A simple break down

You’ve just learnt one acronym when another one pops up. It’s hard to keep up, isn’t it? Not for long. The MICE Academy provides us with in depth explanations about the most important acronyms out there.

Event planners have a wealth of knowledge learnt by trial and error over time. In the past, there may have been the occasional course, conference and brainstorm that could have related – in a generic fashion – to the diverse nature of organising the assignment at hand.

Many sectors of the economy have sought and succeeded in finding methods that harness an industry individual’s previous knowledge. In a number of sectors such as accountancy, health, safety, security, financial management and HR, systems have been implemented to set a standard of proven ability in improved knowledge.

The MICE industry has lagged behind. However, in an industry such as planning and organising, whether conceptual or logistically assigned tasks, there’s increasing responsibility with big ticket budgets.

A wake-up call to set a strong foundation of captured and recognised knowledge is indeed upon us.

Here are some key acronyms for the decision-makers within the planning and organising ranks to take note of:

RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning)

RPL has different purposes. These are:

  • RPL for access to college or university or to undergraduate and postgraduate study in higher education
  • RPL for credits to required skills in the workplace and updated knowledge for task improvement. Individuals undergo a process of preparation for testing and assessment, at the end of which their experience is recognised with an appropriate certificate or credit
  • RPL for advancement is used to advance career or potential client opportunities with a credible portfolio.

CPD (Continuing Professional Development)

Ongoing knowledge updates have a number of acronyms. Whether units, credits or points, CPD is a continuous process which includes a scoring mechanism calculated per hour as one credit for knowledge gained or shared. An important aspect of CPD is the general overall improvement of the individual’s ability to provide and share solutions to perplexing issues.

CATS (Credit Accumulation Transfer System)

CATS is likely to become one of the most important acronyms in 2013 and beyond. It’s an arrangement whereby the diverse feature of both credit accumulation and credit transfer are combined to facilitate lifelong learning with access to advancement and/or business opportunities.

Proof that positivity is paramount

Having pinpointed the MICE acronyms that will launch salaried and independent planners and organisers into a new era of professionalism with greatly improved MICE assignments and projects, no CPD programme can be successfully undertaken without two essential elements.

a) Specific yet simple testing

Over the past decade, studies have shown that merely attending a congress, conference, forum or session, and signing in and out at the door, on the pretext of receiving an attendance certificate towards credit accumulation (CATS) won’t suffice. There are a variety of reasons for these important conclusions. The main ones that have been assessed are:

  1. the subject matter may not extend sufficiently to a clear understanding of the topic
  2. the participant may be distracted due to a number of circumstances and not absorb the input
  3. the presenter may not explain the subject under review to the point of participant comprehension.

With CATS, appropriate testing incorporates and captures an outcomes-based result in keeping with sound South African RPL policies.

b) System generated & secure certification

An administrative process whereby a compliance certificate is produced, per tested participant, will be essential. Due to innovative software, the certificate can’t be duplicated and is secured within the participant’s very own log-in ‘safe.’ This provides the credibility that can be regularly communicated to both employers and potential clients going forward.

And the winners are…

CPD holds promise in two significant areas: Firstly, the updating and implementation of new ideas, solutions or systems for the individual, and secondly, the sharing of pertinent information to grow higher standards within all sectors of the Southern African MICE industry.

For those industry individuals within the corporate and association or public sectors as well as the myriad of suppliers and services who participate in their CPD programme, due reward is likely to be highly praised.

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