COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) today unveiled the next-generation of CIAC Certification, the industry standard for professional excellence in contact center leadership and management. This first of its kind certification is the only industry-recognized and accredited credential that develops and validates the competency of contact center professionals. The certification reflects the challenges of contact center professionals and cultivates a new breed of leaders and managers who create and sustain high performance contact centers that consistently deliver outstanding service, optimize customer value and contribute to business goals. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120417/AQ88417) To help contact center professionals and organizations worldwide achieve excellence, ICMI and the Call Center Industry Advisory Council (CIAC), an international group of contact center practitioners and industry subject matter experts, identified role-specific knowledge, skills and attributes/competencies that underlie superior contact center job performance. The resulting competency training and testing are focused on knowledge as well as the ability to apply it in a real-world environment. ICMI has been a licensed provider of training for CIAC Certification since the program's introduction in 2003. In 2011, ICMI began exclusively managing the CIAC Certification program. "ICMI is proud to play a part in elevating the profession of contact center management through CIAC Certification," said Brad Cleveland, ICMI Senior Advisor. "Designed by the industry, for the industry, CIAC Certification prepares call center managers and executives for customer service excellence." Global in scope and definition, the competencies are applicable to contact center strategic leaders and operations managers in organizations of every business type and size. The competencies are modeled to drive results-based outcomes and in-depth conceptual and practical comprehension and application of all aspects of contact center business, strategy and operations. The competencies are categorized into four domains of contact center management responsibilities: Leadership; People; Customers; and Operations & Technology. Ninety-nine percent of surveyed CIAC-Certified professionals say they are more effective managers of operations and processes because they have completed the CIAC Certification process. "Given the increased complexity of technology, the greater demands of customers, and the abundance of competitors, it makes good business sense for every call center manager or executive, regardless of industry, to pursue this important credential," said Lisa Minear, CIAC-Certified Operations Manager, American Automobile Association (AAA). The CIAC Certification competencies specify job role-specific knowledge, skills and abilities for superior leadership and management of a contact center. Achieving CIAC Certification requires mastery-level competence of job role responsibilities; validation of professional competence through rigorous testing of knowledge and skills; and recertification that ensures up-to-date competency and promotes commitment to continuous learning and improvement.