APIEM is a non-profit making organisation that has been established to contribute to the professionalization of the events industry in the Asia Pacific region. One of the ways in which APIEM supports the professionalization of the events industry is through its accreditation scheme whereby training providers, colleges and universities that offer a MICE/events management programme can apply to become an APIEM Centre of Excellence. APIEM upon receipt of an application form will then arrange a suitable date for an audit visit to take place. The audit visit will assess whether the training provider, college or university is providing an events management curriculum of an international standard against four criteria: the Management and Content of the Curriculum; Teaching and Learning Standards; Resources and Learning Environment; and Welfare and Student Services.

Depending on the outcome of the audit Centre of Excellence status can be awarded in one of eight categories ranging from Centre of Excellence** to International Centre of Excellence**** (the highest award). The audit can be conducted by either Professor David Hind, President of APIEM or Dr Karen Fernandez, Vice President of APIEM Education and Accreditation. Where convenient both David and Karen conduct the audit together but this isn`t always convenient or feasible. The audit visit normally starts with a presentation being given by the applying institution on its events management provision and ambitions for the future. Then the auditor will read the documentation that has been prepared by the host institution before meeting with faculty and students (in separate meetings) – the documents provide evidence on how the institution meets the APIEM Centre of Excellence criteria. The meetings give the auditor the opportunity to learn more about the events management provision from key stakeholders – the students and their teachers. Finally, a walking tour of the campus is undertaken to review the learning resources available for the students and the provision of welfare and student services. In the library a check is made of the events management books that are available for students and whether these have been written by international authors along with the supply of e-books and other on-line learning resources. Support for students outside of the classroom is important as it contributes to the overall quality of their learning experience – some universities have their own medical clinic that provide nurses, doctors and dentists. The audit is normally conducted in one day and at the end of the day the auditor is able to provide provisional feedback to the institution on the recommendation that is being made to the APIEM Advisory Board by the auditor on whether Centre of Excellence status can be awarded and at what level. Upon completion of all the APIEM Centre of Excellence documentation after the audit visit and upon receipt of the accreditation fee (US$1,000 for a four year period) from the applying institution the formal announcement of the newly appointed Centre of Excellence can be made.

Once an institution becomes an APIEM Centre of Excellence it is able to benefit from on-going support from APIEM that can include advice on developing further its events management/MICE curriculum, suggestions for developing further its teaching, learning and assessment methods as well as opportunities for networking with faculty from the other APIEM Centres of Excellence for research and publications activity. The images provided with this post give examples of Professor David Hind and Dr Karen Fernandez conducting APIEM Centre of Excellence audits in the Philippines in January and February 2017.

Professor David Hind reviewing accreditation documents

Reviewing IT facilities

Taking into account the general environment of the campus

Excellent and well-produced audit documentation help to create an impression of a high quality institution

Dr Karen Fernandez, VP Education and Accreditation reviewing audit documentation

Catering expertise is crucial for the events industry

One of the APIEM Centre of Excellence logos that can be used by an accredited centre for four years

International text books in the library support a curriculum of an international standard

Excellent on-campus event spaces help develop the professional skills of students

Meeting with students – a very important part of the audit process

a well-resourced library is essential for APIEM accreditation

Meeting with faculty members and doctors/nurses from on-campus medical support facilities