We’ve written before about the advantages of becoming a certified event planner. Now it’s time to explore a few ways of getting that official stamp on your CV.
There are plenty of event planning certifications, each offering something a little different. Of course, only you can decide on the level of insight and tuition you need at this point in your career.
The beauty is that so many different certifications exist. You can spend hours or years on the right programme for your career, with lots of options in between.
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How do I apply?
Most courses are applicable to all, meaning you don’t need a previous qualification to become a certified event planner.
Your only slight exception is with courses that have levels attached to them. For example, if you’re applying for a level-4 diploma in event management, you will be expected to have a greater understanding of the industry than someone just starting out.
Our advice would be to contact the organiser or tutor and explain your position. If they feel you’re ready for their certification and – more importantly – that you can benefit from it, you should be all set.
What types of courses are available?
There is no single method of obtaining an event planner certification. From a brief spot of research, involving a quick browse of a popular jobs board, we found no fewer than 1,083 results for the query “online event management courses”.
The options ranged from one-year programmes, requiring exams and practical assessments, right the way down to 12-hour, self-paced arrangements.
Before you start trawling through potentially hundreds of results, try coming up with answers or ‘ideal scenarios’ for the following points:
- Price: Some courses offer savings of over 90% on their original cost. Remember: you’re not buying a bluetooth speaker in a Black Friday sale. Regardless of how much or little you’re expected to pay, remember to focus on what you’re getting for that money. If it’s a good course being managed by a recognised association, you can’t go wrong.
- Modules: A certified event planner will have skills in lots of areas, like marketing and project management. It’s wise to keep an eye out for programmes that offer a multitude of lessons, rather than just covering the basics.
- Association: Look for courses that have been approved by long-standing bodies like the Certified Meetings Professional (CMP). These will cost more to join but at least you’ll be assured of a quality education.
- Time: Although most courses are self-paced, you should be careful about signing up to those which are too demanding. While younger professionals can afford to spend upwards of a year becoming a certified event planner, experienced professionals may want to opt for something shorter and more refined – like wedding planning.
How do I obtain my certification?
You can pass your course in two different ways – either through the basic completion of lessons or an examination. While many people shudder at the thought of completing exams after finishing school, they are only used to test your knowledge of the course material. Provided you have taken everything on board, you really have nothing to worry about.
Then comes the end result: the actual certification.
Most awards will have some form of physical or digital certificate to provide evidence of learning. Others, like the CPD accreditation, reward value in terms of hours and points – essentially, the amount of time you have spent learning about a given subject.
Regardless of whether your certificate appears in the post or on a screen, the value is in the course itself and the precious knowledge you can attain by becoming a certified event planner.
Still unsure about what an event qualification can do for you? Take a look at our blog on ‘The Benefits of Event Planner Certification‘.