The Incentive, Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific (ICESAP) is set to launch the first pan-Asian Pacific Agency Accreditation Scheme on May 1, designed to allow corporate end users with the ability to confidently identify and contract with incentive, conference and event agencies who meet stringent accreditation standards.

ICESAP’s Sydney chapter will be holding an event at The Langham in Sydney on April 27 to profile the program.

The scheme will assess an agency’s business practices, management and staff competencies, as well as conduct probity and due diligence checks on the company and its directors. Accredited agencies will need to abide by a Code of Conduct and adopt a set of prescribed Best Practices. The ICESAP scheme will provide the industry with what is said to be a much-needed governance structure to support a sustainable intermediary agency sector for the future.

On the initiative, ICESAP president, Nigel Gaunt, said: “The business events sector in Asia Pacific generated more than USD200 billion in economic value for the economies of Asia Pacific in 2016. ICESAP’s Advisory Board together with representatives of customers, agencies and suppliers as well as diverse stakeholder groups such as APEC’s Tourism Working Group and the Commercial Sub-Council of China’s Chamber of Commerce was consulted to ensure it meets a diverse set of requirements.  Ultimately the scheme had to be acceptable to small and medium businesses that makes up the vast majority of incentive, conference and event agencies. Prior to the ICESAP Agency Accreditation Scheme there was no compliance regime to assess the quality of the agencies operating in the sector which in turn created a fundamental barrier to long term prosperity and growth in the sector.”

The ICESAP accreditation scheme provides agencies with a consistent set of standards to follow and provides a strong foundation for raising the quality and professionalism of intermediary organisations in the industry. It also enables end users to more confidently navigate through the process of researching, appointing and managing incentive, conference and event agencies.

Regional vice president of ICESAP, Joanna Hancock, said, “We are very proud to be launching the first agency accreditation scheme across Australia and New Zealand. For too long in Australia and New Zealand the focus has been on individual rather than business accreditation which is not sustainable for the long term. We need to ensure Australian and New Zealand corporate customers can access trusted and proven event agencies to assist in mitigating the risk associated with their meeting and event investment. By focusing on the event agency, we’ll see an uplift in the baseline quality of the industry which we’ll then continuously build on to improve over time. We are also thankful to Accor Hotels who are supporting this initiative as the principal hotel partner of the scheme”.

ICESAP has appointed an executive director – compliance who in partnership with the ICESAP president and secretariat staff will oversee the scheme and will report to the chairman of the ICESAP Advisory Board. ICESAP has engaged Bradbury Consulting Pte Ltd to manage the application processing and commercial elements of the scheme whilst Dunn & Bradstreet (Singapore) Pte Ltd will conduct the probity checks.

Detailed information about this scheme will be shared at the official launch event on April 27 at The Langham Hotel Sydney.

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