GI-1         Gilmer Institute of Learning Travel
GI-2         National Education Conference Registration
GI-3         CGMP Exam Fee Reimbursement
GI-4         Chapter Immediate Past Presidents Elected/Appointed as Trustee
GI-5         Gilmer Institute of Learning Trustees Annual Meeting
GI-6         Gilmer Institute of Learning Trustee Duties
GI-7         CGMP Class Requirements
GI-8         CGMP Certification Program
GI-9         CGMP National Scholarship Fund
GI-10      Site Selection for Gilmer Institute of Learning Trustee Meetings
GI-11      CGMP Alternative Recertification Program 

Gilmer Institute of Learning Travel

Section: Gilmer Institute
Policy No: GI-1
Date of Origin: July 2006
Revised: April 2008; September 2008; October 2009; March 2010; November 2010; January 2015; May 2015


To itemize those expenses for which SGMP (National) will potentially assume for up to two meetings annually.



Air & Rail: All travel by air or by rail shall be done at the lowest available fare for nonstop or direct routes between the traveler’s originating city and the business site. Reservations will be handled by the SGMP Headquarters Office. All tickets will be coach-class tickets.

Travel-related costs including baggage charges (up to two bags per person) and change fee would be reimbursed by SGMP. SGMP would only pay a change fee penalty if a change of flight is caused by SGMP, business related, or there is a personal emergency for the traveler. “Emergencies” are personal family illness or death. If such emergency occurs, the traveler shall submit appropriate documentation to SGMP headquarters.

A change for non-SGMP business purpose is not considered a personal emergency and, therefore, would result in the cost of the airline ticket and change fee being paid by the individual traveler.

Privately Owned Vehicle: All travel by private automobile will be reimbursed at the prevailing U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) rate available at (not to exceed the lowest available airfare for the same destination or rental vehicle and fuel). Transportation to/from a Trustee’s home or work to/from airport will be reimbursed in full at the prevailing U.S. GSA rate.

If you are driven in a POV to the airport or train terminal, you may claim the roundtrip mileage from your home to the terminal if the cost does not exceed a one-way taxi fare plus tip. If you drive yourself and park your vehicle, you can claim mileage and parking if the total cost does not exceed the total cost of a roundtrip taxi fare. Use hotel courtesy transportation service between your hotel and airport/train terminal when possible.

Parking: Parking fees will be reimbursed in full.

Airport/Hotel Transfers for Airport/hotel or Business Site Transfers: Individual travelers are encouraged to use airport shuttle.


Gilmer Institute of Learning Trustees will be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. These expenses include meals, mileage, baggage charges, airport transportation, transfers, airport parking, internet access and gratuities.

Travelers on official SGMP business will be reimbursed for expenses incurred in entertaining a person(s) in the capacity of official business, provided that advance approval is granted by the National Treasurer (or the National President, in the National Treasurer’s absence). Without advance approval, such requests may be honored if justified and included in the SGMP annual budget. A copy of the expense report shall be presented to SGMP Headquarters prior to payment.

Lodging will be reimbursed at the actual rate for a standard room. Whenever possible, travelers are to use SGMP member properties and request the lowest available rate.

Claims for Reimbursement

Gilmer Institute of Learning Trustees may apply for reimbursement for meal expenditures based on prevailing M&IE per diems for their respective destinations when on official SGMP business. (Guidelines: see Original exact itemized receipts must be submitted for reimbursement.

Upon completion of travel, the SGMP Expense Report, accompanied by receipts for all transportation, meals and other expenses, must be submitted within 30 days from the dates of travel.

Other Reimbursable Travel Expenses

In addition to lodging, meals and transportation, the following actual expenses incurred as a necessary part of approved travel may be reimbursed (receipts are required in most all cases):

  • Reasonable tips paid by the Trustee for valets, housekeeping and ground transportation. Tips paid in conjunction with meals are included in the meal allowance and cannot be claimed separately.
  • Commercial transportation expenses paid by the Trustee. Receipts are required for each individual ride in a commercial vehicle.
  • Parking fees paid by the Trustee; receipts are required.
  • Internet, telephone, fax and other similar charges paid by the traveler for official Gilmer Institute of Learning business; receipts are required.

Travel to National Education Conference

Lodging accommodations for Trustees will be covered only for actual time spent during the National Education Conference. Trustees are expected/required to arrive as determined by the National President and board annually. In the event the Trustee is presenting at or co-chairing a pre-con session, travel expenses are authorized for early arrival. If a Trustee wishes to come in early (i.e., pre-con) and/or stay after (i.e., vacation), the costs incurred will be at his/her own expense. Due to location of the conference and the Trustee’s place of residence, if travel warrants him/her to arrive early, SGMP (National) will cover the cost.

Due to the location of the conference and the Trustee’s place of residence, if travel warrants him/her to arrive earlier, a request by the Trustee must be in writing to the National President and National Treasurer explaining reason for early arrival. The Trustee must receive written prior approval from the National Treasurer before travel arrangements are made. The National Treasurer may not authorize their own travel without obtaining approval from the National President. All travel arrangements must be clarified prior to booking travel for the National Education Conference.

SGMP headquarters will handle all travel arrangements to the National Education Conference (i.e., lodging accommodations, airfare).


If a Gilmer Institute of Learning Trustee will not be attending the entire conference or other event at which the Trustee meeting is held, SGMP will not cover any travel expenses (unless in case of an “emergency,” as previously described).

National Education Conference Registration

Section: Gilmer Institute
Policy No: GI-2
Date of Origin: July 2006
Revised: April 2008; October 2009


This policy establishes registration costs at the National Education Conference.


SGMP (National) will provide complimentary registration to the SGMP National Education Conference for the Gilmer Institute of Learning Trustees who are not able to receive support from other sources.

CGMP Exam Fee Reimbursement

Section: Gilmer Institute
Policy No: GI-3
Date of Origin: April 2008
Revised: January 2009; October 2009; March 2010; April 2011; October 2017; March 2018


This policy covers the criteria for reimbursement of the Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) certification fees.


There are two options available for reimbursement of CGMP fees. Members are only eligible for one of these reimbursement options.

Upon successfully passing the exam, SGMP (National) will reimburse planner and supplier members up to $500 for the CGMP course & exam fees, which cannot be reimbursed by any other source. For the national reimbursement plan, the SGMP Gilmer Institute of Learning Education Trustees and the SGMP Executive Director & CEO and/or Deputy Director will review all applications for reimbursement.

Chapters are authorized to provide scholarships for CGMP certification fees, using the SGMP- approved form.

Chapter Immediate Past Presidents Elected/Appointed as Trustee

Section: Gilmer Institute
Policy No: GI-4
Date of Origin: January 2009
Revised: October 2009


This policy was created to clarify the positions of Chapter Immediate Past Presidents elected and/or appointed as a trustee of the Gilmer Institute of Learning.


Chapter Immediate Past Presidents, who run and are elected or appointed to serve on the Gilmer Institute of Learning may only serve on one board of directors. It is in the best interest of both the chapter and the SGMP (National) organization to have a clear separation and, thus, to avoid a conflict of interest.

Gilmer Institute of Learning Trustees Annual Meeting

Section: Gilmer Institute
Policy No: GI-5
Date of Origin: January 2009
Revised: October 2009
Reaffirmed: March 2017


This policy originated in the SGMP bylaws and was created to declare the required annual meeting provision for Trustees of the Gilmer Institute of Learning.


The Gilmer Institute of Learning Trustees shall meet at least once a year in conjunction with the National Education Conference. Special meetings may be called by the Advisory Chair, the Operations Chair, or as requested by The National Board.

Gilmer Institute of Learning Trustee Duties

Section: Gilmer Institute
Policy No: GI-6
Date of Origin: January 2009
Revised: October 2009
Reaffirmed: March 2017


This policy originated in the SGMP bylaws and was created to define the Gilmer Institute of Learning Trustees tasks.


The Gilmer Institute of Learning has three sets of trustees made up of a total of three planners and three suppliers:

The Scholarship and Certification Trustees responsibilities are:

  • Develop and recommend policies for national NEC scholarships;
  • Review applications for national NEC scholarships;
  • Manage national NEC scholarship recipients’ requirements and duties;
  • Advise chapter boards on NEC scholarships policies and best practices;
  • Develop and recommend policies for national CGMP scholarships;
  • Review and provide updates to CGMP program, as needed;
  • Develop and recommend policies for the CGMP certification/re-certification process; and
  • Schedule and score CGMP examinations.

The Fundraising Trustees responsibilities are:

  • Organize and promote the annual NEC live and online auctions;
  • Assist with solicitation of sponsorships for NEC & other national events;
  • Consult and advise chapter fundraiser chairs on best practices; and
  • Consult with national treasurer to develop new revenue streams.

The Education and Programming Trustees responsibilities are to:

  • Provide support for chapters’ submissions of monthly programs;
  • Advise chapters on government meetings content for monthly programs;
  • Provide input on education core competencies;
  • Promote and review the contact ours program and the education and resource library; and
  • Coordinate the selection of speakers for the NEC sessions.

Gilmer Institute of Learning CGMP Class Requirements

Section: Gilmer Institute
Policy No: GI-7
Date of Origin: July 2014
Revised: September 2017


This policy establishes guidelines for chapters who wish to host a CGMP class.


For a chapter to host a CGMP class, the following guidelines will apply:

The chapter is responsible for:

  • Securing a minimum of ten (10) paid registrants
  • Securing a location for the class
  • Paying for any meeting room, food and beverage, and audio-visual costs, if applicable
  • Marketing the class by posting on the chapter website, include in the chapter newsletter, use of social media if applicable to that chapter, and inform nearby chapters

If the enrollment is between six to nine (6-9), and the chapter wants to host the class, the chapter will pay the instructor’s travel expenses to include transportation, lodging and meals.

SGMP Headquarters is responsible for:

  • Collecting registration form from each registrant
  • Paying the honorarium of any adjunct instructor (if Education and Training Director is not available)
  • Covering the travel costs for either the Education and Training Director or adjunct instructor.
  • Posting the dates on the National website, a minimum of three months prior to class dates
  • If the chapter is unable to fill the class with the minimum of ten registrants 60 days prior to the class, the class will be cancelled and paid registrants will be offered another CGMP class.

If SGMP Headquarters cancels the class and member decides not to take the class at another time or location, the registration fee will be refunded upon request.

If member cancels, the registration fee is not refunded, but applied to another CGMP class within one year of original course date. Extenuating circumstances for cancellation and refund requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

CGMP Certification Program

Section: Gilmer Institute
Policy No: GI-8
Date of Origin: January 2015
Revised: September 2017; August 2019; October 2020


This policy covers SGMP’s Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) certification program.


SGMP owns the CGMP certification program and is responsible for its administration, which includes any updates to the official teaching manual, maintains and updates exam, hires additional course instructors beyond the Education and Training Director, oversees trainers for course and examination, and maintains a current list of all CGMP designated persons with expiration terms.

To be eligible to take the course, you must confirm current SGMP membership and one year of employment in the government meetings or hospitality industry as of the first day of the course and pay the current registration fee.

Participation in the CGMP course is mandatory to take the CGMP certification exam. Should a course participant fail the exam, they may retake the exam with an approved proctor overseeing the exam and pay the current retesting fee. The exam may only be retaken twice within three (3) months of the initial exam administration date. Beyond the third unsuccessful attempt to pass the exam, the course must be retaken.

Recertification for the CGMP is every three years from the date of initial certification. Recertification includes completing the recertification form, paying the current recertification fee and documented completion of required contact hours, as listed below.

  1. Contact Hours at SGMP meetings/events – Fulfilling SGMP-approved education contact hours related to the core competencies within the past three (3) years. May fulfill all fifteen (15) Contact Hours via this method, a minimum of ten (10) hours must be in this area.
  2. Activities within SGMP – One (1) recertification point (equivalent to one Contact Hour) can be received by professional engagement in any of the following ways:
    1. Writing one article that is published in Government Connections magazine.
    2. Serving as a member of a chapter or national committee/task force
  3. SGMP Chapter Service – One (1) recertification point (equivalent to one Contact Hour) per year can be received by serving as a member of a chapter board.
  4.  SGMP National Service – Three (3) recertification points (equivalent to three Contact Hours) per year can be received by professional engagement in any of the following ways.

    1. Serving as a member of the national board
    2. Serving as a trustee of the Gilmer Institute of Learning.
  5. Contact Hours in the meetings/hospitality industry – You may earn up to five (5) Contact Hours from education at non-SGMP events within the meetings/hospitality industry.

Notices will be sent out from SGMP Headquarters to members with CGMP certifications 90 days prior to the expiration date along with a link to the recertification process. Individuals are responsible for tracking their contact hours for the recertification process.

On at least an annual basis, a full review of the CGMP curriculum and manual is conducted by Gilmer Trustees, selected SGMP CGMP holder members, and the Education and Training Director.  It is updated to include recent trends and changes in policy.

After each group exam, responses are reviewed as a quality control feature related to understandability of the questions or need for expansion of training on a particular area. Based on the results of these reviews, questions are updated, deleted, and/or new questions are added.

While the CGMP Manual may be purchased without taking the class, members are not allowed to audit the class or attend the class without taking the exam.

CGMP National Scholarship Fund

Section: Gilmer Institute
Policy No: GI-9
Date of Origin: January 2015


This policy covers the award of National Scholarship monies to fund CGMP accreditation for members in good standing who would otherwise be unable to participate in the program.


The Gilmer Institute of Learning Trustees will offer National scholarships annually to complete the CGMP course and examination to both planner and supplier members in good standing. The scholarships will be awarded in July and can be used at any CGMP course throughout that fiscal year, including the National Education Conference. All awards are good for one year. The scholarship covers the cost of the course, course materials, and examination. All travel costs are covered by the SGMP member.

Revenue for this scholarship fund will come from the mid-year online silent auction with the number of scholarships awarded being determined by the amount of dollars raised.

Site Selection for Gilmer Institute of Learning Trustee Meetings

Section: Gilmer Institute
Policy No: GI-10
Date of Origin: October 2015
Revised: December 2015


The Gilmer Institute of Learning (GIL) generally holds two meetings annually and this policy is designed to cover the process by which sites for SGMP’s GIL meetings will be selected and outline national/ chapter interactions at these meetings. When those meetings are held face-to- face, the GIL prefers to make an effort to engage with area members if there is a chapter at or near where the meeting is held. Over the years, SGMP has arranged for meals, receptions, trainings or other networking gatherings with local chapter leaders or members, but the GIL does not always hold such events or interactions. Due to the sensitive nature of this process, any questions or concerns should be addressed to the Executive Director.


The SGMP GIL recommends, and the national board determines the potential cities/locations for all GIL meetings.

SGMP staff prepares and distributes the RFP to all member CVBs and hotels in each selected city. SGMP staff then compiles responses and presents findings (including a cost analysis and recommendation) to the GIL. The GIL then forwards the findings and their recommendation to the National Board. All reviews need to include a minimum of three bids, unless otherwise agreed to by the National Board. The National Board votes to determine the selected city and property based on the following criteria in order of importance:

  1. Cost/price analysis (including airfare, lodging and food per diems, airport transfers, etc.)
  2. Chapter in area where the board can have a presence, is in need of visit, or is in initial formation stages.
  3. Potential future SGMP conference or meeting site.

After the location has been confirmed, SGMP Executive Director/Deputy Director notifies the chapter leadership in the city selected within 10 days of the decision that the GIL will be holding a future meeting in their area and also potential opportunities for engagement and meetings based on the agenda.  The Executive Director/Deputy Director ensures the meeting information is posted on the national website a minimum of 30 days in advance of the meeting date.

CGMP Alternative Recertification Program

Section: Gilmer Institute
Policy No: GI-11
Date of Origin: March 2017
Revised: October 2019


SGMP’s CGMP Alternative Recertification Program is a simple, self-study program available to certified members who have been unable to earn enough contact hours for the traditional recertification process.


The following criteria are required to participate in the CGMP Alternative Recertification Program:

  • You must be a member of SGMP in good standing.
  • You must apply to participate in the alternative recertification within 30 days from the expiration date of your certification.
  • The cost of the alternative recertification program is $250 and is due at the time of registration, and includes the updated CGMP Handbook, the current Power Point presentation and the examination.
  • This is a self -study program and does not involve any classroom activity.
  • The alternative recertification program examination will be offered every two months. You must schedule the examination within six months of registering for the program. You will be notified of the month of the examination.
  • Upon successful completion of the exam, your certification is good for three years from your most recent expiration date.
  • If you do not pass the exam, you will be able to re-test one time within 60 days of the examination for a $50 re-test fee.
  • If you are unable to attend your re-test time, you will forfeit the fee of $50.00 and will not be eligible to be part of this program.
  • The Gilmer Trustee’s will make every effort to locate an approved proctor in your area for the re-test.  However, you may need to travel to a different city or state to take the test.  SGMP will not be responsible for reimbursing any transportation or mileage costs.
  • The test is scored by the Gilmer Trustee’s and participants are not allowed to be present during the scoring process.  Participants will be notified of their scores within 2 working days of completion of test.
  • This is a one-time opportunity; if you are unable to meet the necessary contact hours for future recertification, you must re-take the CGMP class and examination.