While there are a number of industry certifications focused on the planning of meetings and events, the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) is the only global organization dedicated to providing training and certification specific to incentive travel and motivational events – the “I” in MICE.
In 2013, the association introduced the Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS) program, to provide planners and suppliers a greater understanding of the fundamentals of creative and effective utilization of incentive travel programs. Since its inception, nearly 1000 incentive travel professionals from 42 countries have earned the CIS designation. The program is now available online for SITE members with 5+ years of experience.
Last year, the SITE Foundation invested in an extensive job analysis to develop competency-based curriculum specifically for incentive travel professionals, creating a roadmap for SITE’s current as well as future training and certification programs. The study identified three job families: Coordinator, Manager and Director and 14 core competencies, which were aligned with SITE’s three education tracks: The Business Case for Incentive Travel, Selling to the Incentive Market and Managing Incentive Travel Programs.
The Foundation also provided a large grant for development of new education and certification including the SITE Knowledge Centre, an online learning portal launched in April that serves as a repository for training, learning resources, and job tools. Available to both SITE Members and non-members, the 12 courses of entry to mid-level content include assessment quizzes, as well as a Proof of Completion, which can be downloaded and used to obtain CE credit. SITE Members receive complimentary access to the courses through 30 June.
“The support of the SITE Foundation and generosity of our sponsors enables us to continue to develop new curriculum and resources that provide incentive travel professionals the ability to take a more proactive role in planning their own professional development,” stated SITE CEO Kevin Hinton, CIS. “We believe what we learned from the job analysis may eventually be used to create industry-wide standards for job descriptions hiring and selection, performance appraisals and even compensation.”
SITE, the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence is the only global organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting the incentive travel industry. We connect incentive travel to business results. For our members we provide professional development, certification and business connections. SITE members help companies maximize workforce output by creating and delivering incentive travel programs that inspire people to exceed expectations and transcend their goals. Our research proves the ROI for incentive travel, which is a powerful business tool that strengthens employee retention, improves performance and fosters a culture of thoughtful motivation and sustained success. Over the last 40 years, SITE has grown to over 2000 members in 84 countries with 29 local and regional chapters. Incentive travel is not a luxury — it’s a necessity.