of a formal career path,” says Didier Scaillet, Chief Development Officer at MPI.  “The Standards correct this situation by providing a robust, relevant, and globally consistent framework for the development of competencies through academic and training offerings.” 

The Queen Margaret University of Scotland is one of the first post-secondary institutions in the world to officially accept and endorse EMICS and educators at the Art Institute of Vancouver have successfully integrated the Standards into their curriculum.

Training opportunities such as EMICS are paramount to developing countries.  A curriculum based on international standards that provides international credentials will help Event Professionals create jobs and contribute to their country’s economic growth as they draw investors and tourists to their regions with well-executed professional events.

Following the successful launch of its first international Standard and certification, the CTHRC will focus on developing a complementary international Event Management Qualification Framework.  This framework will illustrate different career paths available both to students and experienced professionals.  Consultations with industry professionals and educational institutions will be on-going and volunteers are always welcome.  To get involved, please contact info@cthrc.ca or join the EMICS online community (see link below).