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625 North Washington Street
Suite 302 Alexandria, VA 22314-1936
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By Natalie Gozzard, M.Ed.


SMPS proudly celebrates 25 years of the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) program offered solely by the SMPS. We are now at a record-high of 1,151 CPSMs.
The CPSM designation is a mark of distinction that raises the standards and stature of professional services marketing and influences. CPSMs meet rigorous service and expertise requirements and practice a commitment to excellence, career advancement, and an ongoing pursuit of knowledge.
Developed in 1999 by SMPS, the CPSM designation elevates professional standards, enhances individual performance, and identifies those who demonstrate the knowledge necessary to practice in the A/E/C industries. Importantly, SMPS members were critical to the program’s launch. Whether in member surveys, focus groups, or informal settings, we detected a consistent theme: SMPS members wanted a meaningful certification program. They desired the ability to demonstrate proven industry skills and knowledge and to advance the recognition and visibility of A/E/C with employers, colleagues, and the public. SMPS then partnered with independent examination/certification groups and psychometricians on research and development. This led to a regularly updated body-of-knowledge resource for the Domains of Practice for Professional Services Marketing.
As a result, professional services marketers and business developers with the CPSM distinction consistently demonstrate industry experience and expertise. The CPSM title behind their names conveys a mastery of the knowledge areas and skills outlined in the SMPS Domains of Practice for Professional Services Marketing. Many with the CPSM designation confirm they experience myriad benefits, including:

Promotion and/or increased compensation
Enhanced professional credibility
Increased responsibility
Improved ability to compete in the job market
Firmwide recognition
Peer recognition and respect
Personal prestige
Increased confidence
The Society’s overall commitment to being the premier resource for education and information in marketing professional services has included focused advancement of the CPSM program over the years. For example, we replaced pen-and-paper proctored examinations with convenient online testing, which is offered twice each year. Additionally, online practice exams are now available. Members can also engage with the CPSM-exclusive online community at MySMPS. Further, CPSM recertification is now managed via an online portal, where members can access digital badges that include SMPS contact information, certification date, and description of competencies. Lastly, a resolute certification committee serves in an advisory capacity to build awareness of the program. The committee develops program collateral, establishes credibility of the profession via certification, communicates the value of the CPSM designation for career advancement, and develops CPSM-exclusive programming.
Natalie Gozzard, M.Ed., is Vice President of Professional Advancement at SMPS. Since 2013, Natalie has led the certification program while conceptualizing and executing professional development opportunities for A/E/C professionals.
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Courageous Conversations
Sometimes, we go against our gut feelings. We don’t always trust our instincts and avoid saying what we feel. Essentially, we go along with decisions we don’t endorse, never allowing our voices to be heard. While being the only one in the room to speak up can be challenging, suppressing authentic concerns and opinions can lead to unresolved situations.
By Craig S. Galati, FAIA, FSMPS, CPSM