Professional education does not end the moment one graduates from university. In fact, the moment a diploma is in hand, is probably the beginning of a long educational journey that builds on years of expertise. HFTP’s two certifications – the Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE) and the Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP) – have taken a large role in the career path for both hospitality finance and technology professionals. The two designations are designed to demonstrate the holders’ commitment to their industry specialty, and provide employers with a concrete measurement for gauging the designation holders’ knowledge base.
With recent changes to both exams, the numbers of designation holders have started to build, with 17 new CHTP holders in December 2015 based in six different countries (USA, U.K., Mexico, UAE, Bermuda and The Netherlands). Support has come from all levels: from newly-established group designation programs to certifications awarded to high-level IT executives.
HFTP Global Director Michael Levie, CHTP, CEO of CitizenM – an international hotel company with tech-forward properties, just recently earned his CHTP.
Levie says, “HFTP education and certification are excellent opportunities for learning and keeping up with what is necessary to stay ahead of the ever-changing information needed for our jobs. To best work with each other and to indicate to those around us what level of understanding and knowledge one has to share, HFTP certifications demonstrate that level of knowledge.”
HFTP places high-importance on both the CHAE and CHTP, making the designations a cornerstone of the association’s offerings. In spring 2014 – with both designations decades old (CHAE established in 1980, CHTP in 1994) – the association convened a task force of industry experts to bring the designations up-to-date and devised a plan to continually maintain their relevance. The task force restructured the exams and scheduled to have new questions written: first for the CHTP in spring 2014; and after for the CHAE exam, which is currently in progress. In addition it developed HEXQ.
HEXQ (Hospitality Exam Questions) is custom software that traces the history of an exam question: including when it was last reviewed, flags it for review, marks it for revision and more. The software also provides a function for submitting new questions, which then puts them in play for the review/approval process. This easy process encourages growing the question pool; and when it comes time to generating a current exam, the software will extract from the active exam questions.
This past fall, the CHAE Advisory Council initiated the first application of the software by creating over 500 questions to begin the revamp of the CHAE exam. Although there were technical issues, which is common in the first application, the council was able to enter and begin the review process of questions entered. As the development of both the CHAE exam and HexQ continue, it will be the springboard to use for the CHTP exam updates as well.
Group Certification and International Expansion
Recognizing that the designations signify a level of expertise, the certifications have recently been identified as an important qualification for employees. This was seen with the first group certification program put in place by Rosewood Hotel Group – where the CHTP is a requirement for the company’s IT employees. Fifteen have been certified so far, with Andy Tjan, CHTP, Rosewood’s director of technology and information strategy, leading the way in November.
Tjan explains, “We are firmly committed to continuing education within our profession and ensuring that we effectively adapt to changing technologies and evolving our business practices to match. HFTP’s newest generation of technology certification effectively marries industry experience with core technology knowledge. Frank (Wolfe) and the team have done an exceptional job representing hospitality IT professionals, and we are so excited to demonstrate our support by certifying our entire IT group.”
Following the success of the Rosewood group certification, HFTP is currently negotiating with other hospitality companies to work out similar programs.
For more information on HFTP’s CHAE and CHTP certification programs, contact Robin Bogdon, HFTP Certification Manager at +1 (512) 220-4021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eliza Selig is the HFTP director of communication. She has been with HFTP since November 1999. Contact Eliza at email@example.com or +1 (512) 220-4026.