Global Advisory Committee Meetings Help Bring emerit to the World

Food and Beverage Management International Competency Standards are the First of Their Kind

In Montréal, the Global Advisory Committee for the Food and Beverage Management International Competency Standards met recently to review the draft standards, provide feedback for refinement and validation of the standards, and advise on the application and distribution of the final product. These meetings help ensure that the standards are globally relevant, with 17 Global Advisory Committee members from countries including France, Qatar, China, Saudi Arabia and the Czech Republic representing the 125 industry professionals who served on the Standard Development Committee.

While in Montréal, committee members experienced firsthand the Hôtel de l’Institut, a unique downtown hotel where the meetings were held and where participants stayed. The hotel is of special interest to Food and Beverage Professionals–it is run by the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie, a Québec government agency, and has been a teaching hotel dedicated to training and research in the hotel, tourism and food service industries for over 35 years.

Participants collectively represented many decades of experience in the hospitality industry, and ranged from independent hospitality consultants to university educators, hotel managers and directors to experts in standards development and vocational training. They got involved in the project in many different ways, but the entire group saw the meetings as an opportunity to network with their colleagues from around the world and see things from new perspectives, to be part of the industry leadership and contribute to the hospitality community, and to improve the resources available to all industry stakeholders.

When speaking with the committee members about the project, the same sentiments came up again and again—that there was no comparable existing resource available to the industry. In fact, although there are occupational standards available for many frontline hospitality positions, there are very few such resources for supervisory and management occupations.

There were many uses put forward for the new international standards: providing a map of competencies required in the occupation for those considering careers; keeping upper management informed of the skills involved in the occupations they supervise; providing new approaches to developing and filling gaps in hospitality curriculum; identifying international best practices for developing tourism markets; supply a tool for ongoing professional development in the industry; and give local and foreign trained workers a clear understanding of what is required to be successful in Food and Beverage Management. Many of these potential uses will become more important as worker mobility increases, labour shortages return, and established markets are forced to rely on foreign workers to fill an increasing number of management positions.

Participants universally expressed a desire to see the standards used to develop an International Food and Beverage Management Certification. An international credential that recognizes experience in the industry would help build connections between qualifications from different regions, education systems, and cultures. This sort of credential was seen as necessity due to the increasingly global nature of the industry and its workforce. The development and industry recognition of such a transferable credential would help properties effectively address labour market pressures by increasing the number of identifiable candidates, and would provide the peace of mind necessary for higher-ups to concentrate on the tasks of an executive and not worry about the effectiveness of new managers.

Many committee members remarked that the extensive development process, the diverse backgrounds of the reviewers and their abundant experience across the hospitality industry would be a major factor in the acceptance of the standards by the global industry.

These projects and the enthusiastic participation of so many international industry experts are further examples of emerit products continuing to gain recognition as valuable resources for industry not only in Canada, but in the global marketplace as well.