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New Certification for Healthcare Meeting Organizers Developed by CIC; First Exam to Take Place in October


Alexandria, VA – The inaugural class of Certified Meeting Planners – Health Care (CMP-HC) will earn their wings this Fall when the first exam for conference managers and show organizers specializing in medical conferences is administered.

The Convention Industry Council (CIC) will conduct the test October 7-21 at various locations around the U.S. The exam is being called a beta test by CIC and will be limited to 150 people.

Those who make the grade will be the first to gain CMP-HC status in an increasingly complex and demanding segment of the exhibition industry. “The once niche area of healthcare meeting management is growing and CIC is meeting that demand with the creation of a healthcare certification,” said Karen Kotowski, CEO of the CIC.

Those unable to take the exam in October will have to wait until May. But having extra time to study the ins-and-outs of event management in the strict confines of the healthcare sector could be a blessing.

Concerns about maintaining the integrity of the huge volume of scientific material presented at medical conferences has produced a series of stickler regulations and best practices that limit the influence of sponsors and exhibitors on educational content and their contact with attendees.

These restrictions, plus the other unique aspects of medical events, are above and beyond the considerations of managers and planners who hold the standard CMP designation.

Start With a CMP

The first requirement for taking the CMP-HC exam is having a valid CMP. The CMP proves an applicant has a grasp on the basics of meeting planning and is ready to forge ahead into the more complex healthcare arena.

Applicants must also have three years of experience in healthcare meeting management, and 15 hours of professional development specifically related to healthcare events.

Deluge of Details

Applications for the October beta test are available at as is the “body of knowledge” about running a major healthcare meeting, which is the basis for the questions applicants will see on the written test.


  • Planning. 39% of the test will deal with planning issues, including relationships with sponsors, the different medical specialties that make up the attendee pool, and partner associations. There are also the requirements of the authoritative PhRMA code, visas for international scientists and even laws aimed at preventing fraud, corruption and kickbacks.
  • Implementation. 25% of the exam will focus on operational matters unique to medical events, including attendance monitoring, security of intellectual property and laws governing the presence of animals, medical waste and even cadavers.
  • Evaluation/Audit.  36% of the test revolves around paperwork and reporting requirements. Professional details about attendees, honorariums, session attendance and continuing education credits are among the data to be collected and maintained.


Medical meeting managers and planners have their hands full year-round, but taking time to earn CMP-HC certification ensures they have the skills necessary to move into a leadership role in their thriving but complex field.

Reach Karen Kotowski at  (571) 527-3116 or; Gayle Dahlman, CIC certification director, at (571) 527-3116 or

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