Certification and Education FAQs

1. What is the difference between the CHDM, the HDME, and the HDME+?

The Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer (CHDM) is the premier hospitality digital marketing certification.  You can apply to qualify and study at your own pace to prepare for the online exam.  The two courses of Hotel Digital Marketing Essentials (HDME and HDME+) are separate online courses in digital marketing, based on the same study guide that the CHDM uses and taught by the authors of the study guide.  The HDME is taught live in 6 online sessions once a week, and the HDME+ is the same course but online only and self-paced.  They are both excellent preparation for the CHDM, but not required for the certification.  If someone takes the HDME or HDME+, they can receive a $75 discount on the CHDM.  The courses are also valuable for anyone who needs to know everything about digital marketing in hospitality today even if they are not applying for the CHDM.
CHDM:  Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer (CHDM) | HSMAI Americas
HDME and HDME+:  Hotel Digital Marketing Essentials | HSMAI Americas

2. What is the difference between the CRME and the HROE?

The Certified Revenue Management Executive (CRME) is the premier hospitality revenue management/revenue optimization certification.  You can apply online to qualify and study at your own pace to prepare for the online exam.  The Hotel Revenue Optimization Essentials (HROE) is a separate online course in revenue optimization, based on the same study guide that the CRME uses and taught by one of the authors of the book.  The HROE is taught live in 6 online sessions once a week.  The course is an excellent preparation for the CRME, but not required for the certification.  If someone takes the HROE, they can receive a $75 discount on the CRME.   The course is also valuable for anyone who needs to know everything about revenue management in hospitality today, even if they are not applying for the CRME.
CRME:  ​Certified Hospitality Revenue Management Executive (CRME) | HSMAI Americas
HROE:  Hotel Revenue Optimization Essentials | HSMAI Americas

3. I’m a revenue manager and I want a certification. Should I take the CRME or the CRMA?

You should apply for the CRME if you qualify.  You need at least one year of experience in revenue management to qualify.  If you do not yet qualify, if you are working in hospitality but have no experience in revenue management and want to know more about it, or if you are a student in a college hospitality program and want to explore the field of revenue management, you should take the CRMA.  It is self-study and self-paced, and there are no prerequisites and no application.  You can register and pay online.
CRMA:  Certified Revenue Management Analyst (CRMA) | HSMAI Americas

4. What is the difference between the Individual CHBA and the Group CHBA? Which should I take?

The Individual CHBA is a self-paced online certification and training in business acumen for hospitality.  It includes e-learning and a hotel simulation in which you “manage” a virtual hotel and make decisions affecting its profitability, competing against a computer.  There are no prerequisites and no application – you can register and pay online to begin.  The Group CHBA requires at least 7 people to register and go through it together.  It is not open enrollment – usually a company puts a group of employees through the certification.  It is a 5-week commitment with approximately 4 hours of homework per week and mandatory weekly conferences with an instructor.  The e-learning is the same as the Individual CHBA, and in the hotel simulation you compete against your colleagues instead of the computer.
CHBA:  Certified in Hospitality Business Acumen (CHBA) | HSMAI Americas

5. What does a certification fee cover?

For the CRME, the CHDM, the CHSL, and the CRMA, the fee covers the application, the study guide, and the exam.  For the CHBA, it covers the online course and the exam.

6. What is the format for a certification exam?

All certification exams have 50 multiple-choice questions and are timed for 60 minutes.  The questions for each exam are drawn at random from a large question bank, and no two exams are alike.  They are closed-book – you may not consult the study guide.  The exam can be taken from anywhere there is reliable internet, 24-7.

7. What happens if I don’t pass a certification exam?

If you don’t pass the first time, you can take it a second time for a fee of $45.

8. I received a PDF of the study guide for my certification, but I want a printed copy. How can I get one?

You can purchase a printed version of any study guide or HSMAI publication on our bookstore.  The PDF version is covered by your certification application fee, but you can buy a printed version for an extra fee.
Bookstore:  Publications & Study Guides | HSMAI Americas

9. I’m trying to pay for my certification online and cannot log into the website or get to my invoices. What do I do?

To pay online:  Go to https://americas.hsmai.org/.   Click on ‘My HSMAI’ at the top and log in with your username and password.  Click again on My HSMAI and on My Invoices, and you’ll see the invoice.  Click on the invoice number, click on Add to Cart, and then at the next screen, click on Checkout.  Fill in the payment information and click on Process Order.  As soon as you submit payment, you’ll receive an emailed receipt. If you are having issues logging in, you may need to use a different browser.

10. What is my username and password?

Upon your first login to the HSMAI website, your username is likely your email address and your password is your last name (unless you set them otherwise). These are case-sensitive, and you can change them any time in the My HSMAI area.  If you can’t remember your username or password, please use the “Forgot Password” option. This will immediately return your username and give you the option to email you a password.

11. How can I recertify my certification?

You can complete the recertification application and return it to kathy.tindell@hsmai.org.  You will be sent instructions for payment.  The cost is $150 for members and $200 for nonmembers.  The CRME and the CHSL must be recertified by December 31 of the third year after earning the certification or last recertifying; the CHDM must be recertified by December 31 of the second year after earning the certification or last recertifying.  You never have to take another exam.  You will receive a copy of the current study guide for your files and a new e-certificate confirming your certification.

12. I missed the date by which I was due to recertify. Can I still recertify without taking an exam?

Yes. You do not need to take another exam.  Complete the application for recertification and return it to kathy.tindell@hsmai.org.

13. My company is a member of HSMAI. Does that mean I can pay the member fee for a certification?

The member or nonmember fee is determined by individual membership, not corporate membership.  However, if a company has put a large volume of its employees through a certification, their employees do qualify for the member price.  You can submit the certification application, and you will receive an email letting you know if your experience qualifies you to proceed with the certification and if you qualify to pay the member fee.  You will then be able to pay an invoice online and will receive the study guide to prepare for the exam.

14. Are HSMAI certifications recognized all over the world?

Yes, there are more than 3,000 CRMEs from 80 countries; more than 1,400 CHDMs from 40 countries; and more than 1,000 CHBAs from more than 50 countries.  The CHSL was launched in June 2024.

15. Who can I contact for more information?

Kathy Tindell, kathy.tindell@hsmai.org