CMA launches chartered marketer accreditation

The new designation aims to bolster the professionalism of the industry.

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The Canadian Marketing Association today unveiled its chartered marketer accreditation, a program that seeks to add credibility to the marketing discipline within the c-suite and create a standardized regimen of professional development for the industry.

Similar to chartered marketing accreditations in the U.K. and those in other industries (such as chartered account or chartered human resources professional), the title will be a controlled term given only to those who meet certain requirements managed by the CMA.

The CMA conducted a survey among marketers and found that 86% see relevance in such a professional designation for the industry.

“The people who are hiring marketing people are saying this is important,” says Chris Stamper, the SVP of business marketing planning and CMO of Canadian Banking at TD, who chairs the CMA board of directors. “That’s the thing that got us so engaged as an organization.”

A statement from the CMA says the program was developed over two years to “assert marketing’s contribution to the c-suite table.”

“We thought there was a significant opportunity to enhance the image of marketers among professionals and establish that high level of consistency and standards for public interest with respect to marketing,” Stamper told strategy. “Any chance you can get to professionalize the industry would be good for marketing in Canada and for Canadian marketers around the world.”

After applying for the CM designation with two professional references, the application is reviewed by a committee of client- and agency-side peers. Accepted applicants must take a new course offered by the CMA – Ethics for Marketers, conducted by Stephanie Rich, a former privacy adviser with assistant general counsel for Aimia who now sits on the association’s privacy and data advisory committee. Successful applicants must also pay an annual fee of $450 to maintain their CM accreditation.

As the marketer’s tool set continually changes (with the growing prominence of AI and new data collection tools, for example), Stamper says the CM designation can serve as a badge of quality assurance, denoting an understanding of Canada’s regulatory environment, as well as adherence to the CMA’s Code of Conduct for Professional Marketers and Continuing Professional Development Requirement.

He adds that senior-level marketers should regard the chartered marketer designation as a hiring tool when staffing a marketing team.

“This is something I wish had been available when I started in marketing,” he says. “When I came out of school, I had a background that said I’d taken marketing courses but I didn’t have any credibility in the industry or professional training. I think this will accelerate people’s careers.”