How to Become a Certified Concierge
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Imagine you’ve just checked into a hotel in an unfamiliar city. You may not know where to find a great restaurant in the area and may be unaware of popular entertainment options. Many fine hotels employ a concierge to help guests plan their activities or help them to figure out transportation in the city. Becoming a certified concierge can put you on course for a satisfying career in which you help guests have a great time in your city while building their loyalty to your hotel.
Understand the job duties of the typical concierge, as you may not be successful at the job if you don’t like what you have to do every day. The concierge at McCoy Springs, a resort in Colorado, also assumes the duties of a caretaker. In addition to doing grocery shopping and arranging restaurant reservations, he or she must also clean the resort’s common areas and provide limited food and beverage service.
Become a member of at least one association that provides concierge certification. For example, the International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Association. This organization upholds the standards of their industry and certifies concierges. The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute also provides certification for concierges. These groups also provide guidance to those in the lifestyle management industry, helping concierges to do their jobs better and helping employers understand what a concierge should be.
Complete the continuing education requirements of your certification agency. The ICLMA and AHLEI offer online webinars and other training programs to help you attain and improve your skills. While the AHLEI doesn’t require you to complete their training series, they do offer a skills guide to help you understand how to be a good concierge and how to handle difficult guest requests. The ICLMA requires at least 20 hours of continuing education each year.
Prove your level of advancement by fulfilling your agency’s education requirement. The ICLMA insists that certified concierges attend or present at a convention. To fulfill the AHLEI’s requirements, you must be employed as a concierge, must achieve a 75 percent or greater on a written test and reach the same level on a practical skills evaluation.
Pay the fees required by the agency you’ve selected. These fees will vary depending on which association you choose and the year in which you seek certification. The revenue provided by certified concierges allows these groups to continue their work to improve the concierge workforce across the country.
- McCoy Springs: Caretaker/Concierge Duties (PDF)
- International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Association: Certified Concierge Specialist Program (CCS)
- The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute: Hospitality Services Certification: Concierge
- The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute: Concierge: Skills Guide
Ethan Pendleton is a teacher and writer in Columbus, Ohio. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Ohio State University at Marion and teaches writing in various capacities in his community.