IABC Launches New Certification Program

Sue Heuman, ABC; Chair, Global Communication Certification Council | September 23, 2015

On September 23, IABC Edmonton held a professional development session at the Matrix Hotel, featuring Sue Heuman, ABC discussing the Communications Management Professional certification. Below, Sue has penned a post about the certification for those looking to learn more.

Special thanks to Sue for her insights, as well as to the Matrix Hotel as our venue sponsor for the session.


At the World Conference in June, IABC held its first sitting for the certified Communications Management Professional (CMP) designation, after several years of development.

How did we get here, and what does the future hold?

Several years ago, IABC created a ‘career roadmap committee’ defined four career paths: foundation, generalist/specialist, strategic advisor and business leader. Within each of these paths, core competencies were outlined so that individuals could not only find their current place on the continuum, but also understand the requirements needed in order to progress, should the individual wish to.

At the same time, IABC began reviewing its existing Accreditation program with a view to making improvements. While honoring the history and understanding gained from the ABC (Accredited Business Communicator) program, this new series of certifications will be developed to be in keeping with ISO 17024, an international standard for professional certifications. While IABC has now stopped accrediting members, anyone who has achieved their ABC retains that designation – and it’s important to note that IABC accreditation is just as valid today as it has ever been.

The Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC) was established to create and maintain an internationally recognized standard of communication excellence based on a global understanding of key principles and job competencies worldwide. The Council is arms-length to IABC and includes representatives from around the world, including those who are not members of IABC.

The new certification program aims to have a certification level that aligns with the career paths, helping professionals attain the corresponding designation that acknowledges their competencies.

Communications Management Professional (CMP)

The first certification level developed by the GCCC is the Communications Management Professional (CMP), which corresponds to the generalist/specialist career level.

To become certified at the CMP level, an individual must apply, demonstrating that he/she has:

  1. Eight years of experience and 40 hours of training OR
  2. Six years of experience, two years of education, and 40 hours of training OR
  3. Foundational certification (once it becomes available), six years of experience, and 40 hours of training.

CMP exam application information can be found here

Once the application is reviewed and approved, a candidate is eligible to write the exam. Candidates have up to two years to attempt, and pass, the exam. Once certified, individuals must achieve a minimum of 40 continuing education credits each year to maintain that certification. Annual fees of $100 US are also required.

Exams will be held each year at the World Conference, and chapters have been invited to apply to host Certification exams locally, and there are currently 11 exam dates available around the world.

Consider becoming certified. Certification provides tangible evidence of your proficiency with a set of core competencies and engages you in life-long learning.

More information can be found on IABC International .

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