Certified Incentive Specialist


What is CIS?

The Certified Incentive Specialist designation is awarded to you upon successful completion of an online exam. The exam can be taken following a two-day, in-person workshop or by registering for the CIS Online and reviewing the workshop materials at your own pace.

Workshop Content

Workshop content includes how incentive programs are designed, what motivates people to achieve greater levels of performance and the positive impact of incentive travel and business results.

The in-person course is available at locations all around the world.

With more than 2,250 graduates from 56 countries, the CIS designation will elevate your career and develop your skills to provide extraordinary motivational experiences worldwide. Both SITE members and non-members are welcome to attend.


Who is CIS aimed at?

CIS is aimed at anyone “new” to the exciting world of incentive travel.

Maybe you’re a recent college graduate working in business events at a large hotel – CIS is for you! Or an experienced travel professional recently employed by a large corporation in the meeting and incentive planning department – CIS is for you!

Whatever your background, if you’re eager to learn industry best practices and achieve a higher level of incentive education, then the CIS designation is for you.

Content / Sessions

  • Fundamentals of incentives
  • Origins of incentive programs and incentive travel
  • The value chain
  • The value proposition of motivational programs and non-cash awards
  • Market composition
  • The makings of a program and program budget
  • Industry tools and platforms
  • And much more!

What’s the format of the exam?

The exam is taken online and consists of multiple-choice style questions. Once registered, you can take the test as many times as you like until you reach the designated pass mark.

How do I prepare for the exam?

The optimum preparation for the exam to is register for the next available two-day in-person workshop.

What does it cost?


  • SITE Member: $695 USD
  • Non-Member: $895 USD (includes one year SITE membership*)

CIS Online

  • SITE Member: $295 USD
  • Non-Member: $495 USD (includes one year SITE membership*)

CIS Hybrid — on-demand content combined with virtual cohort meetings

  • SITE Member: $495 USD
  • Non-Member: $695 USD (includes one year SITE membership*)

*SITE membership is prorated for the remainder of the calendar year in which the CIS course occurs. Offer is only valid for individuals who have not been members of SITE previously. 

When can I take the course & exam?

3 hybrid virtual cohorts available as follows

  • CIS Cohort 1 (1/9/2024 – 2/13/2024, weekly @ 11:00 AM ET)
  • CIS Cohort 2 (4/4/2024 – 5/9/2024, weekly @9:30 PM ET) *This cohort is tailored to the Asian pacific market with office hours being available 9:30 AM Shanghai time 
  • CIS Cohort 3 (10/16/2024 – 11/13/2024, weekly @11:00 AM ET)

This co-hort will be self paced with optional office hours taking place weekly leading up to the exam. Following the exam preparation class, students will have 2 weeks to complete the exam. All office hour sessions will be recorded and posted online.

CIS offerings taking place at both IMEX Frankfurt and IMEX America in 2024

These are both in-person 2-day events concluding with the exam on day 2.


CIS Instructor Application

SITE is actively seeking to build a roster of instructors to deliver its Certified Incentive Specialist certification.

CIS is our entry-level certification that is aimed at anyone “new” to the exciting world of incentive travel. The course can be delivered in person over a 2 day workshop or in an online/hybrid format.

To become a CIS Instructor:

  • you must be a SITE member in good standing
  • have a minimum of three years industry experience
  • you must have a CIS certification (this can be obtained online prior to being an instructor)

Please fill out the application form linked below and our team will be in touch within three business days. There is a $49 fee to apply, payment made online once application is reviewed and approved.

Questions? Please contact