Background Information

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What is PCO Accreditation?

PCO Accreditation is a set of standards established by and for the PCO Association and its members.

The PCO Accreditation Programs  provide individuals and businesses with a set of standards that are recognised as the minimum standard level of service and business practices.

Why Do We Need Accreditation?

Accreditation provides clients and industry with an assurance that the Event Manager and or Event Management Business they are dealing with is committed to the highest quality event management business practices, consistency and reliability in the delivery of services, professional standards and dedication to continuous improvement

How are the Accreditation Programs promoted?

The benefits of working with and using accredited members will be promoted to:

  1. Convention Bureaux and other Associations, both domestically and internationally
  2. The consumer market via email and industry print media in Australia and New Zealand.
  3.  PCO Accredited Members are listed on the PCO website.

What types of Accreditation are available?

Certified Event Manager (CEM) is the peak professional standard for event managers. Certified Event Company (CEC) is the peak professional standard for event companies.

CEM certification is based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative assessments of intelligence/academic ability, industry qualifications, experience and quality of delivery.

CEM accreditation is offered across the various membership types with varying accreditation criteria for each member type

For a company to be awarded CEC accreditation it must have a minimum of one CEM employed in the business and additionally satisfy certain other criteria.

Company accreditation (CEC)  varies according to the type of business services that the business offers - for example the criteria for an association type business will vary quite dramatically to the criteria required for a corporate type business particularly in the area of revenue and expense handling and the operation of bank accounts.

How is Accreditation Assessed?

For CEM Accreditation each applicant is individually assessed by a PCO Association Accreditation Assessor to ensure they meet the levels expected of a PCO Accredited Professional.

The CEM program has two entry points:-

  • Recognition of Prior Knowledge (RPK) t
  • Standard

Criteria for the RPK entry point

The RPK entry point will apply only to those experienced event managers who satisfy the following criteria:

  • The individual has been an event manager for a minimum period of 7 years (written evidence required).
  • The individual to provide written testimonials from 5 clients providing evidence of successful completion of events spanning that 5 year period.
  • The individual to provide written testimonials from 5 venues/suppliers regarding quality of delivery and ethics
  • tertiary qualifications are not essential for this entry point.

(Note - testimonials for in-house PCOs may be provided by either their Director or Department Head and one testimonial may cover multiple years.  Testimonials for PCO Educators may be provided by their Department Head and may be by way of a declaration of 7 years experience as a Tertiary Lecturer or similar position).

Criteria for the standard entry point (72 points required)

Accreditation as a CEM can be achieved through accumulating the required number of points in total (72 points) in the following 4 criteria:-

  1. Intelligence/Academic Ability (8-12 points base weighting)
  2. Industry Qualifications (15-30 points base weighting)
  3. Event Experience (24 points base weighting)
  4. Delivery Quality (24 points base weighting)

1. Intelligence/Academic Ability

Tertiary courses which are outside of the Event Management area of specialisation will be allotted points based on the following schedule:-

  • Certificate - 8 points
  • Diploma - 10 points
  • Degree - 12 points

2. Industry Qualifications

Tertiary Qualifications Breakdown

  • Certificate in Event Management - 15 points
  • Diploma in Event Management - 24 points
  • Advanced Diploma in Event Management - 28 points
  • Degree in Event Management - 30 points
  • Masters in Event Management - 30 points

Partial Tertiary Qualification Breakdown

If an individual does not currently hold a completed tertiary qualification, the modules listed in Appendix "C" will be allocated 1 point each, to a maximum of 24 points

3. Event Experience (3 x 8 points)

The individual has been an event manager for a minimum period of 3 years (written evidence required)

The individual to provide written testimonials from 3 clients providing evidence of successful completion of events spanning that 3 year period.

4. Quality of delivery (6 x 4 points)

The individual to provide written testimonials from 3 clients providing evidence of the quality of delivery (the 3 clients in this section can be the same clients as above)

The individual to provide written testimonials from 3 venues/suppliers regarding quality of delivery and ethics

(Note - testimonials for in-house PCOs can be either their Director or Department Head and one testimonial may cover multiple years)

Why have Accreditation for Companies?

Without Company Accreditation, if an individual business owner, who is accredited, sells their business, then the accreditation recognition leaves that business with the individual

The business may still retain all of its systems and procedures, including recognised quality certification, however it will no longer have any Event Management Accreditation

This situation may result in adding to difficulties in selling an Event Management Business on the open market or gaining further business in the future

Which companies can attain CEC Accreditation?

Any company whose primary role in business is based around conference and event management and which has a minimum of 1 currently accredited CEM in their employ may apply for accreditation

The Process for obtaining Accreditation

The Accreditation application forms for both individuals and businesses can be downloaded from the PCO website

Individual Accreditation (including RPK entry)

Once an application form has been completed, please send along with the required supporting documentation and application fee to the PCO Association.

To download the CEM RPK application form click here

To download the CEM Standard Entry application form click here

The PCO Assoc Accreditation Assessor will review the applications and communicate with the necessary referees for verification of the information provided by the applicant.

"Guidelines for Accreditation Client Referees" can be downloaded by clicking here

"Guidelines for Accreditation Supplier Referees" can be downloaded by clicking here

If successful, the applicant's details will be added to the CEM section of the website.

If unsuccessful, the applicant will be informed as to why their application was unsuccessful and will have an opportunity to provide additional information, (within a 30 day time limit), so their application assessment can be continued.

If declined, an unsuccessful applicant will have the right to appeal to the Dispute Resolution Team (DRT) (see notes on this DRT below)

Company Accreditation

Once the application form has been completed, please send along with the required supporting documentation and application fee to our nominated independent Auditor.

The Auditor will notify PCO Assoc that an application has been received and will only provide the name of the applicant business.

The Auditor will assess the application and communicate with the necessary referees for verification of the information provided by the applicant

After the application has been evaluated, the documentation provided by the applicant will be returned directly to the applicant and the PCO Association will be notified only as to the success or failure of the application.

If successful, the applicant's details will be added to the CEC section of the website.

If unsuccessful, the applicant will be informed as to why their application was unsuccessful and will have an opportunity to provide additional information, (within a 30 day time limit), so their application assessment can be continued

If declined, an unsuccessful applicant will have the right to appeal to the Dispute Resolution Team (DRT) (see notes on this DRT below)

At no stage will the PCO Association have access to or be provided with copies of the information provided by the applicant

To download the CEC application form click here

Information Required for CEC Accreditation

Details of currently employed Certified Event Manager (CEM).

Agreement to a tri-annual procedures audit (to the cost of the business) re QA, conference computer system, general business processes and sighting of conference accounts as per above.

Details of computerised event management system.

Details of the QA system that the business has in place.

Copy of Certificate of Business Registration.

Copy of annual ASIC statement of solvency.

Copy of standard Client engagement letter.

Copy of PI insurance policy for a minimum of $1million and certificate of currency.

Copy of Public Liability insurance policy and certificate of currency.

How Long Does the Application Process Take?

Individual applications will be processed within 30 days.

Business applications will be processed within 60 days.

Once an application is approved an official certificate will be issued as an email attachment and will be valid for a period of three years.

Accredited individual members and accredited business members details will be listed on the PCO Association website.

Accreditation logos will also be issued.

How long does accreditation last?

Accreditation for CEM and CEC are for a period of three years, after which time the individual or business need to apply again to maintain their accreditation.

If a CEC loses its sole remaining CEM, then that CEC will be required to relinquish its CEC status until the business has another CEM in its employ.

Maintenance of CEM Accreditation (Min of 120 points required)

CEM's will need to apply every 3 years to maintain their accreditation.

The following are mandatory for each accreditation renewal:-

  1. The individual to provide written testimonials from 3 clients providing evidence of successful completion of events spanning that 3 year period.
  2. The individual to provide written testimonials from 3 venues/suppliers regarding quality of delivery and ethics.

Continuing accreditation points can be accumulated in the following ways:-

Attendance at workshops

Workshops will be provided at each annual conference as well as at other times throughout the year.

Attendees at workshops will be credited with 10 points for each workshop, with a maximum of 60 points.

Attendance at selected Conference Plenary & Concurrent Sessions

Attendance at selected plenary and concurrent sessions will be awarded 5 points each - sessions that accumulate points will be highlighted in each conference registration brochure - maximum of 60 points.

Provision of Training and or Speaker Presentation Sessions

Members who deliver training and/or professional development workshops by way of preparing and presenting the material at relevant events industry forums and conferences etc will be awarded 20 points for each session, with a maximum of 60 points.

Accreditation Fee Structure

CEM (RPK)$295
CEM (Standard Entry)   $220
CEM Renewal$220
CEC$495 (includes Auditor fees)
CEC renewal$495 (includes Auditor fees)


 

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