In 2008, the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP), knowing that it was becoming more and more necessary to adhere to standards set forth by the medical publishing world, developed the CMPP certification program. I recently was able to speak with representatives from ISMPP’s Certification Board and learn more about why the program was developed and what the future has in store.
Can you provide some background into the development of the program?
In 2005, the International Society for the Medical Publication Professional (ISMPP) was established and its founding was timely as there has been significant and increasing scrutiny of biomedical publications, especially those developed or supported by industry, from within healthcare, governments, and the public at large. ISMPP works to ensure the highest levels of scientific and professional integrity are achieved by the membership and ISMPP has actively worked to establish and maintain professional standards and to promote adherence to those standards.
A vital component of meeting ISMPP’s mission was the development of the Certified Medical Publication Professional (CMPP) program. This program brings a higher level of consistency in publication planning knowledge and requires certificants to be stewards for the profession and for conveying biomedical research. Being a CMPP means standing up for the highest level of integrity in the field.
How important is it for medical publication professionals to obtain certification?
With the inauguration of the CMPP program 5 years ago, it is becoming a critical factor for publication professionals to demonstrate their competence and expertise in the field to current and prospective employers. A CMPP is understood to be certified and have the following skills and character:
- Expertise as a medical publication professional
- Proficiency in good publication practices
- Commitment to ethical and transparent data dissemination standards
- Leadership in upholding and fostering integrity and excellence in medical publication
As of October 1, 2013 we currently have 810 CMPPs, which is a testament to the importance of the certification program within the medical publications profession.
How does the certification program work?
To obtain CMPP certification, a qualified candidate must pass a formal, psychometrically validated examination covering four areas of focus respective to professional medical publication planning and execution:
- Publication plan development
- Tactical plan development
- Publication plan implementation
- Professional Responsibilities
Each CMPP candidate must also agree to affirm, practice, and promote ethical and legal standards as well as uphold the integrity of the profession; and of ISMPP itself. Once earned, the CMPP credential is valid for 5 years with the professional needing to recertify at the expiration of the credential. The CMPP may recertify via continuing education credits or by taking the certification exam within their fifth year of certification (more information on eligibility the CMPP Candidate Handbook is available on the ISMPP website under Certification).
What is on the horizon for the certification program?
ISMPP is continually evaluating the CMPP program to optimize the training and testing processes as well as educational opportunities to enhance the program.
ISMPP recognizes that medical publications professionals are geographically dispersedandthe profession continues to grow globally. In 2013, the CMPP program expanded the test center availability throughout the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, we introduced a reduction in examination fees to make certification in these areas and other World Bank designated lower income countries more attainable.
ISMPP is fast approaching our first year of recertification, as our 2009 certificants will be up for recertification in 2014. ISMPP is planning additional online learning programs for continuing education as well as the increased availability of Annual Meeting sessions for continuing education post-meeting (for those who did not attend the annual meeting or missed a session).
Finally, we will be initiating a survey exploring the merits and value of the CMPP program with a focus on both ISMPP membership as well as other professional organizations’ perspectives of the program.
The CMPP program is pivotal to ISMPP fulfilling its mission. ISMPP is focused on advancing the medical publication profession through education and advocacy; driving integrity, excellence, and transparency in medical publications; and leading the establishment and adoption of medical publication standards and best practices.
Your next opportunity to earn CMPP credits is at CBI’s 9th Publication Planning Forum, coming up December 9-10, 2014 in Philadelphia.
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The International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) is an independent nonprofit professional association with members from the pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology industries; publication planning and medical communications companies; academia; and medical journal staff, including editors and publishers. Its goals are to support the education needs of publication professionals and to develop best practices that ensure the rigorous maintenance of all ethical standards for reporting the results of medical research.