By Sara Williscroft, ABC

Jason Yule, CMP, has eyed IABC’s professional certification since he started his communications degree at Mount Royal University many years ago. In October 2018, his aspiration was achieved: he became one of a handful of Calgarians with the Communications Management Professional (CMP) certification.

Here’s what he had to say about the certification process – and why he thinks you should consider it.

What motivated you to get your certification?

I’ve been working in communications for close to 15 years. Ever since I was in college I’ve viewed the professional designation as a validation of the craft. After my team and I won a Gold Quill last year, I felt that I was qualified to take it on – I really wanted to test my skill set.

It was also important to me to ensure I was steering my team in the right direction and coaching them to the best of my ability. Professional development is a big focus at Calgary Real Estate Board and this seemed like a natural next step after being an IABC member for so many years.

What was the most difficult thing about the certification process?

When I took the test, if I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure I passed! This test is really for a broad-based generalist who has good working knowledge of public relations as a strategic management function. To pass, you need to know all areas of communications.

Luckily for me, I’ve had lots of exposure to different kinds of communication outfits, working in organizations big and small. I geek-out on communications strategy, but I was surprised at some of the questions and how in depth they were.

What helped me was the CMP prep course through IABC. It firmed-up my knowledge and gave me some confidence going into the test.

What is your pitch to someone who may be thinking about getting certified?

Go for it. The CMP sets you apart from other professionals. It’s pretty rare in Calgary and helps you commit to professional development long-term.

I’d also say that old wisdom still rings true in terms of how we do public relations planning in the modern workplace, so if you’re rooted in that kind of training, you should be good to go.

Certification is about testing yourself and staying on top of your craft. Just make sure you get prepped before you take the exam.

Did you learn anything about yourself throughout the process?

The experience was just really validating. I’ve worked hard, studied and kept up my professional development, while progressing in my career. All of those things matter when it comes to earning your CMP.

In terms of learning something about myself, I’d just say being persistent pays off. To get the CMP at this stage in my career is awesome. It’s taken some time to get there, but that’s maybe what makes the outcome so special.

The CMP process begins with an application, followed by a three-hour, 100 question multiple-choice examination and annual requirements for professional development to retain certification. For more information, visit IABC Calgary’s certification page.

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