Certified Travel Manager (CTM) Certification

The Certified Travel Manager Program is jointly promoted by The Canadian Tourism Human Resource Sector Council (CTHRC) and the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA). ACTA is an organization that advances the professional development of travel counsellors and managers in Canada.

Emerit Professional Certification, recognized across the country, brings a standard of excellence to each of the emerit-trained professions. It is awarded when a candidate demonstrates they have mastered the required skills and met the standards of their profession in a practical job setting.

  • Affirms your commitment to the industry
  • Sets an example of achievement to your staff
  • Identifies you as a decision-maker in the eyes of both the industry and consumers
  • Identifies your career path
  • Meet or exceed the certification requirements set by peers

Costs for CTM Certification

FOR ACTA Members AND Instructors from ACTA Endorsed Schools:

Pay in full at time of enrollment for special rate of $325.00 + GST or HST and receive the exam prep pack for free! This also includes free enrollment. If you wish to pay in steps, here are the fees:

  • Enrollment fee: waived
  • Exam fee: $150.00+ GST or HST
  • Administration cost for Performance Evaluation, Industry Experience and Case Study Reports: $225.00 + GST or HST
  • Total cost for CTM CERTIFICATION: $375.00+ GST or HST

FOR Non-ACTA Members AND Instructors from Non-Endorsed Schools:

Pay in full at time of enrollment for special rate of $425.00 + GST or HST . If you wish to pay in steps, here are the fees:

  • Enrollment fee: $100.00 + GST or HST
  • Exam fee: $150.00+ GST or HST
  • Administration cost for Performance Evaluation, Industry Experience and Case Study Reports: $225.00 + GST or HST
  • Option: Exam prep pack available for $35.00 + GST or HST.
  • Total cost for CTM CERTIFICATION: $475.00+ GST or HST

4 Steps to Certified Travel Manager (CTM) Certification

1. Enroll for Certification

This is your first step to becoming a CTM. The cost pre pays your certificate and pin once certified. Once Enrolled you have 6 months to complete all steps. To get started on certification you can purchase a downloadable copy of the Travel Manager Occupational Standards by emailing certification@acta.ca

2. Knowledge Exam

The exam assesses the knowledge areas contained in the National Occupational Standards for Travel Manager. It consists of 125 multiple choice test items that are based on industry specific scenarios in the following proportion by category of the standards. IF you’re an ACTA Member agent, ACTA will send you a complimentary copy of the Knowledge Exam Prep Guide and Practice Exam via email upon enrollment.

Standards Category Exam Weighting
Business Planning 8-10%
Operations 14-18%
Finance 10-12%
Human Resource Management 27-33%
Professionalism 8-10%
Marketing 9-11%
Sales and Client Service 13-17%
TOTAL number of items 125 Questions

Booking the Knowledge Exam

Exam can be written anywhere as long as you have an approved proctor to supervise you during the exam. You will need to arrange a proctor for the exam date of your choice. It is an online exam so it can be written any time during the day however technical support is only available between 8:30 AM and 4:30PM EST Monday – Friday. Confirm exam date, location and proctor by submitting the Proctor Application form. Exam details must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the exam date. It is recommended that you bring a silent battery operated calculator as this will not be supplied and you are not allowed to use other “hand held devices” that incorporate a calculator.

3. Performance Evaluation
a) Work Experience

Qualified experience must relate to the skills as defined in the Occupational Standards. Recent industry work experience helps ensure a candidate can apply and perform the complete scope of skills as outlined in the standards in a practical setting. An industry committee defined the experience requirement for Certified Travel Manager as a total of 5 years of related industry experience, e.g., travel trade, sales, with a minimum of 2 years of proven supervisory/managerial experience. Details must include employment references and current contact information. Candidates must supply acceptable records as proof that this requirement has been met. Back up records that support the work experience claim include: pay slips / Record of Employment / letters of employment or copy of ACTA/IATA ID card.

b) Performance Checklist

This self-assessment is a checklist of skills that you review that identifies how well you perform certain tasks that are not as easily observed in a workplace evaluation or on a multiple choice exam.

c) Case Studies

Candidates select two of the following eight case studies to complete in a take home format for a maximum of three (3) months. To be successful candidates must pass both case studies.

Case Study Number and Title Standards Assessed
1. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats (S.W.O.T.) Analysis A2.4 participate in business planning
2. Develop and Implement Action Plans B1.3 develop action plans
B1.4 implement action plans
3. Plan a Consumer Show C1.1 develop budget
C1.2 implement budget
D4.3 schedule employees
D4.4 communicate with employees
D4.7 motivate employees
4. Recruit Staff D2.1 recruit and screen applicants
5. Develop a Training Plan D3.2 plan training
6. Develop a Marketing Plan F1.1 develop marketing plan
7. Develop a Sales Incentive Contest G1.2 implement sales incentive contests
8. Deliver Presentations E2.2 deliver presentations

Once completed case study assignments are received they will be sent to an independent evaluator for marking. Results will be emailed to the candidate within 4-6 weeks of ACTA receiving the completed case study assignments.

d) Phone Interview with ACTA’s Director of Education

Once all the above steps are completed and graded, we will conduct a short phone interview between you and ACTA Director of Education as a final step towards earning your designation.

4. Maintain annual CTM registration to use your credential

In order to maintain your designation, you are required to renew your CTM on an annual basis.


The “Workbook” is the National Occupational Standards for Travel Managers (NOS). You may use the NOS to identify areas you may not have been exposed to and attempt to gain more knowledge and/or experience in those areas. The downloadable version costs $9.99 + GST and the hard copy costs $45.00 + shipping and handling + GST or HST. To purchase either version of the NOS, contact Monica Perez Garcia at 1888-2572282 Ext 128 or at certification@acta.ca

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Do I need to be a CTC before I can pursue the CTM credential?

No, as long as you have five years of experience in the travel industry, two of which are management you can “go direct” to CTM.

Can I have both CTC and CTM designations?

Yes, you may earn both designations. However, you will only be required to pay one annual fee to maintain both designations.

What is the process to earn your CTM?

  • Pass the Knowledge Exam which is based on the National Occupational Standards for Travel Manager.
  • Submit proof for your 5 years of industry experience with a minimum of 2 years of proven supervisory/managerial experience.
  • Complete, submit and pass two of your chosen case studies (a list of case study categories is available upon request).
  • Complete a Performance Self-Checklist, this assessment is a checklist of skills that you review that identifies how well you perform certain tasks that are not as easily observed in a workplace evaluation or on a multiple choice exam. This will be followed by a phone interview by the Director of Education as the last step towards earning your certification.

How long does it generally take to complete the program?

The recommended time frame is 6 months.

Are all steps mandatory in order to become certified?

Yes. Representatives of the travel industry have determined what occupational standards items are best assessed by certain methods. Since only a portion of the standard is assessed through the Knowledge Exam (for example), there can be no exemptions.

Must the steps be completed in the order presented?

It is strongly recommended that you follow the process as laid out on the website. Experienced counsellors may be completing several steps at the same time.

How can I enroll to become certified?

Enrollment is a simple process. E-Mail us at certification@acta.ca. Once we receive your request for enrollment we will begin the process for you and send you the information that you need to get you on your way.

How much does it cost to earn the CTM credential?

The total cost for the bundle package for ACTA Members is $325.00 plus tax and for non ACTA Members the bundle package fee is $425.00 plus tax.

Once I’m enrolled, can I cancel and get a refund?

Yes, provided that the exam has not been booked, ACTA will refund you the entire amount less a $25 (plus tax) admin fee for any cancellations made within 10 days of your enrollment. If cancellations are made outside of the 10 days, there is a cancellation fee of $100 plus tax. Please note that scheduled exams and workbooks are non-refundable.

Knowledge Exam

Once I am enrolled how do I register to write my exam?

Exams must be booked at least two weeks in advance. Choose the date and time that you want to write your exam and email the information to certification@acta.ca.
You must also submit your proctor’s application form at this time for approval.

Can I write a paper-based exam?

No, the exam is only available in an online format.

How do I prepare for the exam?

For the Knowledge Exam there are several tools available including: National Occupational Standards to Travel Managers, *Practice Exam and Prep Guide. To order preparation material, please email us at certification@acta.ca. *For ACTA Members as well as instructors from Endorsed Schools: the Prep Guide and Practice Exam are included in the bundle package. They will be sent to the candidate immediately upon enrollment.

What percentage do I need to pass my exam?

For the Knowledge Exam – pass level is on a “sliding scale” around 72%. Each individual question has its own pass percentage depending on which questions are pulled for the test the pass mark may vary slightly.

How do I know if I’ve passed or failed my exam?

You will receive an email notification from emerit - the exam administrator - within the same business day as completing the exam, letting you know your score is available. To review your exam results, you will need to log on to the emerit website with your username and password that are provided to you by your Proctor the day of your exam. If you passed, ACTA will send you an official pass letter along with your certificate via regular mail within 10 business days. If you were unsuccessful, ACTA will officially notify you via email. We recommended you review the details for a breakdown of your score on the emerit website. This will help you prepare for your next attempt.

Can I get a copy of my completed exam?

No, for the security and integrity of our exam process, we do not disclose exam forms. A breakdown of your score will be provided in the exam details found in your emerit profile

What are my next steps if I fail my exam?

Re-writes for the Knowledge Exam are available for an additional fee of $100 plus tax. Future exam re-write dates should be booked at least two weeks in advance. Once you have set up an exam date, time, venue and Proctor, please email us at certification@acta.ca.

If I’m unable to write my exam, can I reschedule it?

Yes, however, there is a rescheduling fee of $25 plus tax. No rescheduling permitted within 24 hours of the original exam date. Exams cannot be rescheduled without notifying ACTA office during regular business hours: 0900ET to 17:00ET from Monday to Friday.

Do I get a refund if I am a “no-show”?

No, there is no refund if you’re unable to attend the day of your exam.

What if I decide not to write my exam?

Exams are non-refundable.

Can I appeal my score if I do not receive a passing mark?

No, appeals are not accepted. Please note that all exams are computer graded.

If I cannot find a Proctor, how can I write the exam?

Unfortunately, you need to have a Proctor in order to write the exam. A Proctor can be a person from any industry who does not have any conflict of interest with you. For a more detailed definition of a Proctor, please refer to the second page of the proctor’s application form.

Who pays my Proctor?

ACTA does not pay for a Proctor. Should your Proctor decide to charge a fee, the fee is negotiated between you and your Proctor. A Proctor may wish to supervise your exam without charge as a favor or a goodwill gesture.

Is there anything that I can bring with me to the exam? ie. calculator, pencil,…

Yes, you can bring a battery powered calculator (no cellphone calculators permitted). However, you’re not allowed to bring cell phones, paper, pencils, pens, atlas, dictionaries or food/drinks.

How long is the exam?

The maximum allotted time is 4 hours. You do not have to stay for the entire duration if you complete your exam ahead of time. You may leave as soon as your exam is submitted.

When should I arrive for my exam?

It’s better to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your set exam time. If you arrive late, you will not be given additional time.

What if I arrive late for my exam?

It should not be a problem, unless you’re writing in a group setting.

Can I leave the exam session at any point (ie. for washroom breaks)?

Once the exam starts, you cannot leave the room until you finish. If it’s an emergency, please notify the Proctor.

Five Years of Relevant Work Experience

How many years of experience do I need to become a CTM?

You are required to have 5 years of industry experience with a minimum of 2 years of proven supervisory/managerial experience.

What kind of documents can I submit as proof of my work experience?

Examples of proof are ROE, T4 slip or an official letter from your agency stating that you’ve had 5 years of experience in the industry with two years (minimum) of supervisory experience.

When do I submit these documents to ACTA?

You submit this when you’ve passed the Knowledge Exam. If you had purchased the bundle package, then you do not have to pay anything. If you had previously paid for the Enrollment and/or Knowledge Exam only, then you will be invoiced for the remaining $225 plus tax covering the performance evaluation section of the CTM program.

Case Studies

How many case studies do I need to complete?

Candidates select two case studies to complete in a take home format over a period of three (3) months. To be successful, candidates must PASS both case studies.

How do I get the list of case studies?

ACTA will send you the case study test booklet as soon as you have passed your Knowledge Exam and have submitted your proof of work experience.

Performance Evaluation Self-Checklist

How do I get the Performance Evaluation Self-Checklist?

ACTA will send you the Self-Checklist once you’ve passed all the above steps. The checklist needs to be completed by the candidate.

What happens after I submit this?

Christine Chilton, CTM, Director of Education, will review your Self-Checklist and schedule a phone interview with you. She will ask you to elaborate on certain skill sets listed on the form that will be chosen in a random fashion. Once the interview is completed, Monica Perez Garcia will email an official letter confirming the completion of your CTM program.

Completion of Certification

I’ve completed all the steps, now what?

ACTA will send you an official letter confirming your certification via email, including your annual dues invoice for your professional designation. The dues will be prorated according to the effective date of your certification. Once payment is received, you will receive your Certified Travel Manager certificate, a CTM pin and full use of your designation!

You will then become a “Certified Member” of ACTA and will be required to maintain your CTM designation via payment of annual dues. Renewal notices will be sent to your home address in Nov/Dec of every year.

The following is a list of benefits you can enjoy as a Certified Member of ACTA:

Marketing Positioning and Visibility

Eligibility to display the CTC/CTM designation and logo. Make a statement to consumers and the industry about the commitment you made in earning your professional designation.

Opportunity to be listed in the ACTA Travel Directory for Certified Professionals working in an ACTA Member Agency.

Opportunity to benefit from ACTA’s Strategic Priorities of Promotion of the ACTA Travel Professional with a campaign specifically for Certified Travel Counsellors/Managers.


  • Opportunity to be elected as a Regional Council Member representing CTC/CTM.
  • Opportunity to be elected to the ACTA Board of Directors representing CTC/CTM on a National level.


  • Receive our bi-weekly electronic newsletter, ACTAVision, keeping you up-to-date on current events and what’s happening in the travel industry.
  • Access the Members Area of our website, which offers more detailed information on the issues ACTA is working on.
  • Receive a complimentary subscription to Canadian Traveller Magazine.
  • Find ACTA on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter providing another alternative to keeping in touch with the industry at all times.

Industry Networking

  • Network with peers at ACTA events including forums, golf tournaments and social functions.
  • Priority space will be extended to Certified Professionals on ACTA Educational FAM trips.

Ongoing Education

  • Access to ACTA On Demand webinars and live industry webinars facilitated by ACTA.


  • Special reduced rates on ACTA Educational FAM trips.
  • PLUS, receive a complimentary ACTA ID Card featuring over 140 partners offering you industry discounts! (subject to meeting the eligibility requirements for all ACTA ID Cardholders)

For answers to other questions, please Contact Us or call our offices (888) 257-2282 or 905-282-9294.